The Journey Begins

” A Journey of thousand miles begins with a single step” – Chinese Proverb.

Our first trip to the United States was in April 2017 to see our daughter in New York and travel around. My first visit to the 9/11 site reminded me of the destruction and demolition happening around the world. Loss of valuable innocent victims, loss of a large number of fire servicemen in the neighbouring fire service station and the destruction of twin towers -the land mark of New York City, are signs of evil forces in existence in the world.

With a heavy heart, we went to a nearby cafe. I could see beautiful red tulips in full bloom at a distance, which I caught in my cell phone. Nature brings out her best in creating beautiful flowers and creatures. Plants, animals, and birds blend well with nature and are at home in their environment. Humans are disoriented and do not blend with nature, but are endowed with creative powers to create their own environment. It’s sad to note that this creative power is used ruthlessly to destroy the beauty of mother nature.

New Castle Beach

Our daily lifestyle had been tremendously affected by the COVID. This microorganism invisible to the human eye has clothed itself in various forms. It spread like wildfire, invading humans, resulting in human losses and financial tragedies. It changed from a highly infectious deadly virus to a delta variant and recently to omicron. The world is fighting this invisible enemy on a united front with multiple vaccines. There is still no immediate relief for millions of people learning to live with the virus.

Airlines, travel agents, and travellers have been severely affected, and their lifestyles crippled by this pandemic for the last two years. Travel for pleasure is a healthy hobby that enriches people and destresses their bodies and minds when interacting with different communities and cultures. You learn so much by experience and the memories stored in photos and videos. Travellers are learning to explore other parts of the world through the eyes and ears of fellow travellers via social media.

At the end of December 2021, we planned to visit New Castle for a few days before our daughter left for New York. Our trip to Newcastle was put on hold when my nephew contacted COVID; we were reluctant to book overnight accommodation. Finally, we went on a day trip to New Castle. It is the second-largest city in New South Wales. The distance between New Castle in Sydney is about 170 km on Pacific Highway.

There are plenty of things to see and do in New Castle. We reached the city at 1 p.m. near lunchtime. Looking around, we found a Thai Restaurant. Jasmine rice with chicken curry and fried vegetables was tasty and pad Thai noodle was delicious. Touring in the tram service completed in November 2019 is an exciting way to learn the city’s history.

You can determine a town’s age by looking at the existing buildings. Many historic buildings surround the city. Some prominent buildings have the 18th-century trademark—sturdy structures standing tall resembled the English buildings of the past era—dark interior with high ceilings, large windows, and doors.

We ended up on the beach at 2 p.m. The cool breeze, light blue sky, and roaring sea with swimmers and surfers made it a beautiful day. Small children were learning to swim or surf with their parents or older siblings. The border between waves and sand was clean and clear. I stood on the sand near the water to wet my feet. Large and small waves rippled over, soaking my feet and gradually reaching my knees. I waited there for some time, not knowing the time sliding by until my daughter called me out.

When you stand in front of the sea, you realise that you are a speck in the Universe.

There are many historical sites to see in New Castle. A day trip is not sufficient to explore the city. The link below provides a glimpse of what you can see and do in New Castle.


An expedition in the forest

Before Christmas, I went on a busk walk expedition with my family in the neighbouring Cumberland State Forest. One entrance to this man-made forest is on Castlehill Road, about 1000 metres from Kuala Park Sanctuary in West Pennant Hills. I have been living in this area for over 25 years but have never suspected the secret this forest holds.

Cumberland state forest is a naturally regenerated forest. After clearing the agricultural land established in the 1800s, it became a State forest in 1939. A third of the forest was planted as an arboretum, and the remainder is naturally generated.  

One of the biggest attractions for families is the Tree Tops Adventure Park. Glades of Bunya Pines that reach a height of 40 feet provide challenges to participants to slide down flying foxes and move from tree to tree on suspension bridges, ladders, and tunnels. Children and adults climb tall trees using ladders. The treetops adventure courses cater for four different groups – Junior (3-7 Years), Beginner (8+ years), Intermediate (10+ years), and Expert (13 + years). It is an exciting way to explore the forest. This challenge will boost confidence, fear of heights, etc.

The website for online booking for this adventure is below.


A network of walking trails exists in this forest. The Sensory Trail is a 350m loop that takes about 30 minutes. The Palm Gully Trail is 1 km, and the Forestry Trail is 1.3 km; both would take about an hour each. Tall trees on either side of the trail remind us of the importance of trees for the ecosystem. It was pure joy to walk, listening to birds singing and frogs croaking in the puddle of rainwater. Walking tracks are pretty smooth and easy to tread on, sometimes steep and occasionally rough. We were away from the hustle and bustle of traffic.

A beautiful Café and a commercial garden centre are in the forest. A variety of colourful plants are available in the garden centre.

 The café adjoining the garden centre offers light meals and drinks. The staff are friendly and provide good service. We enjoyed cake and coffee in the peaceful environment. Many customers had their pet dogs with them in the outdoor cafeteria area. People who stroll in the forest with their pets end up in this café.

Few people were enjoying their food in the picnic area.

The pollution around us makes our minds and bodies poisonous. We don’t realise how much we deprive our bodily functions by breathing polluted air. The walking trails in this urban forest provide clean air for our minds and bodies.

Visitors can enjoy nighttime adventures watching possums, owls, and birds. There are activities for preschoolers and school educational programs.

Beyond Comprehension

The COVID situation in New South Wales is an important topic discussed on every TV network, Newspaper, and Social Media. Not a single day is gone by without reports on fatalities caused by COVID. Since Friday, 3 September 21, the headlines were on an autistic and non-verbal boy aged three years who had gone missing in his Hunter Valley property. A task force consisting of NSW Police, Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Service, other Volunteer Service Organisations, and volunteers were on a hot trail for the missing boy for almost four days. His parents suspected that evil people abducted the toddler, but on Monday, 6 September 21, the Police rescue helicopter spotted the boy alive near a creek on their property. He was drinking contaminated water with both hands. His relieved family shouted, sang, and danced with joy.


It is a miracle that the little boy survived four days by drinking only contaminated water. Ant bites bruised his body, and he stayed without food, which was remarkable for a toddler. After an examination at the hospital, the doctors sent him home. As onlookers, we were happy to see the “Little Australian Survivor’s” smiling face on TV.

Miracles are God’s way of communicating with us of his presence. That reminds me of the Christian shrine in Mulgoa close to Penrith, an hour’s drive from Sydney. It is a replica of the original Church Schoenstatt founded by Joseph Kentenich in Germany. Mother Mary adorns the centre with Jesus Christ; the title “ Mother Thrice Admirable” had been given to the Blessed Mother- Mother of God, Mother of Redeemer, and Mother of the redeemed. This shrine dedicated to Mother Mary was opened on 19 May 1968 by Cardinal Gilroy.

People of various religious faith visit this church regularly to get the blessings of Mother Mary. It is the second home for many who are looking for peace and harmony. The tranquility and serenity of the place, coupled with the surrounding area’s natural beauty, make this place a heaven. Compared to other traditional Churches, it is a tiny chapel and can accommodate a maximum of 15-20 people inside. However, once you are inside the church, you feel the divinity, the human minds praising the Universal mother’s glory in unison.

I visited this church once a few years ago with my sister’s family. The belief is that if you go to this church every week for nine weeks and continually pray to Mary for her blessings, your prayer is answered. It is an oasis of bliss and serenity for those in the desert of despair and frustration.

Your burdens are lifted, and your inner-self strengthened. We met a guy who said that he had a health problem cured without surgery after visiting this church continually every Sunday for a few months. To show his gratitude to Mother Mary, he had not missed a single Sunday ever since.

Mulgoa Road leading to the church is a long and wide two-way track. Cars travel at deafening speed, and you have to maintain the momentum to travel smoothly. From Mulgoa Road, you turn right into Fairlight Road to reach the church. There are a few orchards on either side of Fairlight. You could see the native Kangaroos in their natural habitat, moving freely and looking at you enquiringly; why are you stepping into our territory? There are many other native animals and birds which we didn’t see that day.

The grounds are green, air fresh, and the walk in the gardens and bushland is thoroughly enjoyable. It is ideal for families to enjoy a picnic in this quiet, tranquil environment overlooking the woods.

Chapel circled in orange colour

Coriander plants in your backyard

Coriander seeds provide many health benefits to humanity. Ayurvedic practitioners use these incredible, seeds when they prepare their medicines. They don’t need multinational Pharmaceutical companies to prepare the formula for a simple, effective, and natural medicine. I remember my father used to say that the President of our country always took coriander water for his cold and flu and that he used to go to the doctor only as a last resort.

 As a little girl,  whenever I had a cold or mild fever, the homemade remedy was coriander water made from coriander seeds, black pepper, and ginger. You take these magic potions three times a day, and after a few days, you can run a marathon.

Almost for all our cooking, my mother used curry leaves for garnishing and tempering. I came to know the value of coriander leaves when I lived in England. The nearby shops in Wembley had plenty of Indian grocery stores, which sold heaps of coriander leaves. It was impossible to buy curry leaves, as curry leaf plants were nonexistent in England’s winter. Once I got the right flavour in my dishes with the coriander leaves, I enjoyed the taste.

After I emigrated to Australia, I planted a few curry plants without much success;  Eventually, I have two beautiful lush curry plants in my garden. I was very keen to grow the coriander leaves in my backyard. Sometimes bought coriander bunches with roots from shops and planted them in pots. Other times bought small coriander pots with plants. Nothing seemed to work; after a week, the coriander plants died.

I had been surfing the net and YouTube videos for ways to grow coriander plants. A couple of months ago, I came across a You Tube video on how to grow coriander plants by an Agricultural Researcher in India. I don’t remember his name, but he said the seeds had to be broken into halves to speed up germination and soaked for 24 hours before being planted in soil.

So I have gone on a mission to grow coriander plants in this lockdown period.

  • I took a handful of dry coriander seeds and placed them on a hand towel on Thursday, 5 August 21.
  • After folding the hand towel, used a stone pestle to gently pound the coriander into halves. You can use rolling pin instead of pestle.
  • Soaked the broken coriander seeds in cold water for 24 hours
  • On Friday, 6 August 21, planted the seeds in a pot with fertile potting mix.
  • On Wednesday, 11 August 21, a few seeds germinated.
  • I had been sprinkling water daily in the seeds, and the pot is sitting in an area where it gets plenty of sunlight.
  • The picture I took today, 23 August 21, has plenty of germinated coriander seeds with juvenile leaves after 17 days.
  • The harvesting of coriander leaves may take a few more weeks.
  • Best time to grow coriander is Autumn and Spring. You can grow throughout the year if you keep the plant frost-free, having it in a Greenhouse or indoor.
Dry coriander seeds
Seeds in folded paper
Coriander seeds halved
Seeds soaked in water
Germinated coriander seeds
Juvenile coriander leaves

Gluten-free Bread

Food allergy is a significant health problem that affects many people, from infants to adults. Many infants are allergic to nuts and dairy products from the time they arrive on this planet. The Research in this field is still at an infant stage. Adults who did not have any allergic symptoms before show signs of allergic reactions later in adulthood, which is sometimes fatal.

I am allergic to wheat flour and cannot eat bread and other food products made from wheat flour. There are plenty of branded gluten-free items available in the Supermarkets now, but gluten-free bread is dearer than regular bread. The process for making gluten-free bread is slightly different from traditional bread. Regular bread would have only one flour type, whereas gluten-free consists of many varieties of the flour mix.

My daughter sent me a gluten-free bread link she found on Instagram by Michaela under the website elevegan.com.

This recipe is vegan-free, oil-free, and yeast-free. I have tried this with a twist to her recipe by adding yeast.


  • Buckwheat flour -100 gm
  • White rice flour – 100 gm
  • Besan flour  – 100 gm (chickpea flour)
  • Tapioca flour – 40 gm
  • Baking powder – 1tsp
  • Yeast – 1 tsp
  • Sugar-1 tsp
  • Salt- 1 tsp
  • Water – 450 ml
  • Psyllium husk powder – 3 tbsp
  • Sesame seed – 1tsp


  1. Place the psyllium husk powder in a bowl, and gradually add water, stirring the mixture to prevent any lumps. Set aside thick gel mixture for about 20 -30 minutes.
  2. Weigh Buckwheat flour, white rice flour, corn starch, and tapioca flour. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the flour mixture.
  3. Ferment the yeast in sugar in 1 tsp lukewarm water.
  4. Pour the flour mixture, yeast, and psyllium husk into a bowl and mix with a hand mixer or kneader. Take the flour mixture and knead it by hand. If it is wet, add some flour ( tapioca flour) or little dry water. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  5. Preheat oven to 180 Centigrade or 350 F.
  6. Place a parchment paper into a bread loaf tin. Shape the mixture into an oval shape, place it in the loaf tin, and bake it for 55-60 minutes.

Notes: A few days ago, I replaced Rice flour with Teff flour and added 1 tbsp olive oil to the flour mixture before kneading, and it turned out alright.

Teff flour bread

Three Sisters – Blue Mountain, Katoomba

Many years ago, after we arrived in Australia, my husband’s close friend said that his family planned to visit Three Sisters in Blue Mountain. First, I thought his friend’s three sisters were living in Blue Mountain. As he continued with his conversation, I realised he was not talking about his sisters but about three rocks.

The formation of three giant stones may have resulted from land erosion; the legend is that three beautiful sisters of a particular tribe fell in love with three brothers of a neighbouring tribe, but the marriage was forbidden by tribal law. Tribal war broke as the brothers were warriors. A clever man from the Girls’ tribe turned the sisters into stones to avoid bloodshed between the two tribes. He intended to restore them to their former selves after the war ended. Sadly he was killed in the battle, and nobody could break the spell to restore the three sisters to their former selves

There is a parallel to Three Sisters in the Epic Ramayana. Sage Gautama cursed his wife Ahalya and turned her into a rock, outraged by her infidelity. Ahalya begged for his forgiveness, and he said that she would regain human form by Lord Rama’s touch. Centuries later, Lord Rama touched the stone and broke the spell.

Blue mountain is about 2.5 hours drive by car from Sydney on the motorway. It’s a popular place and a most visited tourist site. Echo Point, a key observation area on the mountain, provides a breathtaking view of the mountain and surrounding area.

We parked the car in a shop nearby, which had limited parking. It is better to check the weather before travelling, sometimes the mist/fog covers the whole landscape blocking the view of the valleys.

From Echo Point, a short walk trail leads to Three Sisters, which is pleasant. There are few lookout points on the track towards Three Sisters. The iconic view is stunning, which reflects Australia’s beautiful landscape. Nature has endowed Australia with magnificent trees, unique birds, and animals. At the end of the track, a steep Giant Stairway descends 998 steps and takes you to Honeymoon bridge-which connects to the first sister. The stairway is narrow and steep; anyone going down the steps needs to exercise great care and caution. Once you reach the end of the walk, you have to return the same way to the top by climbing the narrow, steep steps.

View from Echo Point
Blue Mountain view
Walk trail to Three Sisters
Three Sistes
Three Sisters from distance
Part View of Three Sisters
Blue Mountain Map
Image result for free photos of giant stairway near three sisters
End of Giant Stairway
Image result for free photos of giant stairway near three sisters
Giant Stairway leading to Three Sisters

The Scenic railway is another way to enjoy the splendid view of nature. It is the world’s steepest railway and tilts at 52 degrees. It was so scary that I had to clasp my husband’s hands tight to overcome the fear of falling. This train was built in 1878 for mining purposes and converted to recreational use in 1945. You can get a glimpse of Three Sisters from here.

You can enjoy the scenic view from above, in the nearby cable car, which floats above the evergreen mountain and rainforest.

The Jenolan caves are about 20 kilometres away from Blue Mountain, Katoomba. These are the most famous and spectacular limestone caves in Australia. James and Charles Whalan discovered these caves in 1840 and were named Jenolan, Aboriginal meaning for high mountain.

See the source image
See the source image

There are other spectacular viewing sites, Katoomba Falls, Scenic World, Wentworth Falls, The Kings Tablelands Walk, Govetts Leap, etc.

See the source image
Govetts Leap Falls

The Blue Mountain is a unique place that offers many different tourist attractions. The air around this part is clean and refreshing. One day is not enough to enjoy the serenity and beauty of this place. You may want to spend a few days exploring the majestic views of many scenic places, waterfalls, and bushwalks in this area.

Cherrybrook Lake and Daintree Rainforest

Since the COVID outbreak last year, Australia was alert with lockdown for a few months. Afterward, with many preventive measures such as facemask, hand sanitising, and safe distancing,  the Health Authorities curtailed the spread of COVID for a short period. In the Year 2021, a new delta strain variant is spreading like wildfire in the community. It is very contagious and Authorities are doing their best to minimise its transmission. It has resulted in an extended lockdown in NSW.

Gyms are closed and the only exercise available to the Public is walking. My husband and I decided to go for a walk in the neighbourhood. We walked up and down and along winding footpaths in many streets. We came across the Lakes of Cherrybrook loop. This particular loop is near a retirement village and is in a peaceful area. Ducks in the lake swim gracefully on the lookout for food. You may see a mother duck paddling along with her ducklings in water or the surrounding area if you are lucky. It is a small lake surrounded by tall trees, and the reflection on the water projects a different picture in the camera. It looks as though you have taken the picture upside down. The viewing platform extended to the lake provides a lovely view across the lake. The nearby shopping centre has good cafes and eateries.

It is a fantastic place to sit, relax and watch the ducks in the lake; You can observe nature at her best; imagine what she would have been millions of years ago. Geologists say that Australia was a canopy of countless tropical rainforests millions of years ago. Over time with arid weather conditions, most of the rainforests disappeared, except for the Daintree Rainforest.

The belief is that the Daintree Rainforest is 135 million years old. This forest covers a total of 1200 square kilometers – the size of 25,000 football fields. The rainforest extends out to the coast, where it meets the Great Barrier Reef. This forest is home to many unique plants and animals, one of Sir David Attenborough’s favourite destinations on earth.

Ten years ago, we flew to Cairns with my sister, who came for a holiday from the UK. We rented a service apartment for a few days in Cairns. The unforgettable and captivating experience was the travel by train and Skyrail in the Daintree Rainforest. The first leg of our journey through the rain forest was by the Kuranda Scenic Railway train. It started from Freshwater station, going uphill in a winding railway track. The view of the Australian natural landscape was breathtaking. You can see the front and rear of the train at the same time at certain bends. It was an exciting and unforgettable journey. The building of the railway track is an engineering marvel. A tour guide gave a superb narration of the trip and the railway. Quite a few workers died building the railway and of diseases afterward. The final destination was Kuranda village. We roamed about the village and, after a meal, rested for a while, enjoying a peaceful environment.

The return to the city by Skyrail was spectacular. The Skyrail glided through and over the densely grown trees. Some species grow up to 50 meters in height and 2.7 meters in diameter. Trees of all shapes and sizes stretch throughout the forest. I read an article in a Readers Digest where a caretaker of a European forest said that the trees in his forest survived many thousand years due to the community spirit of the roots. The roots intertwined beneath the earth in bizarre knots and supported each other for sturdy growth. The Skyrail Gondola cabin, safely closed and secured, moved along smoothly. The floor appeared to be glass, and when you look underneath, you feel that you are almost falling into the dense forest. This mode of travel is not for Acrophobic people. It was like travelling through Jurassic Park.

We spent some time at the Great Barrier Reef. I took plenty of photos of the coral reef system at different locations, but I lost the pictures with the phone upgrade.

Healthy diet and lifestyle

The doctor in the video, Dr.Ellsworth Wareham, maintained an active lifestyle up to the ripe age of 104 years.

This video was taken when he was 103 years. He cuts his lawn, drives his car, goes walking, and even climbs stairs with little help. The secret to his vibrant health is a plant-based diet and exercise. He performed heart surgery until he was 95 years old. He is talking to people about preventive medicine for a healthy lifestyle.

He says that his memory is as good as he was when he was twenty. We hear from many centenarians that what they eat and what they actively do have contributed to their longevity.

People who are active in their chosen field of work, passionate about what they do, keep their minds and bodies busy- indirectly flex their minds, muscles, and bodies. However, following a regular exercise routine strengthens muscles, maintains bone density, improves body mobility, and regulates blood circulation. Learning a new hobby that stimulates our brain is as important as learning to drive or swim.

Statistics show that people living in countries like Japan, certain parts of Greece, Italy, and South American countries live longer.

In Japan, people who live over 100 years maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat a low-fat, low-carb diet with fish and vegetables. They consume food in moderation, i.e., eat until they are about 70-80 % full.

When we buy new cars, the car dealer gives a log book with dates for the service maintenance. On average, they expect the owner to travel a specific distance within a certain period. The car dealer also states that if the car reaches the meter reading before the particular time limit for service, it is advisable to service it when it runs the distance. For example, he may say the car is due for service within in next six months, or the vehicle reaches 50 thousand kilometers. If that car gets 50 thousand kilometers in the next three months, the owner will not wait until six months for service; he would take the vehicle for service after three months.

Our body is a vehicle that we use to gear through our life-cycle. Human beings have an average life expectancy between 80 to 100 years, depending on their lifestyle. We think that our heart is the engine of our body and the air, the fuel. The liver is the gateway to the body and if the gateway is blocked everything, fails. The creator has created Live-r for a person to live a healthy life. We ignore the liver as we are ignorant of the vital function of the liver.

In her book “The Liver Cleansing Diet,” Dr. Sandra Cabot says that she has discovered from various patient testimonials that many diseases can be cured by simply cleansing the liver. It is like servicing your body. One cannot be healthy without a healthy liver, and most people never give their liver a second thought. Readings of Triglyceride is the indicator of the health of the liver.

The lifestyle in modern society is a rat race. People consume highly processed and saturated fats from fast-food chains, fish & chips shops, and unhealthy eateries. We need to stop and think; Are we going to clog our vehicle body with unhealthy eating habits and stop the engine?

Animal Kingdom

Arriving at the Chennai airport, Leela scanned far and wide, searching for her sister, Veena, amid the crowd outside the airport. Veena said she would pick up Leela from the airport. Leela picked up her bags from the baggage carousel with help from a fellow passenger.

Leela waited patiently near the exit gate, glancing at her watch, which showed time nearing midnight. The plane landed at the Chennai airport, two hours past the scheduled arrival time of 10 p.m. The mechanical problem at Sydney airport at departure, coupled with the stormy weather conditions, caused the delay. Leela looked around and noticed that almost everyone had left the airport. A middle-aged woman who travelled from Sydney stopped at the gate with a friendly gesture. Leela smiled at the stranger who offered her a lift to her hotel. The middle-aged woman also came from Sydney after a short stay with her son in Australia. Leela declined her offer politely, indicating that her sister Veena would pick her up.

Leela started to walk to the taxi stand. It was a hot day, and the temperature reached around 40 degrees. Smoke, fumes, and dust from the old taxis made Leela sick. Few porters who followed her to the taxi stand were hassling her to hand over her luggage for them to carry. Leela sent a message to  Veena that she would hire a taxi to the hotel as she didn’t want to stand alone at the airport. She hailed an old cab and gave the hotel address to the driver.

While she was in the taxi, she reflected on her last visit to India. A few years ago, Leela visited a temple in Madras, India, as part of a travel itinerary.  While walking along the winding footpath, she noticed a group of little monkeys roaming around the temple. In a split second, these monkeys jumped on the temple boundary wall and hung upside down on tree-tops. They were not at all bothered by the people walking to the temple. At times stealing looks at passers-by and occasionally snatching food and other items from them.

The driver and tour guide related a story to her. During one of his guided tours, the tour guide had taken few visitors to another temple on a hilltop.

It was mid-day, the visitors to the temple had finished their lunch and had thrown the food on the side road. A large group of monkeys from a nearby hill came over to complete the leftovers and tidbits. The monkeys descended the hill one by one, taking the food, and climbed hastily to the hilltop to enjoy the feast.  One monkey left behind limped to reach the road for the food. With great difficulty, he picked up the food and crossed the road. Alas! Within a few seconds, a motor car with high speed ran over the limping monkey.

Other monkeys saw the fate of their friend.  They threw the food on the ground and immediately ran in unison to help the monkey lying in a blood pool. They formed a circle around the dead monkey, lifted it gently, and slowly ascended the mountain. None of the monkeys went over to the food they had taken—the food left for stray dogs and birds.

The driver said he saw the grief-stricken faces of the monkeys, the genuine sadness and disbelief on their faces as they slowly took away their dead friend.  He told Leela that he could never forget this scene – we, as human beings with so much wisdom and knowledge, are nowhere near the unity, harmony, and friendship these monkeys displayed. 

If only we had the compassion and unity these animals exhibited, we as human beings could combat war and terror that is destroying the human race.

My beautiful curry leaf plant


When my father was alive, he brought me a beautiful lush green curry plant. One of his friends in Queensland had sent this beauty to him. My father was living with my sister, and as she already had two curry leaf plants at her place, he brought this plant to me. He asked me to water this plant regularly and take care of it gently like a baby.

“Deepa, are you watering the curry plant regularly?  It was the first question my father would ask as he visited me on weekends.

I felt guilty that I didn’t tender the plant with care. The lush green leaves were slowly withering and turning brown. With my work schedule, I completely forgot to water this plant. One month, two months passed, and the plant eventually died with the start of winter. Luckily, some seeds from this plant buried in the soil during winter began to sprout in spring.

After a few months with the fall of spring, two small green plants grew from the seeds. My father was pleased to see two beautiful saplings growing in my garden. I decided to look after these two plants with great care.

“How are the curry plants? My father would ask this question every time he steps into my house. I have heard people bond with cats and dogs, but I have never heard anyone bonding with a plant as my father did.

After my father passed away, I  looked after my two curry plants with love and care, and I was curious to know why he was so passionate about the curry leaf plant.

One day when I stood near the plants, I could hear them whispering to each other.

“You know Deepa’s father was a wonderful man and was passionate about the environment. He took good care of our grandmother, Jessica,” the first plant said. “Our great-grandmother Monica hails from Jaffna, Sri Lanka. She grew up into a majestic curry-leaf tree in Deepa’s father’s house. Curry leaves from her branches threw so much fragrance that every passer-by would take a bunch of curry leaves home. The taste and aroma from curries cooked with her leaves would stay in your taste bud until the next meal. 

Few years after our grandmother Jessica was born, Deepa’s father migrated to Australia and got his passport and visa for the migration. He wanted to take our grandmother Jessica with him. But the immigration department quarantined her. She was in isolation for a month and was finally sent to Queensland to avoid Sydney’s winter. The weather in Queensland is similar to Jaffna. She grew up into a beautiful young tree, and our mother, Brenda, was born. Deepa’s father’s friend in Queensland said it was not advisable to uproot our grandmother Jessica; instead, he sent our mother, Brenda, to Sydney. 

Our mother came by train and landed in Sydney and was handed over to Deepa by her father. No wonder he was upset that Deepa had let our mother die. God only knows the trouble her father took to bring our grandmother, Jessica, to Australia. We should keep our heads high and be thankful that we are in Australia. I am always grateful to her father. “

“Yes, we are living in one of the most beautiful countries in the world,” the second plant nodded in agreement. “Australian Government is well known for protecting the fauna and flora of this country .”