Children Inspirational Others
15th August 2017.
It was Independence Day celebration in our school and after celebration, I along with my parents visited the Devi temple. The temple is situated in outskirts of the city and supposed to be ancient. The surroundings are covered with different variety of plants, trees and rice paddy fields. The temple has a children’s park, akhara, mango orchard, and a nursery of seedlings. There was no one in the mango orchard, neither mangoes nor the gardener. I can see remaining marks of rain, and I wondered how we could not have rain in our locality last night. We all enjoyed the Prasadam.
"We should take some indoor plants. The nursery has some new ones", said my mother. My father nodded in agreement and asked me if I am interested to get something for me. My parents bought two indoor plants. I was roaming here and there in the plant market, suddenly a small sapling with large leaves attracted my attention. I smiled, and so the sapling. I thought if it is asking to come with me.
"I want this", I requested my mother.
"It's not an indoor plant". Mother replied.
Gardner told me that it is an eggplant.
Wow! it's the plant, I want!
I looked into my mother’s eyes. She said No. I was still confused and suddenly heard my father’s voice. "Could we grow it in pot?", he questioned the gardener.
"Yes sir. Put the pot in balcony so that it could see the sun shine. I will put it in a bigger pot with green manure and soil", the gardener added with a smile.
I was daydreaming about the eggplant with fruits. And, finally it was done, and I own the eggplant. The pot got a corner space in our balcony, and I took the responsibility to water it as directed by gardener. The plant was growing, and I could see new leaves coming up and becoming big like ears of a hare. New branches were adding up day by day. Since the plant joined our house, some unwanted guests were visiting without any information. It was a trouble for our family. These guests include bees, flies, grasshopper, beetles created little trouble to us, and therefore, my mother decided to put a nylon net in balcony. It was fixed, and we can enjoy fresh air in balcony without any interruptions.
The plant and I, both were happy and growing. Sometimes I wondered if all children could have hair like these green leaves. I could not stop laughing and suddenly, I heard a voice,
"What is going on Adis. I can see your mischievous smile, whenever you return from balcony? Any new naughty tricks"? There were some worries in my mother’s voice.
"Nothing, nothing serious", I replied quickly. "I was busy with the eggplant. Have you seen those purple-white flowers? When will I see those fruits – eggfruits or what should I call them"? I added with some notorious smile on my face.
"Oh, this is known as eggplant only. The plant with white fruits look very much like hen's eggs and that’s why it is named as eggplant. But this is not white but purple. In UK, this plant is known as aubergine while in India we call it brinjal", my mother replied. You will see the fruits soon.
There was many flowers but no fruit. I was looking into the pot if they have fallen overnight. But there was no fruit. I searched my EVS book. I asked to google secretly, but there was no answer, I could understand.
By now, eggplant was famous creature in our colony and my friends visited several times. Some of them were so inspired with my explanations and joy, they also planted some other available plants in their balcony.
The problem of "no fruit" became viral. My friends, my extended family on video chat all have seen the plant, want to know if I have had tasted brinjals of this plant. I do not want to say no, but it was the truth.
I got many advice and “magic recipes” to solve problem; but no help. I was sad and searching for the solution from every source I know.
Dusshera vacation is about to come and my grandparents were with us. I was so happy with them and shown the eggplant. I discussed the problem. "We’ll find out. First, we should know why flowers are not converting into fruit", replied my grandpa. I said "ok, BABAJI."
Next day was Sunday and I was sitting in the balcony with my grandfather. Suddenly, grandfather said, "Oh you see, these butterflies are not coming to the eggplant. That is the cause why flowers are not converting into fruit".
I was surprised, what hell these flies must do in the conversion of flower to fruit. I have never heard this trick. Anyways, I looked at BABA. He said that these flies help in pollination and after pollination flowers are converted into fruit.
We both searched the internet and watched a YouTube video how pollination occurs. Grandfather took a scissors to make a window in the balcony net. I was waiting for butterflies and the magic – the pollination.
Soon, we had visitors again. But this time I welcomed them with my smile: the colorful butterflies and bees.
One day, hooray!! Thank God! I saw small brinjals. I shouted with happiness. My grandfather discussed the role of insects, birds, animals and forest in environment and our life. I was astonished. I was very happy.
Today our EVS teacher was teaching us about pollination. I answered in detail why and how insect help in pollination. She was surprised to know about my eggplant and butterfly. I was smiling and feeling a bonding with butterflies. I explained why we should not hurt butterflies. After all, they were the magicians behind my successful growing of eggplants!