In our house, we have space for a lawn. It is a small little private space hidden from prying eyes on the road, tucked away at the back of the house. When we moved in, we were all gung-ho about the lawn. On the advice of the architect, we planted a Silver Oak at one corner. Slowly, however, we got sucked into our busy schedules and nothing was done about the lawn. It lay just like that - a brown piece of land awaiting some love. The Silver Oak was a lonely crusader in the battle for green.
A few years into my kidney disease, I developed a green thumb - not sure if that has anything to do with the kidney disease though! I then went and got hold of a maali - a gardener and got him to do up the lawn. He brought grass in a bag and dexterously planted the blades at small distances from each other. It did not make a great visual but I was promised by him that in a month or two we would have a beautiful lawn.
I religiously would water the lawn every morning and wait. "Ah, look there, there's a green patch coming up", I would exclaim every now and then. In about two months we had a functional lawn. In the meantime I had also brought some potted plants and placed them at the front of my house. I also planted some Arecka palms at one end.
Lawns can be demanding. Our lawn quickly grew wild and needed urgent trimming. I hired a gardener - a young guy, Veerappa - to come every Sunday and do the mowing and the necessary maintenance for the potted plants. This gardener was a dedicated soul. Clearly, he enjoyed his work. He loved plants and would caringly look after them. For a few years, things continued well. I was very proud of my lawn.
At Veerappa's level however, passion is rarely enough to feed hungry stomachs. He became a traffic policeman and told me he would no longer be able to look after my garden.
I looked around for replacements. Spread the word among everyone who worked for us, the security guy of the neighbours, anyone who might know a maali. After all, Naukri.com has no section for maalis!
We did get a few applicants. We even hired a couple of people. Their quality however was pathetic. All they wanted was money. No passion, no commitment. I quickly got angry and fired them.
So, that was it. The lawn received no attention. All of us were busy with our lives. Who had time to look after a lawn? It quickly grew wild and unwieldy. No one dared venture into it. Slowly, the Arecka palms continued to grow however. They totally blocked out the sunlight from the lawn.
Due to the lack of sunlight, the lawn dried up. And that was the end of the story.
Until, of course, Part 2 happened!