There were also two smaller variety of the palm. One I had placed by the window in the living room and the other in my bedroom. One in the living room too has grown by leaps and bounds – not so the one in the bedroom. It looked sick. I moved it also to the living room by the window. It got even sicker. Every so often when I looked at it and its fading luster and the falling leaves, it seemed less and less likely to survive much longer. I even had the owner of the nearby plant and flower shop from whom I had originally bought them come and look at it and followed his suggestions. I  changed the location, given it plant vitamin and watered it religiously. Nothing was working. I said to myself, no use keeping it around anymore, the time has come to get rid of it. When Anjuli was visiting some months earlier, we together looked at it and she too agreed that sometimes you have to let go. The only reason it remained in the house was procrastination. It remained in the living room, in the clear view in the broad daylight, and yet, I didn’t “see” it.  Almost forgotten about it.

And then suddenly, a couple of months later my eyes fell upon it. The plant as I knew was dead.  It had shed all the leaves over the period of those months. The branches looked dry and brittle and old.  And yet, as if by a miracle, I noticed at the bottom near the soil, the new leaves were sprouting like starbursts from the same old branches. There was one spurt first, then there were two, and now there were seven, some sprouting even from underneath the soil. And they look healthy, light translucent green with thin delicate red trim to every leaf. Incredible!

Why was I thinking of it that morning?

Because I had been feeling quite lonely. By then I had been living in Prague for almost eight years. Professionally speaking, my post – Playboy years of living and working in the Czech Republic had been good. Socially, not so. It didn’t help that I had now chosen not to continue to work nine to five. Because as much as I enjoyed being alone, I was and am a people person. I need interaction. Without a regular job, there was practically none. Unfortunately, I did not have a single friend with whom I could do things or hang out with on a regular basis. I saw people sporadically, mainly when they would have time and not necessarily when I needed them. Also, I was sort of lost as to what should be my next step and where should I go from there. This all got  me down, especially the loneliness. There were times when I didn’t see anyone for several days – except for waiters and waitresses and shop keepers. This depressed me to no end.

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