Sometimes it's just passion for something and while indulging in that passion, driven by self interest one is able to contribute in a way that the passion of the self becomes an object of admiration and adoration of others too.
Like for this Officer i know although not very closely but yes, am familiar with, to a certain extent. This gentleman i am told is passionate about gardening and health and here by health i don't mean about the workouts in the gym or following a monotonous exercise routine coupled with diet but something that is obtained naturally.
Following a good healthy vegetarian diet, attending office regularly and actually working before using the leisure and the resources at his disposal for indulging in gardening. That's how i would describe from what i know of Mr G Narayanan, the Principal Chief Engineer with Southern Railway.
i don't know much cause i have not interviewed him about how he got to do what he just did to a small patch of derelict land, which was used by passers by either just as a connecting shortcut to the club and by many as place to relieve themselves when nature called, into an oasis of sorts. Not any common oasis with fragrant and ornamental plants but an oasis that is supposed to HEAL.
And so appropriately it is called THE HEALING GARDEN.
Sandwiched between the Railway apartments and the Railway Club this patch of land which i would judge to be something like 50 feet x 100 feet, is now one of the spots that i take my guests to, first and foremost as soon as they arrive and have shown the slightest inclination of taking a look around.
What i have to say to them with some sense of pride, this time i'd like the pictures from my cyber shot to convey.
As you pass the calming shade of the huge canopied trees along the cobblestone pathway you would be greeted with the aroma of the various herbs that border the fence of the garden. The most striking being that of Basil...not only of Holy basil but the basil used for flavouring food.
Instructions on the board which give you an idea about the gradient and how to walk the garden is next.
For novices like me this was helpful because i thought the entire garden was created at the same level and could not sense with my distracted mind, the gentle gradient that suits walkers of all age.
The walking pathway is so designed to encompass the entire garden while absorbing all the benefits be it the energy emanating from the trees and shrubs or the added knowledge about the so many herbs...the name...it's uses...curative powers...and last but not the least about the procedure to use these herbs.
The garden is a melange of more than 25 varieties of herbs some of which i have just given the pictures of. In fact one of these days i am planning to take a slow stroll to actually count the varieties and try and go through each one of them. Most probably Giloy ( Tinospora ) should be one among them. Now that i know that this particular herb is so useful when one is down with Dengue fever.
The entire garden is not only a haven of herbs but has a few very important spots that should relieve one of stress if at all you believe in the therapy that nature provides.
For sitting on the neem (Margosa) plank you can allow colour therapy to work on you. Each colour supposed to energise a particular gland. The instructions on the board should tell you as to how long you should view the colours and which one will activate your pineal, pituitary or thyroid gland...
Sitting at the same place you can relieve yourself of stress...emotional or otherwise by acupressure on palms.
And when you feel like walking you might want to give at least one try at acupressure on your soles. It is easy for not only are all instructions given but also that you can choose from the the two patches of gravel. Choose the one that you feel comfortable with and there you are with some healing done through the soles of your feet.
Then another slightly raised platform deserves a mention here of that area facing east where you can let the energy of the sun work through your eyes into your entire system. The exact spot...the specific time and the duration for which you should look at the sun directly as it appears in the early morning sky.
The entire area is a rich splash of manicured greens that heal and if not for anything i love to walk around and am quite entertained although in a very special way with the panorama of heavy traffic passing by and the new knowledge that slowly is finding it's way into my brain without much effort on my part. For looking around and casually sitting on the neem plank i don't even hear the sound of traffic sometimes. At other times i get quite taken aback with beautiful creatures like these.
At the outset i would like to make an observation. i've seen many officers come and go but this gentleman who i know not much of, will be one inspiring one. While many use their hobbies and resources to indulge for self recreation this gentleman gave our six apartments something which shall be cherished by all the residents. This particular busy man used his post and privileges to create a haven on a small dull and dark piece of land which once emanated the smell of urine and garbage. It was also an area where cheap rascals congregated to indulge into their vices and sometimes make the path feel very unsafe.
His hobby proved to be a boon to all of us and that's the way it should be.
Just like everyone else he could've used his knowledge, skill and resources to beautify the bungalow he was inhabiting but instead worked relentlessly with his bevy of not so many trained workers and the others under him for more than six months to create a clean, well maintained, herbal garden where all of us see ourselves into, once in a while. Although the best benefits could only be had if we are more disciplined like him to get up early and take the stipulated 30 minutes walk around the garden, nevertheless it is there; rich and resplendent getting more and more attractive each day...beckoning us to shake our lazy bones and rush into it's healing, and comforting hug .
Anne Frank said this somewhere in her diary about making a difference and there is a ton of wisdom in what that very young girl said.
And it was Tolstoy who said that