Sweet Surprise


Last year, Father had tossed a few seeds of the sweet paw paw (papaya, as we call it) into a pot of bougainvillea in my home. We both waited for weeks but the seeds remained sulky, refusing to peek outside of the damp soil that nourished many beautiful flowers. Father went back to Kerala while my mind got too overwhelmed — with its own mental webs of dreams, thoughts and worries — to think about the mystery of those missing seeds.

Like an abandoned story idea that suddenly worms its way into your mind again, the paw paw plant raised its leafy head through the thorny branches of the bougainvillea months after we looked for it. It climbed up unannounced and with no fuss. Father is overjoyed but let’s hope the bougainvillea doesn’t mind! Come to think of it, was there some kind of power struggle in the soil? We’ll never know now, will we?



The Brahma Kamal (Hindi) or Moonflower blossomed in my home last night. I wasn’t there to see it unfold its soft, white petals; we were busy watching A Beautiful Mind — the movie on American mathematician John Nash — with our young daughter. 

As we sat shaking our heads in disbelief at this brave man’s struggle with schizophrenia, the Moonflower was probably in full bloom, its stalk extending a bit further, offering itself to the moon above. I noticed it at dawn and stayed with it till sunrise when it started closing its petals. It loved the moon, not the sun. The hibiscus stretched in the light and so did the roses, but the moon flower didn’t betray its lover — the moon.

Perhaps our daughter could learn from it too. Perhaps I could convince her to stay and watch the moonflower bloom tonight? Its refusal to be like the others makes it a little odd, weird yet beautiful — like John Nash and his beautiful mind.