Beyond #WFH is our initiative to spread positivity and inspire our readers by inviting leaders and friends to share what they do to unwind and relax after they finish their work-from-home and work-for-home responsibilities during the lockdown.
While Covid-19 has had multiple impacts on business and Beyond #WFH is not about business, it’s about self-discovery, things that will give us the strength to get through the lockdown and more importantly for those ‘moments’ that will stay with us for long and beyond this pandemic. PS: We are not talking business!
In this story of Beyond #WFH we bring to you discoveries of the Neale Murray, Co-Founder and Group Chief Operating Officer Fountainhead MKTG.
I’m a firm believer that there are positives in the face of adversity. This is a true story I would like to share:
Green Fingers: Dispel the thought that this is the privy of a select few or that these are a God-given gift.
My daily routine generally begins with a cuppa in my balcony a little after I wake up listening to sweet sounds of James Taylor, CSN or anyone else on my little Bose Mini that can soothe and brighten my day. About a week into the lockdown this morning was no different…or so I thought. I’m listening to JT’s new album American Standard. My eyes as usual, were scanning all my plants sipping my coffee kind of asking them “how you guys doing” what with the lock down and all. The reply was almost a chorus of “Can’t you see for yourself? We need grooming, cleaning, basically some TLC”. The Frangipani that was starting to flower said “I can put this arm to better use if you turned me around as I’m stuck to this stupid wall”. The sour lime said “Clean this mess of dried and decaying leaves around me and churn my soil and you’ll thank me each time you make a Gin &Tonic or your favourite Campari and soda with a slice of me. And the Bamboo was just generally looking forlorn and brown and didn’t have to say anymore. Okay okay….I get your drift my beauties. I’m going to change the way things are.
Now we’ve always enjoyed the green in our balcony and nothing gives us more joy than seeing it thriving with flowers in bloom with the occasional sunbird or mynah visiting. Our balcony has many stories to tell of legendary nights of partying with our friends, many of whom love sitting there amidst the green sometimes dotted with colour from blooming flowers.
With the hustle and bustle of daily life and the crazy pace of a city like ours, the cuppa on the balcony is a luxury for half an hour or if I’m lucky an hour… max. Then the rat race begins. So the day to day upkeep of my beautiful green friends is mostly left to house help, who, bless them, believe that the plants have to be watered and that’s where it ends. Sometimes the occasional gardener takes care of churning the soil, trimming, pruning etc.
But on that day….my green friends were right. It was a holy mess of dried leaves and twigs, brown leaves on the Bamboo and the Rhapis Palm, dried stems on the Rose, Lime and Bougainvillea and a general grooming and trimming that they were all crying out for. I said to myself “This is a bloody eyesore. Only I can change the way things are”. Next thing I’m doing is lining up my pruning shears, soil loosening fork, and my rake and I know I have a rather long morning of work and toil.
More coffee is put on the brew and James Taylor makes way for Jackson Browne. The wife has now woken up from her slumber and has made her way onto our balcony. “Do YOU have to do this? Surely this can wait for when our gardener comes to work”…her schoolteacher like approach stems out of a concern for my back that I’ve had an earlier problem with. But I see the look on my green friends and I throw caution to the wind and start.
Snip, snip, clean, trim, prune…..1 hour passes but I have to hang in there…..clean, churn, clear the sweat of my neck and brows…..it’s 2 hours now….change Jackson Browne to Michael Jackson……a cold beer is on my mind but I carry on…..snip, prune, collect all into garbage bags and then finally…..water…..jets of it and voila, the plant garden looks better than it has in a long time. I can now hear a chorus of “Thank You” and my day is made. I sit relaxed with a cool one and promise myself that this is how my garden will always be. Two weeks later I can proudly say that that’s how it is.