I planted Marigold seeds some two years ago. One of them started to grow, then, fizzled out. I was discouraged. Maybe the soil was too clayey. Maybe I should not have watered it soo much. Maybe I watered too little. I didn't know how to grow a marigold.

The other seeds did not grow. I recited them an apology, or perhaps a dirge I had written, for the ones I couldn't nourish. 'मैं, अनघड़ सा एक बाग़बान'.

"कली मुरझाती सी जाती थी,
और मैं अनघड़ सा बाग़बान,
उसे सींचता ही चला गया,
मेरे सिंचन और चिंतन ने,
उस नन्ही कली को गला दिया!

फिर, रुत आयी ग्रीष्म की,
और मैं पिछली मात से कुंठित सा,
रूठा हुआ बैठा उस पौधे से,
जिस पर कली न खिल पायी थी
उसे कम, न्यूनतम सींचा किया
वर्षा की आस में इक दिन,
वह पौधा ही दम तोड़ बैठा

मैं अनघड़ सा बाग़बान, रो बैठा।"

I also bought a basil sapling at that time. It flourished. Then, some infestation threatened it, tiny black insects would devour it's leaves. I thought the pigeons must have wrought this infestation. How would those insects climb 4 storeys? I cleaned the leaves every day, and finally had to use some insecticide spray. The basil stood its ground all the way. One night, a strong wind and rain broke one of its main branch; the branch then dangled like a fractured bone. I tied it up, and though the scar remained, it grew around that and thrived. When I had to leave the basil pot at the previous flat, I felt a bit dejected. Every time I talk to the care taker there, I ask him if she is doing well, if the new occupants water it? They do, and I feel good. I say (in my mind, or maybe on the confluence of emotional ether), "good girl! I always knew you were strong!"

My Dracy, when it first came into my life in November (2018), it was a cluster of about 7-8 bamboo grafts. It was in the glass container and had no roots. It was barely a baby who somebody at Ferns-n-Petals had carelessly cut for the purpose of conveying the love and good wishes from the ones who loved me, to me. How I would love it to sustain itself and live a long life! I read a bit about how to care for your Draceana - change the water every 7 days, or get some potting mixture - the lucky bamboo is a resilient plant, everyone told me. I changed water like soiled diapers. But it started to die. I tried to save it. Some roots started to emerge. So, I ditched the water and portioned off some soil from the basil plant. A few more shafts died. Only one shaft has stayed with me so far.

They say, plants enjoy music, and they can catch feelings. They say that loving the plant is not enough, nurturing it takes work. That is sustenance on many days for me too. To protect them, I have improved, or so I hope.

This year, I planted marigolds again, in three cups. I tried to read up on what depth should they be planted, and how often to water them and how much, and how much heat, how much sun, etc. I understood little. The plants always grow on the internet! In my case, one of them sprouted. I gushed over it. Such a baby! Tomorrow, I hope I can successfully transfer it to a bigger pot.

Aesthetic Blasphemy | A young marigold plant

But I also looked longingly at the other two cups. They didn't come. Pigeons at work again? Perhaps, I should stick to saplings, common sense said. But, I planted a basil seed and a daisy in the same cups. It has been 14 days. I wait for them every day. Meh! I still don't know how to grow Marigolds!