A few years ago, I bought some indoor plants, without having any prior experience in them. One of them, disappointingly, after a year had grown only a little in foliage, and seemingly not at all in size and height. It had just coiled around a bit.

I then pulled it up and tied the stem to a support stick at various points. And woah, from around six inches tall, it immediately rose up to two feet when pulled up. Like a stretched spring. But I did break a few leaves and stems in the process. Which hurt a lot. Imagine the life energy that it had put to grow those; imagine the beauty lost, the love lost. My job was just to water once every week, and now my incompetence caused a few of its delicate parts to snap.

The annoyingly fragile, yet uniquely beautiful one 1

None  of the other plants needed as much attention, just occasional housekeeping, and they would grow straight on their own. None was as delicate either. This one, however, is notoriously tender, coyly and, consequently, high-maintenance. But, thankfully, pliable: I could gently reorient and tie a branch in a particular direction, and it would just start growing in that direction, happily.

And the blooming green and pink leaves are like joyful bursts of laughter, evoking an echo-smile always!

Every few weeks; I have to totally rejig the support sticks and strings and orientations of most branches. I try to work with the finesse of an expert sculptor, but, alas, a couple of delicate branches and leaves snap everytime.

The ongoing spring-summer months are the growth spurt periods. This is its year three, and the plant is almost my height now. There are many branches, it is supported by many support sticks and wirings.

The annoyingly fragile, yet uniquely beautiful one 2

I had hoped that by now the stem at least would have gained enough mass and strength to maintain its uprightness voluntarily. But something tells me it will always need a supporting stick and regular doctoring. It will keep growing more, and turning ever more beautiful and fuller; joyfully! The branches will keep snapping too, but hopefully only a teeny tiny bit of love gets lost.

The annoyingly fragile, yet uniquely beautiful one 3

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Dinesh Om

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