Day 267

No rain for the past few days! Very unusual for this place.

As I rushed out the door this morning, I remembered to water the potted plants in and around the house. I didn’t bother with the plants in the ground as I knew they could wait till later in the day.

While riding the bike to work I thought about what I’d just done and why. The plants in the ground possibly have deeper roots, more sustenance coming from the earth in the form of water and food. The potted plants on the other hand can only get what is given to them by me. They have no access to the resources of the earth. Their roots are not in the ground. Their survival depends upon their own resilience and what I provide for them.

In India, families used to stay together. Fathers, sons, their wives and children, uncles, aunts, cousins – they all lived together. There was always someone around. Kids always had someone to talk to, someone to fight or play with, someone to eat with, someone to ask for help and advise. There was always freshly cooked food in the house. Fewer women worked outside the house. It wasn’t always easy but there was tremendous strength in joint families. They all had deep roots that joined up under the ground. There was a beautiful symbiosis.

Then came the nuclear family, the working mothers and tiny families. The kids came back to locked homes. They had to make do with tired and preoccupied parents. They moved to another city or country. The roots got chopped.

He was a potted little plant. So was I. We were away from all our extended family. Although our feet were on the ground, we had no roots. All the phoning, Skyping and WhatsApping did not make up for the fact that we were isolated.

The modern malady – Isolation.

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