An ode to the fuchsia plant, and to gardens that pleasure our hearts

, I have fallen in love with the fuschia flowers. I hadn't encountered fuschia whilst we lived in India, but the more I saw of them in Ireland, the more they began to embed themselves in my heart. Their reds, pinks, purples, blues...The way they hang upside down, like little chandeliers made of rainbows. Or ballerinas in colourful outfits and multiple feet! I have also derived a very precious pleasure, one that I cannot quite articulate, by picking up the fallen fuschia flowers in our balcony. It takes me back to a time when I used to pick up and gather the parijat flowers in my mother's garden.

A period property, pleasure grounds and walled gardens at Glenveagh Castle

Gardens also put an indelible stamp on my heart from the books I read. First and foremost among them was The Secret Garden. Then there were the gardens from Daphne Du Maurier's novels. If you have read Rebecca, you will forever remember the gardens of Manderly, and especially the 'Happy Valley' where rhododendrons and azaleas are pleasantly fragrant even in the rain, in colors of “salmon, white, and gold.” Again in My Cousin Rachel by Maurier, you would witness two different types of gardens. The Italian one in Rachel's Villa Sangalletti in Florence, and the English one in Cornwall (Remember the 'sunken garden'?) I am still enamoured by both of these 'literary' gardens.

“When a loved one has a different mind”

This book doesn't offer you 'answers'. Like Jerry Pinto says in the introduction, "The stories in this book do not seek to hold out answers. They tell you what happened and how it was dealt with. You may often disagree with what was done or how it was done... There are no moral lessons in this book, or easy stories in which everything comes out right in the end. There will be questions you will want to ask: How did you deal with the molestation? Where do you think your father is now? Did you ever forgive your mother? Did she marry someone else? Your questions should reassure you of the veracity of these narratives..."

Pottery and paper bags – a story of Dingle and India

We went to the counter, and paid for them. I was a bit hesitant about our purchase at first; I thought the mugs were rather expensive. But I knew that these were handmade and unique, and thus we were paying for the craft and their uniqueness. When the woman at the counter handed the cups/mugs to me, she put them in a paper bag that was fashioned out of a newspaper. The font looked very familiar. This looks like Hindi, I said to my husband.

Encountering the donkey enroute to the Devil’s Chimney Waterfall

A lone donkey grazed in a large filled full of yellow irises and other flowers that appeared like buttercups. You could see the backdrop of a mountain, and trees in the horizon. The donkey did not seem like he was in haste. He looked like he was at peace. Neck bent, head down in haze of green and yellow, he seemed far removed from the miseries of the world, and the unfairness, death and grief that rocked the world in the past year and more.

Harry Potter and my husband

The husband had clearly fallen for the stories, and the characters - liking Dobby, disliking how he was treated by the Malfoy family, getting angry at Snape and later feeling deeply for him, hating the romance between Hermione and Ron ("why do we need romance in everything?"), cheering for Harry and also for Dumbledore... And this past month, about five years or so after he first stumbled upon Nagini, and the world of Harry Potter, he bought all the books, albeit the Kindle editions.