This isn't just any public park in yet another residential locality. The plants you see in the picture has each a story to tell. But their collective story began on Ugadi day last year. When two green entreprenuers in Mysore - Anil Kumar and Ashwin Upadhyaya - chose to launch their company - Sapgreen - at this public park at Vijayanagara-II. The enterprising duo chose the venue, brought the saplings and requested the invitees to plant them. It was a unique way to inaugurate their company.
This was how the park looked on the inagural day (April 7, 2008) The invitees included several neighbourhood school boys who use the park to play cricket. The ground was green, because of seasonal showers during those days. When we - ERR and I - re-visited the place this morning the park looked drab and dry.
We were however pleased to see a touch of green on the tufts of the 10-month old plants, coming up in an orderly row. The tall one in the foreground, a neem , was planted to celebrate the day my grandson Sidharth started going to play-school. Sidharth goes to school at San Ramon, California; and the neem we planted to celebrate the occcasion is nicely coming up at a public park in Mysore.
Here, his grandma planting the sapling in Sidharth's name on Ugadi day. Maybe we made a big deal of his pre-schooling. But then any event in the family is a cause for celebration for us. Besides, it gives us a pretext to plant a sapling. If every other person in a neighbourhood were to mark every family event - be it your children's birthday, your wedding anniversary, your daughter's graduation day, your son's first job placement, or his first trip abroad, India visit of your children based abroad - by planting a sapling in their backyard or on pavement in front of your place, we could turn the neighbourhood green.
I persuaded tree-lover ERR to pose with his sapling, a mahagony. Among other notable Mysoreans who planted saplings on Ugadi last April were veteran journalist Krishna Vattam and Snake Shyam.