When I look out of my 18th floor window, I get a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea. An unobstructed view of the sea is indeed one of the rare luxuries in Mumbai city. But yet something felt amiss when I glanced upon the bare window panes. Then, one fine day, we decided to lay potted plants on the window. The long grill below the windows was strong and long enough to support a dozen pots.
I had a local gardener come in and inspect the place and look into the technicalities of what kind of sunlight we received and how suitable the sea-air would be for what kinds of plants. We discussed the plants to include and agreed upon an interesting mix of flowers and herbs to grow side by side and creepers and climbers to wrap around the window grills.
The day I raised my bedroom curtains to a splash of green outside was a very happy one. I almost never have hurried mornings now. I water the plants the first thing in the day. My fingers stop the force of the water falling from the tumbler and let it drizzle on the plants like gentle rain. The smell of wet mud has been added to my list of morning aromas.
There is no monotony in my little window garden. The flowers look fresh and bright and spot different hues. There is always some new life here – be it a weed, mushroom, worm or bee. Sometimes, curious birds land up amidst the shady leaves.
And this window garden has suddenly become a green and brown canvas. Little ceramic statues, toy windmills and wind chimes that furiously move with the strong breeze, have become a part of the garden décor. We come up with more creative ways of “decorating” our little haven.
The plants also form a part of our daily discussions now. We wait in anticipation for each bud to blossom and then relish the beauty of the flower. I enjoy my morning cup of tea with the flavors of the green tea grown on my window sill.
I talk to my little son about the million things that happen in my little plantation. It’s as if we have science lessons while we converse! He also has learned to appreciate the beauty of plants in his own little kiddy way. “Mama! Look! The plants also dance!’ he tells me when he sees the plants sway in the breeze. This especially looks beautiful when we draw the curtains, because then we can see the shadows dancing.
All this and more happens in this crowded city. Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, where houses are cramped for space on the ground and sky-riser buildings vie for space in the sky and traffics lights glare and horns screech. Amidst all this we have found a little heaven of sorts on the 18th floor window.
Life is happy. It’s amazing what a little patch of green can do!