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Updated: August 31, 2012 11:26 IST

Exploring new ‘lows’ in bonsai

Meedhu Miriyam Joseph
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A bonsai baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) on display at an ongoing exhibition
organised by the Kerala Bonsai Association in Thiruvananthapuram.
The Hindu A bonsai baobab tree (Adansonia digitata) on display at an ongoing exhibition organised by the Kerala Bonsai Association in Thiruvananthapuram.

Members of the Kerala Bonsai Association (KBA) pursue the art in spite of their hectic schedules and put up this show that began on Thursday

The miniature trees on display at the bonsai exhibition now on at Jawahar Balabhavan here are awe-inspiring. After watching them, one would even think of trying a hand at it, but would soon grow doubtful of finding the time and patience to take up the art.

But the good news is that the creators of these exhibits are all busy professionals. Some of them are doctors, and most others are government employees. But their passion to remain connected with nature has these members of the Kerala Bonsai Association (KBA) pursue the art in spite of their hectic schedules and put up this show that began on Thursday.

“Most of the members in our association are government officials and working professionals. None complains of lack of time because those who really want to learn this art will somehow find the time,” said Jaya Nair, secretary of the association.

Susie Joseph, who works with the Vigilance Department, has been into the art of bonsai for more than 14 years and is still ready to explore deeper. “I squeeze in some time for the plants everyday before going to office and after I am back,” said Ms. Joseph.

Ficus, tamarind, bougainvilla, portulacaria, casurania, buxus wood…the list of bonsai exhibits goes on. But the main attraction this year are the Penjing works. This ancient Chinese art of presenting artistically grown trees in the backdrop of miniature landscapes truly accentuates the charm of bonsai.

D. Ravindran, a businessman from Nagercoil, has brought his Penjing works for the exhibition. He is actively involved in taking styling classes for the members.

“One would need dedication and patience to learn the art. Normally we start with Ficus varieties as it grows faster,” said Mr. Ravindran, who also claims to have bonsai plants that are more than 60 years old.

“The classes conducted by the association has helped me learn more about the trimming process,” said Basil Mathew, a former CEO of a Technopark-based company, who became a bonsai enthusiast after attending such an exhibition.

“In fact, the ‘beginners’ section’ showcases the creations of those who approached us after the last exhibition. More than nine people were interested in learning it and that is also the aim of the exhibition,” said Priyadarshini Venugopal, a member of the association.

The exhibition will conclude on September 2.

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