OUR GARDEN SO SWEET SO LOVELY
By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Our neighbours and our families have shown that spirit of cooperation that is rather rare in housing societies. The motivation for them to use their time and energy in positive thinking, planning and execution of plans has been their ardent desire to see flowers, foliage and fruits in their backyards. The waste land behind our group of six independent houses used to be an eyesore not too long ago. The stench that emanated from the kachra dumps, the open air unauthorized shitting spaces behind hemp bushes, free for all urination points were just too much to tolerate.
Enough was enough. We put our heads together and decided to act on our own. No collection of money for cleansing the dirty area because that is the beginning of bickering, hurling accusative charges, getting back invectives with interest is just the beginning of community schemes. The intention may be good but execution of plans leads to charges of monetary corruption. The way to Hell is paved with Good Intentions, so said the Arya priest in one of his sermons and it is etched on my mind since then.
No hook no fish say the anglers. No money no manure, no seeds, no labour, leave the gardener aside – that was the end of the first round of deliberations in the makeshift Chaupal right in the middle of filth and squalor. Thank the Lord for guiding us on proper path and we all abjured use of filthy language. We had many rounds of chats and reached the conclusion that every householder would spend his or her own mullah but there will be no Lakshman Rekha between any two houses. Appreciate each other’s efforts, admire flowers when they bloom but pluck not. Look at fruits and vegetables of neighbours and be free to use them as your own. We had beaten the United Nations hollow in making so many decisions collectively without any acrimony.
Cleansing operation was the most urgent one. Each householder employed labour on as required basis. No advice was asked for and none given. Of course, our pockets were much lighter as the money spent was no meager amount. No help was requested for from the RWA and none given. Once the area around looked clean and was free from stench, potential mischief mongers looked the other way waiting for an opportunity to disrupt the good work done by us on a self-help basis. Every elephant herd has a rogue pachyderm and we humans are no exception.
There was a flurry of activity for greening the area on a minimum cost basis. The cow-dung manure was procured from adjoining villages, inexpensive but green and pretty shrubs were planted, watering them was done on a daily basis. A couple of gardeners were employed by householders under own administrative arrangements. Our group was a perfect example of a federal system of governance with full autonomy given to the constituent units.
We went ahead with a Vedic missionary zeal, come rain come shine. Soon came the rainy season and that helped us a lot in our effort to green our surroundings and keep the stench away. The uninitiated drivers, servants, housemaids and others were advised to walk an extra furlong to ease themselves away from the glare of the green. They cooperated.
JAMUN plants made unexpected growth and were the focus of attention of passers- by. Guava trees were next in line to pick up strength and become noticeable. Mango saplings looked pretty but took a long time to grow tall. Unfortunately the survival data of mango saplings is not much to write home about. We could absorb the losses individually. No sweat.
Vegatables made a debut too. The vacant places between trees were utilized and seasonal vegetables were sown and duly harvested without any profit or loss. The beauty lay in the JOY that they gave to the householders. We did not mind the jibes of jealous residents of houses situated away from our Project Green area. Some of them were like the proverbial dog in the manger. Our Chanakya Neeti was to give them the royal ignore.
HELP CAME SUO MOTO
Mouth to mouth publicity is the best way to let your project be heard of and appreciated far and wide. It happened here too. Came suo moto the print media, followed by the electronic media. They all had a good word to say about our Green Noida project that was in keeping with the declared policy of NOIDA Prashasan. Even the Antim Niwas administrator dropped in to take a look around. All of us felt encouraged and our morale went sky high.
The Horticulture Department of NOIDA Prashasan invited us to their Vasant Utsav and Pushp Pradarshini. The plants galore displayed there by both private and public organizations gave us new ideas and encouragement to move forward and achieve greater heights. Some Ficus saplings were gifted to us by the Udyan Vibhag and were accepted with thanks.
There is a saying in the Vedic realm : when and where an Yajna is performed, rakshasas are bound to come to cause destruction. How true it is even today. Those who had gone green with jealousy made an accusation against us of encroachment. We humbly submitted that Greening Project did not amount to an encroachment. In any case, many among the accusers had built pucca structures on government land. They stand exposed and are liable to be proceeded against for demolition of their illegal structures. As of now the matter rests there.
In scorching heat of the summer many a plant like kagzi nimbu is prone to withering away. In any case their leaves dry and fall under the impact of the blazing sun. Watering them profusely is the only solution that can be thought of. The Jal Vibhag of Noida has its own limitations. The solution lies in having a bore well provided it is permissible under law and is within reach of our purse.
Only living persons and societies face problems and solve them too. The dead have no problems. We have given ample proof of the fact that life is pulsating and hot clean blood flowing in our veins. It is our Garden that gives us enough oxygen to be healthy. Health and greenery around generates Happiness. To achieve a higher degree of happiness, it would be worthwhile to loosen strings of our purses as much as possible.
HEALTH AND HAPPINESS ARE A BOON granted to us by OUR GREEN GARDEN, SO LOVELY SO PRETTY.
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