During lockdown, it’s her plants that make this photographer feel a little less lonely
I Brought Home a New Plant is a set of three stories, published by Paper Planes, where new plant parents show us into their homes and how they’ve found space for their new houseplant.
This year has been extraordinary in terms of loss and grief. I wonder how we, as humans, will ever stop grieving for what this pandemic has done to us. Despite this unease, I find myself settling into a helpless comfort, an auto-slumber mode.
Every dream, work appointment and plan seems irrelevant and a mere act. Everything feels endless. All the positive quotes seem fake and exhausting. Have you ever woken up feeling exhausted? I have. I am still privileged to feel and express all these emotions, sitting at home, knowing my loved ones are well.
Amidst all the madness, the only respite comes in the form of friends, texts and phone calls with my sister, and my plants.
Living on rent in Delhi means moving homes every few years. This is one I found after an intense house hunt. Whenever I am searching for spaces, I look for balconies and good light because of my claustrophobia. I loved this house the moment I saw it because of the light it gets. It is like a lightbox where I get bright indirect light through the day with direct rays in the morning and evening. Right after I moved in last year, I went to Shillong and then returned to Delhi from my travels this year to find myself in another lockdown. So I never really had the time to furnish my home. I don’t have much stuff at home — just essentials and plants. I get a sense of calm and being grounded around some 50-odd plants. The mere act of repotting them, watching a new leaf unfurl, or experimenting with which corner of the house a plant loves, is fulfilling. When I got this caladium, I placed it in multiple locations for over a week before it found a home near the window where some glorious direct light comes in every evening.
Living amidst these plants and taking care of them has been my way of staying connected to nature and a way to see myself through each day.
Menty Jamir is a freelance photographer from Nagaland, based in Delhi, who spends her time mothering 56 plants in her apartment. She is on Instagram at @menty___jamir.