Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Friday, February 05, 2010

Tree names

I had promised to my students that I would continue to interact with them through the trees at pR.

Vague as it may sound, my thinking stemmed from my belief that plants react to human interaction (refer Secret Lives of Plants) in almost human-like fashion (actually, the react in a much more mature fashion than most humans)...

So what better way than to name them after those students who spent over 6 years with me learning and teaching simultaneously.

But who to start with and how?

The first 3 days at pR did not give me much space to action this. It was there in the back of my mind, and I was keen for this to happen with a decent level of spontaneity.

So as we settled into our daily routine of sickling the grass in the inter-tree and around-tree spaces, I had cleared the spaces around two trees. One was a coconut tree and the other was a pongamia. Both were struggling (former was shorter than his peers and latter was affected by extensive leaf damage).

This was the connection. These were the ones which I will now nurse carefully.

The Coconut tree is now called Latif and the Pongamia is called Naheeda. That after 2 of my ardent students. They were the ones who inspired me to be lyrical and the memories of us singing together will be evergreen!!

Here are their photos. Naheeda followed by Latif.

More to follow.


Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

We had two coconut trees in our new home in the 80s (Latif is a good name; I wish it all success and great growth). I used to compare my height with it everyday, because mum said that if I eat well, we would grow together, the tree and I. I just adored that tree. Not to mention the two guavas whom I abused by climbing up them incessantly...

Pongamia! Was it planted or is it a wild one?

csm said...

kenny - all planted.
the link has been given to the pongamia story in the edited post :-)

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

am glad i asked! what a fantastic story.

Debashis said...

dear csm, I looked closely at Latif in the photos.The new flagleaf in the center looks as though its been trimmed with a giant pair of scissors. The leaflets on the left of the first photo shows wavy 'concertina' edges. This can also be made out in the frond on the right of the second photo. Latif is suffering from insufficient boron in the soil.Suggest 10gm of borax dissolved in a bucket of water and sprinkled on a circle of around 1.5m radius around the plant. Repeat after 4months. In the meanwhile water regularly. If you have hangup about using chemicals(borax is not synthetic)try a kg of pongam cake instead. Also mulch the soil under the palm with green coconut shells,cut in half and placed with round face up. This will keep the soil cool and some useful plant food for Latif.