© Ganesh Mani Pradhan & Son
Early memories of life in a flower nursery are of plants being packed in woven bamboo baskets for export, workers potting plants, leaf mould, sphagnum moss, floral colours of the entire spectrum and many of my father's friends visiting us from all parts of the world. I was a frequent traveler with my father into the jungles on his photography trips and learnt to handle a camera quite early. I also remember dropping a Nikormat 35mm camera down a hillside and after retrieval, being relieved to find the old workhorse still operational though with a couple of dents in the body. They dont build cameras like those tanks these days.
The Nursery was, and still is, an extension of our family home so one is never far from the daily grind of what goes on to make the plants grow. Back home from school I had responsibilities earmarked for me; writing labels, counting plants and later on, learning the basics of laboratory work and mixing media. And of course, there were the Journals and books to read. What then seemed like chores, I now realise, was a training period, a period of gaining practical knowledge which no school or University course could have taught me. The learning process goes on. The mid seventies and early eighties were good times to be in school and growing up. Needless to say that ballads of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan from my music system contributed to the growth, or lack of it, of the plants growing in the shade houses just below the main house. Some might just have decided to give it all up! Who can forget Woodstock? Kalimpong did not have TV in those days but word got around and music cassettes, and later on, Video cassettes came around.
In 1990 my father took me into partnership and the firm of Ganesh Mani Pradhan & Son was born, with added responsibilities! Responsibilities of conducting a business based on ethics. As my father taught me (and still drums it in), 90% of the individuals and firms with whom we do business are identities known to us only through letters, and now e-mail and the internet, and it is our responsibility to give them their money's worth, and some more! Over the years I have learnt that "plant people" share this intense passion (sometimes bordering on the thin line that demarcates sanity from insanity) about plants. Over the years I have also found that our relationship with plant people over the world have been strongest with hobbyists and individuals who run their own small plant outfits. We like it that way. First name basis!
In 1994 I got married and my wife, Honey, now runs a Home Hospitality Guest House, The Orchid Retreat, a cluster of cottages spread over our property. We have a daughter, Kavya, three and a half years old. She is passionate about flowers. We've had many of our friends from all over come and stay in these cottages. The discussions, as you may have guessed, revolves around plants....Musa, Palms, Gingers....... and, relationships grow. And the process of learning grows.
We look forward to hearing from you. Maybe you can come visit us in this beautiful countryside of Kalimpong.
Mahendra Mani Pradhan
Meet the Team......
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