Monday, 13 August 2012

Sisal blooms in Mumbai City

Going beyond Face value

Sisal at road crossing, Mumbai -1

What luck! It is rare to find sisal on road crossing in Mumbai, and anywhere in the city. Some sensitive artist/ 'landscape designer' used sisal as garden plant at a 'traffic island' on road junction in a cityscape. It is neatly done without obstructing view of the moving drivers and pedestrians.

And I noticed, besides me, there were some other guys too. They were small honeybees, smaller than house flies. I was picking pictures with mobile phone, they were picking honey. (As a kid I used to suck Adulasa flowers for honey at my native village in the mornings.)

Sisal Flowers-2

Sisal is known for its tough long fibres. And villagers use it appropriately. India's biodiversity has many plants that give fibres: coconut, cotton, Ambadi (Hibiscus cannabinus kenaf), silk cotton, banana, pineapple, jute etc.

Sisal leaves give four to five feet long fibre, while branches of Ambadi are a source of 6 to 8 ft long fibres. Farmers, fishermen, adivasi make fishing nets of these fibres.

These fibres last longer than synthetic fibres. More they are used (in water) stronger they get.  On the contrary the nets, made of synthetic thread, in dry conditions, get disintegrated.

The plants in the photos are grown in the confined place.
Looking at the bloom, it is anybody's guess the plants grow on the water and manure supplied from outside.

They don't get anything from the soil – ground bellow. In short, they are dependent on others – the gardeners, garden department, budget etc. How could their growth be without any effect of this artificial environment? In the natural open condition their leaves would have grown longer than five feet.

The birds in cages, fishes in aquariums, potted plants and decorative plants along Mumbai's concrete roads and footpaths, as well as in the homes, also face the same situation.

 What then must be happening to us – the urbanite? Do our cities and housing complexes help us to grow, flower, bloom to our all-round full potential – physical, mental and conscience? Do they provide an opportunity and means of growth of human potential?

Such questions I would ask myself, and also try to find answers myself.
Funny part is: the answer does lie in these questions!
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© Remigius de Souza. All rights reserved.

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