Monthly Archives: February 2014

Valentine with Love

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vdIt seems just like yesterday I received a beautiful Card- A Greeting Card. It was may be a decade ago. On a Sunday evening I was checking a box of old hand written letters & greeting cards. Few of them have faded and grown brittle over the years. I randomly picked up some of them and my thoughts traveled to the past as I read. They brought flashback moments shared by so many beautiful people who touched my life. My parents initiated the habit of writing letters.My grandmother (my mother’s mother) with whom my bonding grew since childhood was through letters. I met her only once, a very simple and soft spoken lady she was.My mother and all her sisters and brother inherited the humbleness of her. Till her last days, her inspiring stories she shared through letters- simple things of life was the only medium of our attachment.

I was recalling the day when the postman dropped a greeting card in our letter box. An unusually big card it was. Stamped from New York(NY). It was a simple Valentine card  with a big heart outline and few printed wordings. The opening sentence inside the card was hand written in bengali “Pran bhora bhalobasha shobai kay” which means “heart full of love to all my dear ones”. She was my youngest aunt- my mother’s sister who was from NY. Valentine’s day was never a big celebration here in India as it is now.She never failed to amaze us by her mails. It was like a ritual for me too. I learnt from her that Valentine’s Day is for all of whom we “love”. “Love is not just between boy and girl.” She would say, “God loved us and asks us to share His love with everyone.”V-D

We always used to look forward to mails and postman. The thrill of surprises then was unexplainable. These days the e-world changed the dimension of letter writing.Today, the wait, the patience and the fun is missing. We always expect an instant reply whenever we mail someone. In this fast world, everything is instantaneous.

My Aunt fought cancer and gracefully left this world. I still wonder how she cracked jokes in her death bed and made people roll on the floor. The little things I learnt from her will always be cherished. When I look back, I still feel the warmth of her beautiful voice and the letters enrich my soul.

Pictures :Google

Sunshine from our garden

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ca I inherited the love for gardening from my parents. My hill days are full of memories so vibrant, I enjoy recalling them. They bring smiles as I remind those beautiful gardening moments to my parents and siblings. From a variety of roses, hollyhocks, gladiolus to dahlia to a mixed bag of vegetables, our endless garden space always kept us busy every morning and evening. The weather is always favorable in the hills to grow seasonal plants and vegetables.

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After we shifted to a warmer and humid place in West Bengal, our garden adorn only those plants that can sustain the heat, humidity and pollution.Winter bring back a lot of smiles to our faces, as some of the hill seasonal plants can remain for about, till the cold winds up.I got some succulents which  survived when we brought them from the hills and they still enrich our garden. Though we do not have enough gardening space, we have a huge terrace where most of our plants grow in pots.suI’ve added few pictures of our garden flowers like the calendula, Petunia, Marigold, Beach morning glory, adenium and some succulents. I picked up the beach morning glory plant during one of the visits to a beach resort nearby, and may be after two years it started giving those purple blooms! The white blossoms are the kamini flowers, having aromatic smell. I googled for the botanical name called Murraya paniculata.

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Three years back four of my favorite rose plants died of extreme heat.I did not risk buying again. Last summer was not very hot & humid like the previous years. Lets see, I’ll check when there is a plant fair during the monsoon and add roses to our garden.

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Our winter vegetables includes spinach, green peas, califlower, cabbage etc. The photographs will tell you rest of the story.

veg1We have a rose apple fruit tree and a mango tree. Long back some of our relatives from Digboi, Assam sent us some Rose apple fruits. I planted  the seeds. It is five years now. A total of seven plants grew, but due to lack of space, we had to cut down all of them except one. Surprisingly, after the first year, we saw a number of buds, the blooms and then the fruits. Interestingly, this plant bear fruits twice a year, during August-September and February-March.

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Rose Apple (Gulab Jamun)