Stop And Stare

Getting an indoor plant is a bit of a rite of passage for a dev active on Twitter. The mimesis catches up with you.

Early on in my dev journey, I saw people posting photos of their indoor plants on Twitter, touting them as happiness hacks and aesthetic additions to their desk setups. Though not immediately, eventually I jumped on the bandwagon and got myself a cute little potted snake plant. It grew so big that the other day I had to get it shifted into two pots.

As time went on, I added a parlour palm and a jade (good luck) plant to the family. Calling them family feels a little cringe. I used to scoff at people calling themselves plant parents, but now I understand them a bit more. Not that I think of myself as one. Maybe that will happen eventually too. I guess that's how it is with most things. When you experience something yourself or try to have more empathy, so to say, put yourself in other people's shoes, you understand their motives and reasons better.

This morning, I had a strange happy feeling. Jade is the latest addition to the mix. I got it cheap from a street seller at Banjara Market. It looked beautiful and healthy. But then I went to a shop, and the shopkeeper said, "Your plant doesn't have cocopeat - your plant will die." It took me by surprise. I was like, "Why are you saying that?" He explained that my plant has normal soil devoid of nutrients, etc. He seemed convincing, but I convinced myself that he was exaggerating because I didn't buy from him. When I came home, I did some research and realised there was some truth in what he said. Plants need care. You can't just water them and be done with it.

I informed my mother to let me know if she sees any maali (gardener) around. This was a few weeks ago. I was a bit worried about my plants, but not too much. Just a little. Finally, a maali came early Sunday morning. My dad woke me up and said, "A maali is here." I quickly got up. He shifted my big snake plant into two pots, pruned the dead leaves of the parlour palm; added manure and  medicine (apparently for a fungus infection in the roots) to all. As I watched him through the process, I felt really great. Maybe someday I will do it all by myself, but not today. I am clumsy with hands-on stuff. This process made me appreciate and understand people who get into gardening and talk about its meditative nature.

When my plants were all spruced up, I gave them some water and just stood there staring at their greenness. It felt strangely calm and peaceful. Having an indoor plant is great. Sometimes I just stare at them, and I have this strange feeling of connection that's hard to put into words, perhaps due to my current writing skills or otherwise.

I recommend everyone to get one, especially if you are a desk worker. But remember, they need care, just like any beautiful thing.