In the first quarter of 2010, I found a mail in the box at "Dave's Garden" [DG]. It was wonderful to read. You also read:
Hi Dinu, I happened across your blog and diary at DG, which is one of my favorite places to visit on the web! Looks like we share similar passions - gardening, coffee and a strong love for Mysore...actually Banglaore, but my fondest memories of childhoold are from Mysore where we went most summers. My mother is from Mysore :) I love the "Somari katte" [lazybone benches] that most houses welcome you onto...and remember all the older, grand homes that sport a large courtyard..much like the ones that you have on your page. How lucky to be living there! I did not realize this until I figured out how difficult it is to garden in a place that is not forutnate to have the climate of Bangalore/Mysore..I am now in Dallas TX and am constantly battling the weather..phew. Enough said from my side..how about you..Coffee aitha? Hope to hear from you soon ~ Malini
That was in March. In April, she wrote this:
Well, what do you know! I will be visiting Blore in June. I am excited to go back home during the mango season, hope there will still be some left! And can't wait for jackfruit...yum! Do you travel to Blore often? If so, maybe you can visit us. I would love to find seeds/plants of Parijata..I have been yearning for the flowers. And a sampige too..hmmm..I have a big wish list!
She was also a member on DG and an avid garden lover. Another mail confirmed this:
It is still cold out here..and am wating for it to warm up..then pretty soon it will be scorching heat in the 100s (40 C). Thats TX :) How I miss Bangalore weather where I could garden all year long..almost!
She was visiting Bangalore in June. At the same time, my other DG friend Kimberley in Ohio had a little packet of knick-knacks ready for me. Since Malini was traveling, she kindly agreed to bring it for me in spite of her own luggage and kids. Then I requested Kim to send it to Malini.
One of the items Kim sent: Oliver Hardy pen holder.
She could not come to Mysore on that trip as she planned, but I found out that she stayed close to my old classmate Rupa's house. So I gave directions to her house. In a few days, one of Rupa's chauffeurs was driving down here in August. So I picked that packet from him at the said location here! Amazing change of hands!
Kim and her Stella! This is the same Kim [click for her 'plot'] I mention in "My Gardening Story" in this blog.
What are gardeners doing here? Exchanging gifts? Kim also had sent two little books.
One is Garden Quotations.
Many months passed. Came July 2012. There was another chance to meet as she was traveling to Mysore also on a very short trip. A 'flying trip'. She was visiting the house only a mile from my house. I rushed to that address. We were so happy to be meeting each other. DG had become instrumental for this! She showed the few potted plants in that house with the typical enthusiasm of a plant-lover. Her trip was so short that she could not visit my Yarden in spite of my house being so close. There is always a first time and there is always a next time.
Before bidding goodbye, she reminded me about seeds of her favourite 'Parijata' [Nyctanthes], 'Sampige' [Michaelia champaka] and Neem that she intends trying to grow in Texas. Let us see if that goes to fruition.
After Kenton visited, Malini becomes the second DG'r to visit my yarden. It is commonplace in the USA where DG is located and a majority of its members are. But it is quite a special occasion if it happens here.