I have always been partial to trees. I love how majestic they look when they're mature, I love their awesome kaleidoscope of green (and sometimes red, even purple), I love to see them sway in the breeze and the smell of trees when it's hot hot hot outside, or when it rains.
Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb. Anything I attempt to plant have a 20% survival rate. I have had cactuses before and even those bast**ds died on me. I did however, planted some rambutan seeds in my grandmother's backyard that later blossomed and grew to be a wonderful tree bearing vibrant yellow and red rambutans for us to belasah everytime we go back for Raya.
A few years ago, the municipal council decided to make away with the kebuns and reban ayam and angsa, replacing it with a strip of 'kawasan pejalan kaki' that has since never be used by any of the kampung people. (You can actually see weed seeding in between the brick cracks). There goes my one and only proof that I'm not that hopeless in gardening and tree-planting.
When I started working 5 years ago, I made myself promise that I would get a small plant for my table. I went through 2 cactuses and a small cluster of aloe vera with no luck. Thing is, I was stupid enough to not even remember de facto about these kind of trees -- they need an abundance amount of sunlight to thrive (d'oh). Dah duduk dalam opis, kebendenye sunlight.
I gave up and almost swore not to ever have a table plant when my senior left the company for her VSS and entrusted me with her tall vase of Keladi. Serious man, the Keladi was like, the easiest thing to look after! Just make sure that the vase is full of water, weed out the dead stalks once in a while and you're good!
Before I knew it, 4 years went by and the Keladi and me became really good friends. It was a great companion when I had to put in some late hours, and stood right by me when no other plant would. If Tamar Jalis wrote siri Bercakap Dengan Jin, I think I probably have enough materials to write Bercakap Dengan Pokok hehehhehe
When I decided to leave the company, I decided to leave the Keladi behind, passing the baton to someone else. It felt right, you know, seeing that the Keladi wasn't mine to begin with, it should stay as a symbol of it's past caretakers (gittew). Lebih kurang macam gone but never forgotten lah. Then I go to know that my senior, the real owner of the Keladi was coming in as my replacement for a few months! Wow, talk about full circles, huh?I hope she's happy to see that her Keladi did ay-okay with me.
Last week, I went to Ikea with my friend and yes, on impulse, bought a really really cute and awesome looking plant. Actually, the reason I picked that particular plant is because it was the only one in the batch that looked kinda screwed up. It was healthy with lots of leaves and all, but a closer inspection reveals that the tree was a little slanted at one side of the pot, like it had tumbled out from the pot, roots and all and someone simply shoved the tree back in without properly placing it in the centre. I figured the little guy deserves a break (everybody put him back on the rack after seing his uneven shape) so I bought him, and a vibrant pink pot.
(Wait, does that make my plant gay?)
Yes, that's my little lopsided sprout :)
After 3 days at home, I decided to take the plant along with me in the LRT to work. I didn't know that Malaysians are so jakun, macam tak pernah tengok pokok! Everybody was looking at me like I've lost my mind. What gives, man? It wasn't like I was carrying those big ass yard potted plants (macam pokok limau CNY tu), this lil guy is so small I could easily carry it with one hand. And it wasn't too shurubbery, it wasn't spilling over or poking anybody and it sure didn't emit any smell (unlike some cactuses, phew!).
I stopped by the cafeteria for tea and some toast, and as if the stares weren't enough, someone actually asked me "Wah pokok. Akak nak masak ke ape kang?"
Good thing it was Earth Hour Week here, so I simply said that it's menghijaukan alam untuk masa depan and laughed it off before stepping in the lift and almost cursing but didn't because there was another colleague in there and this place is pretty new and all copporate-y so I have to tiptoe a bit and cannot say 4 letter words, or five letter or even six letter swear words. (I accidentally said bontot yesterday to which one of the BOD gasped and commented on. But that's another story altogether). If the mere sight of a person carrying a small plant on the train got heads turning, Malaysians must be pretty boring and uneventful indeed.