Of all the things, I miss the most.... it is my nursery or nurseries in which I had invested so much time over the past few years. Now that, I am in a new place which requires interventions on a different scale, i am most worried how my nurseries would survive in the coming years.
There is one at Sigur, near Mudumalai, more than 25,000 pants at a given time, which without a doubt, was my first project in the this big world. But was fun, it was. Planning for the nursery, procuring the material for the infrastructure, deciding on the plants and in the light of inefficiency of several people, the decision to get seeds from KFRI, Thrissur. These seeds brought in life to the nursery though it generated indignation amongst purists (rightful concern, I guess)who felt that exotics would replace natives. But, when it was set up and most credits to Rajendran and Senthil!!! Man, was I full of pride for those few weeks.... It was then that I realized that almost immediately, things would start going downhill as the laws deem it to be so.... So, we invested on a suitable team and kept on working... It is now more than a year and people who vist the place are all praise for it.... And now, that I am not there, Please keep up the work Rajendran.
Then, another in the office, a high altitude nursery for shola species and another at Bikkapthy Mund, both of which are small but would be equally useful for the upper areas which is witnessing rapid degradation in the form of man's growing greed and the ubiquitous construction boom. But what we had planned for was, to inculcate the habit of maintaining large trees amongst the Badagas who were traditionally ecosystem people but are likely to shift to the vices of today's world in the coming years.
And how can I forget my Pillur nursery.... We set up three nurseries in Chittukunni, Kil Pillur and Pucchamarathur through a hit and miss technique. In fact, that was my first field job in this world, way back in 2005. I remember meeting with a lot of disinterest and piquancy amongst several who were convinced that this would be a failure. At an impressionable age, I too began believing them as peer pressure goes. But when the trees were to be planted, the villagers ensured total protection and it was a success. But that was a lesson in itself as after the planting, several people continued saying that it was of no use. I showed them data and more, but could not change the popular perception that it was not a success. Totally fluid, I realized that marketing what you do is equally important as what you did in the field.... Lessons ha!!!
BUT TODAY, these nurseries are in able hands and though I am in a different field, I hope that 20 years from now, these nurseries are still there, supplying much needed saplings to the world around them....