When we moved to Mangla for the first time my children were very young. My son was one year and eleven months and my daughter was a two months old baby. My husband as usual was at the Border. With threats of War from India the Army was deployed at the borders of our country. My husband would come home for a night after two weeks or so and then leave in the morning. With two young children to care for my hands were full. I don’t know how I found time for gardening.
I tackled our front yard first. Took out the weeds which were growing in abundance and planted hedges and flowers. That was easy. Just bought the plants and found the appropriate places for them. The back yard was another matter. Nobody had done anything there. It was in a state of wilderness. It was rocks and wild grass. I must have been insane even to think of clearing it, but that’s what I did. I think at that moment somebody should have suggested to me to have my head examined. It was sheer hard work for me. I somehow persisted in my efforts. When the children would be napping, instead of catching two winks myself I would escape to my backyard. I cleared a plot twelve by twelve feet all by myself. 😊. It took me almost two months to do it.
I bought the seeds for peas, carrots, cauliflower, cabbages, radishes, spinach and whatever the shopkeeper suggested. I had never planted seeds in my life. So in each small hole I would put a number of seeds. Somehow the Over Worked Person I was, I thought that the seeds would move and spread around themselves. They Obligingly came out in clumps. I was proud of myself, ☺, and at the first opportunity when a neighbor visited, took her outside to show her my Handiwork. She duly made appropriate noises and departed after some time, with me none the wiser.
My husband came on a day’s leave. I took him out to show him the fruits of my labor. He gripped his sides and started laughing HoHo….. Bewildered I looked at him, not comprehending as to why he was laughing. I was terribly embarrassed when he explained. He replanted the seedlings for me, but for years afterward it was a source of merriment for him. To tease me he would tell guests how I planted my first vegetable garden with Poor Me trying to stop him. 😕.