Root Cause

Root Cause

Recently, when Shivram Shetty (owner of the very popular Shivprasad Restaurant in Thane) and his wife paid a visit to Ulhas Pradhan’s home, a beautiful terrace garden in the backyard left the couple awestruck. Such was the impact of the garden that Shetty said to Pradhan, "Please send your garden’s mali (gardener) to my house. I want him to help me with my garden too". Pradhan, who had cultivated the garden himself replied, "When do you want me to come?"

Ulhas Pradhan, a reputed architect in Thane, finds nothing more appealing than the delicate scent of fresh flowers lingering in the air. That’s why his apartment at Cherai houses a most wonderful assortment of plants and vegetation that can be seen inside a concrete structure of bricks and cement.

Pradhan’s garden was created in 1982 with just about two or three plants. One of them was the bonsai banyan tree, which still stands. Over the years, Pradhan made full use of his 400 sq. ft. terrace where he cultivated different forms of plant life. Today his harvest consists of more than 200 different plants including everyday vegetables like Tomatoes, Capsicum, Lemons, Brinjal (Egg Plant) and even Chikoo (Sapodilla).

Flower plants like Chameli (Spanish jasmine), Asters, Mogra, Juhi and various kinds of Roses decorate the garden. The uniqueness of Pradhan’s garden is that all plants are grown in pots, and that includes trees such as Mini Orange, Palm tree and even X-mas tree. The garden is designed neatly but with a practical touch to it. All plants are all arranged in such a manner so as to allow obstruction-free growth-path and sufficient sunlight as needed.

Pradhan devotes a sizeable part of his Sunday towards maintaining his treasured backyard. But his wife is not complaining, as she can literally pluck green chili or "kadi patta" while she’s cooking.

Pradhan waters the plants regularly and says he has observed that plants somehow identify his presence. When he’s away for a few days, the plants actually respond by losing the sheen that is normally present, proving what Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, the great Indian Scientist had concluded after a series of scientific experiments- that "plants definitely do experience an equivalent of emotions".

Homecoming of a parrot
A parrot’s shining green colour feathers, red beak, and the red lining around its neck make it look very beautiful. Besides, this cute little creature also speaks like humans. That’s why it is extremely popular among humans, especially children.

No wonder then, that recently when Karran Kharas, an 8-year old student J K School found his pet parrot missing, he was distraught with grief. Mithoo, as the bird was fondly called, had been living with the family since he was a baby. Karran and his folks would often leave Mithoo out of the cage but he had never flown away. Last week though, when Karran was playing with Mithoo, the parrot quite unexpectedly flew away.

Karran loves animals and is quite aware of the fate that meets pet birds when they fly away. He knew that soon other birds would attack his Mitthoo ruthlessly and kill it. He had very little time so act, so he immediately went in search of his beloved parrot. When he could not find the parrot anywhere in the vicinity of his home, he enquired with a few colony friends who were playing on the streets.

Fortunately for him, his friends had seen a few crows cornering one parrot. The friends informed him that a lady from the neighbourhood, who had noticed the bird in distress, had quickly rescued it from the clutched of the vicious crows. The lady took the bird with her. Upon hearing this, Karran asked them about the lady and went to the lady’s house and thanked her immensely for saving his Mithoo. He told her the story of how his pet had flown away and requested her to hand over the pet to him. The kind-hearted lady obliged and Karran ran to his house to get the cage. Along with his father, Karran fetched the bird from the lady’s house. The parrot was only too happy to get back into his cage, his safe and secure home.

Why the bird flew away is a mystery. But after having encountered life’s hardships and the cruelty of the world, Karran is sure the parrot won’t dare to be adventurous again.

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