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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Hey hows it growing

Hey, how’s it growing?

Updated on: 22 August,2021 08:50 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Anju Maskeri | anju.maskeri@mid-day.com

A homegrown gardening venture is sourcing terracotta planters made by local potters to discourage plastic use

Hey, how’s it growing?

Kalanchoe, a rare succulent flowering plant

Actor Bishal Rungta was one of many who found themselves out of work during the Coronavirus-induced lockdown.With time on hand, he decided to take up gardening. “Being a nature lover, I have always had questions about the destruction that we are causing by using plastic products and the long-time implications of it. I also realised that I was being a contributor [to the problem] as all my planters were plastic.


Fittonia Green
Fittonia Green


As luck would have it, I was talking to my aunt, and she reminded me about the terracotta planters that we once had at home.” Rungta is now the founder of Eco-Gardening, a homegrown venture that offers hardy plants and terracotta planters made by local potters. They have also tied up with a few households in Bhiwandi to procure paper bags that they use for their deliveries.


Terracotta planters made by potters in Dharavi
Terracotta planters made by potters in Dharavi

“Instead of using a mainstream logistics company, we thought why not rope in youngsters from underprivileged backgrounds living in and around Versova for deliveries.” They offer plants that thrive in tropical climate like Areca palm, Monstera, Fiddle Leaf, Snake Plant and Agloenema.

Bishal Rungta
Bishal Rungta

Apart from this, they also have perennial flowering plants like Mogra, Hibiscus, Ixora, Adenium and Champa. “We are helping local potters design their terracotta planters as we realised that design was one of the main reasons why they were failing to attract customers as compared to ceramic or plastic planters.”
@Ecogardening_, Instagram

Painting utopia

There’s something dreamy about art that captures the beauty of life. We felt that way, when we chanced upon Goa-based artist Richa Kashelkar’s paintings, which capture everything from   vernacular and heritage architecture, to fabrics, and the local flora and fauna. Her hues, mostly pastel, draw you into her world, as she sees it, or imagines it to be. From a couple seated with their backs against each other, which she has titled Companionable Silence, to the riveting architectural details captured in her work, Art Deco Bombay, the rolling hillscapes of Goa, and the stillness of time as witnessed from a Goan balcao, Kashelkar’s works are a visual treat, as deep and vivid as a real photograph.

Companionable Silence

“I started painting because I felt a limitation with photography, in trying to convey what I’m imagining. The only medium that comes close to visually translating your imagination and letting you express so freely, is painting,” admits the artist. “When I started out, I didn’t have a set idea in mind about what I wanted to paint; I just did whatever appealed to me naturally. But looking back now, I can see a clear pull towards depicting a certain utopia—both in terms of ideas and materials.” She takes inspiration from a world where “people are inseparable from nature, in moments of repose, contemplation, and wonder”.