A bonsai show that made you feel larger than life

An aged, fully grown banyan tree that stands three feet tall, tiny Peepal trees that twist artistically, casuarinas that sprout needle-like foliage in patterns, cascading bougainvilleas, jade shrubs with rockery conjuring up the image of a miniature forest… Well, this was an exhibition of Bodhi — the Chennai Bonsai Association’s collection of bonsai trees beneath the canopy of shady trees at Spaces on the Elliot’s beachfront.

Bonsai does make you feel larger than life, when you look at tiny but fully grown, old trees in trays. And then, taking in at a single glance the winding branches, sprawling roots and the spectacular foliage of so many trees is a visual delight. “Since bonsai combines gardening with sculpting, it confers a host of effects ranging from physical fitness to the joy of creation, meditative peace, stress relief, and a precious connect with nature,” says Molly Cherian, president, Bodhi. “It is especially relevant for urban life, considering our small flats and lack of garden space,” Yogesh, a senior member of Bodhi, says.    The members of Bodhi meet every second Saturday of the month to exchange ideas and techniques for managing their collection of bonsai plants. Bodhi conducts workshops for interested groups.  Bodhi’s members include bonsai enthusiasts from all walks of life, besides students and enthusiasts of bonsai art.  E-mailBodhi at bodhi-the-chennai-bonsai-association@googlegroups. comor visitwww.bonsai chennai.in

HEMA VIJAY