It was an unusual morning. A very rare occurrence since it was a mid-week holiday. The house was quiet and even Tweego’s antics seemed to have taken a break! He was sleeping peacefully near the doorway to the garden. But as soon as Fangchu stepped into the drawing room, his ears twitched. By the time Fangchu had reached his parents room, Tweego was already at his parent’s bed side, wagging his tail. Fangchu thought otherwise. His Father has been working late these past few days and needed a good round of sleep and rest.
Much to his surprise, within an hour, they were driving down with his father at the wheels; Kia and Tweego sting next to him while Fangchu and Ma looked out the window admiring the lush green roads go by from the back seat. Daddy was taking them to the Botanical Garden.
The garden was huge. It was over 30 acres and being a holiday it was flooded with various kinds of people, from the chirpy youngsters to the silent elders. There was room and space for everybody. A few kids were playing various games in the central, grassy ground with their friends and family. They chose to walk around the garden and explore the various facets of what Daddy mentioned as a “thirst quencher” for his curiosity.
There were trees that were so huge and tall that it strained his neck to locate the head of the tree! Most of them were over a hundred years old. An entire farm of Banyans greeted them as they walked towards the garden. Daddy mentioned that most of them were offspring’s of a few older banyan trees. Their roots hung low from the branches and Fangchu was told that in a few years from now, those roots on touching the soil will give more Banyan trees.
His amusement caught his fancy. He strolled around the banyans and made a note of all that he saw, the texture of the stems and the roots, the colour of the leaves and its berries. A few of the banyan trees even had tree houses.
Coconuts, Palms and various other trees donned either side to create a perfect, natural pathway with rays of sunlight quietly filtering in through this dense area. For Fangchu, this was paradise. He would go to each of these trees, read the messages placed on their stem, track the end of the roots, pick up fallen leaves and flowers and at times compare them with the others. He learnt that brown leaves were once green. Over a course of time, due to degradation, turn dry and brown. This later becomes a part of the soil only to return the nutrients.
The Botanical garden had various segments. The Rose garden had over 30 different varieties while the herb and medicinal plant section had scores of rare plants. For Fangchu this was the most thought provoking and enlightening experience. Each of these plants here was used to cure various ailments. You name a disease and there was a plant to cure it. There was a plant to treat common cold, body ache, and even for heart and stomach ailments!
It was an overwhelming day for Fangchu. He made detailed notes of all his learning and fresh insights into the world of plants while he put the twigs, leaves and flowers into their respective containers for further examination.