Management Funda By N. Raghuraman
On Monday morning I was depressed. I lost one lemon, three “loukis”, nine brinjals, 23 tomatoes and around 40 chillies. You may be thinking what has happened to me that am counting lost vegetables. That is because they were not vegetables in the fridge but were living vegetables on the plants. I used to meet them everyday from the time they flower until they become a full grown vegetable. When you see something that evolves on a daily basis, your relation with them becomes different.
On this Sunday when I was immersed in the two very interesting IPL matches that turned into super and double super overs until midnight, it poured very heavily and these small plants could not hold their babies (read vegetables). On Monday when I went to our garden, I literally saw them mourning with dead flowers and baby veggies (read bodies) scattered around. I spoke to them for a while. I don’t know if they felt better or not, but I felt better speaking to the grieving parents.
As I sat down to do this column, my mind ruminate various pictures of farmers sitting before land and cursing their luck or praying to the god by looking at the sky for a good rain. For the first time in my life, I could feel one hundredth of the pain that our farmers go through year after year when nature is unkind to them. For almost an hour I was sitting idle doing nothing. Understanding my mood both my pet dogs—Chikoo and Chini— climbed up the table, and started looking at me for the entire time period. They knew it’s their job to make me normal. One started licking my hand, another started scratching me asking me to pet its back. They knew by doing that I will be back to normal. Since I have grown up with animals all my life, I can easily understand their intentions, body language etc. I have always enhanced my knowledge about animals by reading books too.
One such book I recently read was“The zoo in my backyard” by Usha Rajagopalan. As a young girl she spent her childhood in a large ancestral home at Kerala’s capital, Thiruvananthapuram, amidst rich flora and fauna. Her father, who was in the Indian Forest Service, used to bring home many abandoned and injured baby animals which she nurtured with his help before taking them to the zoo in the same city. Thus her childhood was amidst hundreds of such baby cubs, plants and trees. Her book has a host of quirky characters in her household, all going by their nicknames just as they were addressed to in real life.
The book chronicles those experiences in a fun reading manner in which she refers about a monkey named Kesavan, who used to pull out wires from their fuse box, leading to parts of their house plunging into darkness. Her father apparently would go with a torch to fix it later. Maybe the monkey wanted them to sleep earlier. That is the sensitiveness of every animal around us. They always wanted every living being, including humans, to remain happy and they will go to any extent to comfort them. Believe me, life gets enriched when you understand God’s other creations.
Funda is that when you make children grow up in an environment like Usha Rajagopalan grew up, they not only become sensitive but they grow up as a kind person making this world even more beautiful.