Outside, by the door, poses a queenly pink caladium. It is a glamourous plant and its poise is that of a beautiful woman in a crowded room. Its leaves are large and heart shaped on slender stalks, delicately veined in pink and green.

One particularly breathless day, I forgot to water it. When I returned, all its dozen leaves on their long graceful stalks lay flat on the ground like staunch satyagrahis. Not all my penitent watering and care could win them back to their erect grace.

One learns in a garden that the price of neglect is unbelievably steep. And often there is no second chance.