My late mother was one of the most knowledgeable persons I knew from her generation. She was always ready with some piece of information, a proverb or just a joke or pun. She would quote in Sanskrit, English, Tamil or Malayalam. She would also have nuggets of information from Science, Biology, Geography or mythology.
The earliest exotic plant names I learnt from my mother were, ‘Antigonon’ and ‘Bougainvillea’. For some reason, she used to mention both in the same breath. Perhaps, her way of saying, ‘A for Antigonon and B for Bougainvillea’. A combined lesson in English alphabets and botany! Some bungalows in Adyar had either one or both these plants. They acted as a constant reminder and reinforcement of the lesson.
The above picture was taken on the side of an abandoned well near the veteran lines of Pallavaram Cantonment during a photo walk.