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.
I have always loved rubber plants. I grew up seeing the most glorious, healthy rubber plant in my grandmother’s wonderful, light-filled home in Dehradun. I love her home very much. Her rubber plant was the centrepiece of her living room. On dull rainy evenings, it stood under the dim yellow lamps with their dainty lace lampshades. And the next morning, I would see it in a completely new light, under the warm sun.
I have tried to grow rubber plants in the past in my home in Chandigarh but I have never succeeded in keeping them healthy or happy. They tend to be slightly tricky — but this time, I decided to try again. I planned to treat this new plant like my pet, because it seemed to me that I understood my doggy better than my plants.
And so Ruby (yes, I named her) stuck around during my daily routine and even grew two new leaves during this time! Together, we enjoyed the rain, sunshiny morning tea with my family, many sing-alongs while working — and then we went to see my grandmother, whose rubber plant had recently died while she was away from home during the lockdown.
In my grandmother’s home, I remembered my childhood summer holidays — climbing her mango tree and napping on the carpet in the living room, under the tall ceiling fans. My granddad had built this home with her, but he passed away when my father and his siblings were very young, and never had a chance to live in it himself. Since then, my grandma has been staying here on her own.
With her rubber plant recently lost, I thought it was only right to leave Ruby — the healthiest rubber plant I’ve ever raised — at my grandmother’s home, in place of the plant she’d had for years.
I think Ruby and my grandmother will keep each other in good company and be great friends.