Sunday, 26 April 2015

A sandstorm

April arrived fluttering like a butterfly-
full of colour in my back yard,
Saying hello to
purples and mauves
huddled together
in the tall black pot.

His iridescence beamed-
on reds, oranges and pinks
lined up like 
little ballerinas
waiting for their
teacher to enter
the studio
in their fluffy tutus.

The birds sang songs with
sweet melodies
to please April
his furtive flights
yellows and greens
peeping through the
larger trees. 

The whites were the first to notice
April's concealed cunning,
but they kept quiet.

Cloaked in Dust,
stormed April one day
and smothered the colours
in a sandy veil.

All that shone
Was gone.

Stifled by the tiny particles of sand and dust

Into a thousand pieces
my heart broke
when I stepped out
and saw
the blushing brides 
with burqaas
so heavy
they broke their backs.

A few
lay martyred on the sand covered bricks.
Scenes of Syria
on the BBC
after a bomb attack
dust and debris
children’s faces
innocent eyes
but no smiles
questions buried
under the sandstorm of egos
caked in mud
dried and dying

I asked.
And took the hose out.

April sighed
and delivered his message-
'Life happens when we are making plans.'

'Stop the strutting you fool!'
he chided.
‘these are not your flowers
your back yard
your garden
YOU belong to them
You are at their service.

Get up.

Dust off.

Stop whining.

Wash off the expectation.

Prune that ego.

Open your eyes
and look at the gold that 
I sprinkled
your Perspective

You don't own.

You belong.

It’s a sandstorm.

It’s not Syria.'

Perspective is a clever companion.

A fellow yogi mentioned the word when I was complaining about how horrid the back yard looked and how I had spent the entire morning cleaning up. 
It made me stop and think and the poetry (or the words above) demanded to be written.

Feeling rich and abundant-
owning nothing.

I belong to the sand particles
and will become one someday.

Such riches need to be shared. 

So, here are some shots of the Garden Party- 
the before, the after and the after after 
the sandstorm...

Purples and mauves...Verbenas, Alyssums, Violas, Scabiosa grew together this season.

Snipping or cutting (called deadheading) the old blooms really encourages new ones.
So don't be shy- snip away.

Reds, Oranges and Pinks in their tutus.

This year, Hibiscus plants and Gazanias flourished happily:)

The first lot of Zinnia seedlings I bought died- almost all of them. A few of the plants that I grew from seed did well. This flower is from the second lot I bought from a different nursery. They're doing fine.

Morning Glory grew gloriously well this year- it's the easiest plant to grow from seed and its voracious appetite to grow and climb is insatiable. 
It gives and gives...just make sure it gets a bit of shade when the sun is too hot and lots of water- 
it gets thirsty.
It reminds me of my teenager son- walking stomach- growing taller every day:)

Trailing geraniums filled many baskets and kept me from doing the laundry many a times. 

I stand and stare for hours at these beauties. 
Just stand and stare-
with love
and sometimes
with wonder
but always
with gratitude.
Thank you for
filling  my life
colours of joy

I'm not sure what this plant is called. A friend calls is Cat's Tail- 
please enlighten me if you know.

It's a slow starter but very very sturdy.
It doesn't die in the sweltering heat of Doha's summer.
You can use is to fill baskets and pots.

I usually plant these with petunias and the asparagus fern- so that by the time the petunia is bidding us farewell, these beauties come out and say hello-
the party carries on...

Yellows and Greens...

Snapdragons are the easiest to grow in Doha. Just keep deadheading the old blooms.


"The Whites were first to notice..."

Sweet Alyssums

 Seductive Gardenia

Intoxicating Jasmine- Mogra

 Asparagus in bloom.

Cloaked in Dust,
stormed April one day

and sprinkled gold.

GOLD DEPOSITS on my windscreen.

I thought,
And took the hose out...



Lest we forget
moment counts.

Moments make days
and days make lives. 

'We live our lives- the way we live our days.' 

words I read somewhere,
 I can't recall where.

I live my moments.
and smell
the roses-
any chance I get.

A dear friend gave me this rose bush when she moved.
Oh! You have to smell the sweet sweet smell to get a whiff of heaven. 
Thank you Mimi:) xx

I was out in the yard when the news of the earthquake in Nepal came through. 
I pray for the souls and the survivors and carry on.

Life's fickle

comes back to haunt.

I breathe in 
grab the moment.

show me
I belong.


  1. Living and loving the moments, through your lens and words. Thank you. <3

  2. Hi Arti, a lovely post as always. Soul drenching and eye pleasing. In fact lived each pic , loved each flower that made me smile and wonder at nature's miracle . Loved your garden. We have just experienced the strongest earthquake tremors from the one that shook Nepal and have been really on our toes and on high alert but I can tell you your post made me forget all of that . Hugs ♥

    1. Thank you for visiting Reshma. It must be scary. Sending you love and hugs. xx

  3. And BTW those red tube like flowers are called firecrackers.

    1. Thanks. Yes, they look just like the noisy 'ladi' the boys in the family love to burst ( and I hate) on Diwali.xx

  4. Dust... life and death; a cosmic dance... so true. Also the description of the beautiful flowers covered in dust is so heart-rending. Perspective is everything and yet death of a tiny flower can be devastating.. We are mere puppets of sand in the hands of nature and yet our ego holds no bounds. Very introspective and beautiful.. loved it.

    1. Loved reading your comment Ish:) Yes, all this maya- all this attachment and then poof- life ends- just like that.

  5. Loved this. Feel your pain as you deal with the sand/storms... I too am relishing the abundance of bird sound and soaking in the colours of the last of the seasonal flowers in my now rain soaked garden.

    1. I hope you are well Ketaki. Please write and post some pics of a rain soaked garden. It would be the balm our sand scorched eyes need. xx

  6. Arti just loved the way you so skillfully and naturally used sand to express the coarseness and starkness of death while the joy, purity and freshness of life was brought about through flowers. How each flower is different and needs to be cared accordingly - speaks volumes about human nature and nurture.
    Each flower is different and not all are roses but yet each one is beautiful and adds to the beauty of the garden. Wish we could be so accepting of humans.
    The pictures of the flowers are so very refreshing and eye pleasing. Their getting covered in dust is so much similar to our souls collecting layers of undesired elements as we transit through life.
    I am Loving it ............ Best wishes.

    1. Thank you Charu...from the bottom of my heart. You've said it so beautifully:) xx

  7. Hi Arti,
    For anyone who hasn't visited your garden it wouldn't be difficult to imagine what you have treasured in your backyard Arti! Your words can easily transport every reader to one of your most valuable collection! Am happy I am one of those who has been able to see it in person! Could feel your pulse, pain and passion describing that one hell of a sandstorm we all witnessed this year!
    I am confused as to decide what was more beautiful the pictures you intelligently captured thru your lens or the subject itself!! Brilliant is an understatement!
    Patta patta buta buta haal tumhara jaane hain.....

    1. Thank you for your kind comments Vidya. Yes, I do love to drag people in and show off the blooms in the hot sun
      (even if they don't want to:) Ha! Ha! And special appreciation for the the 'repeat' effort:) xx

  8. arti what a lovely garden and a green thumb you have!! there are things going on in our world that's beyond understanding, but the best we could do is appreciate the abundance in our daily life, which i forget too!! xoxo

    1. Well said's so easy to overlook the abundance we have inside us and around us. xx

  9. Beautiful post as always and love it more as its about your garden:) How they talk to you and you with them only shows how much for your sole is invested in your garden. Every time I get inspired by one of your garden creations, this time its bamboo trellis.Will try making one:)

    Have seen different kinds of storms but never a sand storm before. Harsh and soft realities of nature.. they co-exist together and all is beyond any explanation.


    1. So true Prasanna- 'harsh and soft realities of nature' do live side by side. It's the beginning of searing hot summer here and I have ignored my yard for a few weeks. It's painful to say goodbye. Thank you for your kind comments. xx

  10. Beautiful...just chking if it gets posted...sunila gupte

  11. Arti...i just loved loved loved your write so well, but that is not all. You write with great feeling and depth..and in simple words which go to the heart. Adored your are so gifted. Just continue and you will give all who read your blog so much joy. To contemplate Life's realities and comment and understand without bitterness is the greatest quality. Thank you again...your garden and pics of all all flowers are so beautiful...and also what draws me is the feelings you have shown...a mixture of real life..thank you your list of books, too. I hope you plan to publish...i will be the first to get your book. Affly, sunila gupte

    1. Thank you Sunila for such kind and generous words:) Words are my therapy and my solace. My children tell me I'm too cheesy with my words- but I write and share anyway. There are times when I wonder why I bother going through all those photos to pick out a few for my blog, or why do I even bother to blog? And then, just like that, out of the blue, comes a comment like yours and fires up my blogging appetite again. THANK you:) I would love to publish if anyone out there would be interested;) Hope to see you soon. xx


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