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My Bougainvillea -The Warrior

The rain-swept mornings in Mumbai are always beautiful. Everything seems bright and fresh and clean. The gray clouds scatter across the sky in swirls. The sun seems to have disappeared beneath them, and the cool breeze sways the bougainvillea plant outside my living room.

Not too long ago, the bougainvillea plant was almost dead. The lack of much-needed care and the harsh weather had taken a toll on most of my outdoor plants. It was time for a change. To keep the ones that survived and to let the rest go along their journey. So a gardener was summoned for the job. He did all the re-soiling and trimming he could do to salvage my existing plants. Then came the bougainvillea. It had lost all its leaves and stems and had one tiny almost non-existent sign of life growing from its soil. I asked the gardener, ‘is it even alive?’, to which he responded in the affirmative by nodding his head. I was not sure though.

The bougainvillea was my favourite plant. It bloomed now and then, in shades of pink and white. The best part was, because of the bougainvillea, I could spot my window when I would walk across the beach. Nobody had a bougainvillea like mine in the apartment complex we lived in.

So the bougainvillea stayed, while the rest of my potted plants went away. I took care of the bougainvillea by watering it well. Though it was like watering the invisible plant and the mud at that point of time. But I had hope. That someday it may spring up, so I kept going.

Fast forward one month later, when I returned from my travels. I sat in my living room overlooking the sea. And I saw my bougainvillea. It had grown tall! It seemed to dance with the wind and the rain. I was visibly amazed! It was green and happy, finally! The bougainvillea survived and restored itself to health and happiness, not to mention the happiness it was giving me right now! The bougainvillea is a warrior! I pondered over the many people I’ve met in my life, who have the warrior spirit within them. The one who battled his way through bad relationships and fought to find and keep the right one, the one in the OT of a hospital fighting to keep a heart beating, the one who had to leave her home to take care of her ailing mother fighting for her life, the one working every single day to keep the home and hearth together and preventing it from falling apart, the one who is fighting a terminal illness yet keeping her spirit alive, the one going through physical pain yet seeing the colours in living life fully. So many warriors! These warriors are testaments to mankind. To carry on, in spite of and even though.

The spirit of the warrior is one that shines incandescent light and has the ability to illuminate the path for others along the way. They have helped heal many through their presence and resilience. It made me think of the essence of the warrior spirit.

The light of the warrior lies within us. This is the secret nobody will tell you in this fiercely competitive world. We may feel that only some have it or are born with it, but in truth, we all have the warrior spirit within that needs a little nudge every now and then to awaken like the phoenix and create a change that will be self- transformational. The secret lies in knowing and being aware of this inner spirit of the warrior. To listen to it and propel through life’s perennial challenges. We also have the ability to manifest our dreams, fight for them, pave through adversities, and overcome them.

Especially when the going gets tough, to rise up once more, with hope and faith, on a wing and a prayer, to trust that the universe will carry you forward. The universe always does give back, in its own time and in its own way.

So here is saluting that warrior within us all.

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