"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."
William Blake's words ring in my ears as I look back on a Sunday where waking up at 5:45 am was richly rewarded with several memorable hours spent in Lalbagh, Bangalore's famous botanical garden. It was one of those experiences that was at once fun, reflective, informative and had me longing for more; and to tell you the truth, it's been a while since I came upon one of those!
As you might guess from the way in which I started this post, I'm really not a morning person. If I am to wake up happily, short of 7 hours of sleep, there had better be something that I consider worthwhile and exciting. Today was one of those days - and for it, I owe my thanks to Floh, arguably one of Bangalore's most innovative start-ups, that for once has nothing to do with technology!
So it happened today, that I jumped out of bed before the sun declared it a Sunday, having signed up for my first Floh event - a Green Heritage Heritage Walk, guided by Vijay Thiruvady, the 70 year old Bangalorean businessman who happens to be a world class conservationist and clearly in love with the marvel that is Lalbagh. Floh partnered with Bangalore Walks, to have Vijay host this event for its members.
A septuagenarian, sprightlier than many people decades younger than him and speaking in clipped, impeccable English - Vijay was our guide for the next 4 hours, in a walk that started from the "Hero Stone" near the Lalbagh Rock, meandered through a bewildering variety of trees, each with their own unique story, and ended in a delightful breakfast in the historic Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR) near Lalbagh.
Will some relationships emerge from this? Probably - and Floh has a great track record of relationships that have formed in the past. It's probably the only network that celebrates when members leave, as you cannot attend Floh events if you are no longer single! Will I attend another Floh event? Most certainly - and Vijay hasn't seen the last of me either!
As I take your leave at the end of this long and meandering trail of thoughts (quite typical of me), I want to leave you with something to reflect on. It is this... Like the bamboo plants that share an invisible connection, installed in the very fabric of their being... we too are all connected in some way. It takes only a little effort to reach out and discover what we have in common with each other. Make the effort to discover this - find out where you are linked and how. You may find a soul-mate, a companion, a friend, or even a family along the path - but the path itself is the greatest destination and the greatest discovery.