Popeye Family

It’s over a month now that I gifted seeds of spinach, methi and dhania to Vermaji, my farm neighbour, having brought them from Delhi. In fact, we often share seeds, the sprayer and the wheelbarrow.  In July, he gifted me a huge jackfruit which I lugged home only to realize that no one liked it. My youngest one can’t stand the smell of a ripe jackfruit and I had to dispose the entire fruit to my neighbours and our building watchman. Well, I like it and it reminds me of Babu, we lovingly called father, who introduced us to jackfruit. Mother, then used to make tarkari of raw jackfruit and its seeds too. And the vegetable made of raw jackfruit felt like meat!

Coming back to what I had begun, every Sunday Mangal has been loading my bags with bunches of spinach, methi and dhania for weeks now. (My youngest one says with so much spinach going inside our stomachs we all will become Popeye). But Vermaji’s have been plagued by pest.

“Do tell me how yours are prospering but mine have been eaten by pests,” Vermaji asked me this Sunday.

I visited his farm to check them out. Yes, they were cannibalized by pests, I could see.

Back in my farm accompanied by Vermaji I told him: “Khud dekh leejiye (see it for yourself).

Pointing to scores of tulsi, lemongrass and kadipatta plants surrounding my vegetable patch I said: “May be these are creating a barrier to the pests.”

I don’t know if I’m right to conclude that.

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