About an year ago, I had introduced an acquaintance - someone I used to meet every evening. Over time, we had graduated from being nodding acquaintances to talking acquaintances. We had even begun to explain our absences for the evenings we missed seeing each other!
Though our conversations revolved around plants/ gardening, I had learnt that he was a farmer from North Karnataka, had had differences with family members and had come here to spend the rest of his life - far from the madding crowd......
Earlier this month, I was away for a week. After I came back, I noticed that my friend was missing. I assumed that he was visiting his daughter (with whom he was on good terms).
It's been about 10 days since I returned, and still, no sign of him. Though in full bloom, his garden is looking a little weedy. I decided to make enquiries about him with the all-knowing watchman.
'You don't know, Maydam-avre (How I ABHOR that address!)? The other day, a group of Maataajis (women sadhus) were here. He left with them. I think he has joined their group and has gone for good.'
Of course, he is situated in such a way that he can take off at will - go wherever he wants to, whenever he wants to. And, I know, I will get used to not seeing him.
But, I will remember him whenever I see this coleus in my collection. He had given me the cutting one evening......