How often do we pay attention to the serene beauty of trees in a garden? Or even if we indulge completely in the beauty of nature, how often do we think who maintains it so well? Well for many of these details may not be of prime concern (most of us don’t even bother thinking about it), but what we have to realize is that there are certain people who spend most of their living selflessly on these gardens, just so that our eyes have a calming site.
She hails from a small village of Karnataka and for her, plants are her entire life. She works as a helping hand for the maintenance of the garden. Right from planting saplings and adding manure to watering and cleaning up the withered leaves, she does it all. Here is the story of Kanthamma, who has been working as a garden help since she was 20. She is now 56 and knows in and out about the trees there.
Her day starts at 5 in the morning wherein she gets up to cook for the family. She leaves the house finishing all her daily chores, around 7 only to reach the place around 8:30. She starts by cleaning up all the withered and dry leaves, piles them up and bags them, which goes on till 10:30. She then has to report her work to her supervisor and then eats her breakfast. Then she goes off to water all the trees and also simultaneously checks on their growth and needs. Her entire day is occupied with spraying fertilizers, adding manure, trimming the shrubs and keeping a track of flowering. Not just this, she also makes sure no one messes around with her plants. Though it might not seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it takes a lot of intense labour.
If you ask her how her work is, she tells you “It is like taking care of young kids. They cannot speak out what they want, but they have needs; the same way, these plants cannot tell what they want, we have know what to give them and when”. And for the amount of care and love she mixes with water to these plants, she gets 6k a month for this. This is the highest paid amount for her. She used to help her husband with agriculture previously and since the unreliable rain got out of hand, she had to switch to gardening to cater to the families’ needs. According to her, it is much tougher dealing with flowering plants than the crop plants as flowers in gardens are exclusively meant for visuals and it becomes absolutely necessary to keep them looking healthy and beautiful.
A gardener’s effort goes unrecognized most of the times. People only look at the beautiful gardens but fail to see the muddy hands behind it. There are a million gardeners around like Kanthamma whose contribution to our peacefulness needs recognition and a little bit of gratitude. For such gardeners who make our sight more beautiful and peaceful, a big thank you.
By Kruthika Parappa