Bonsai is the only living art! Santosh Arora about her tryst with the world of Bonsai Q: How did your association with Bonsai start? What made you connect so beautifully with them? I was born and brought up in the Green Environments of Punjab. After marriage I settled down in Mumbai where my husband was posted. Like any metropolitan cities we had to live in small apartment where I started missing my contact with nature. A chance meeting with Jyoti Parekh who had just started teaching the Green Art of Bonsai, changed my life. I got my initial training from her. It is then I realized that Bonsai, aptly called Nature in Miniature is the best way to bring nature into the small houses and to revive my interest in nature. Thus Bonsai became my passion. I got my further training from internationally acclaimed masters in USA,UK, Italy and Indonesia etc. In order to spread the art of Bonsai I started teaching in 1983 in Mumbai which I continued when I shifted to Lucknow in 1997. Q: What exactly is Bonsai? Bonsai consist of two words Bon and SAI. â€˜Bonâ€™ means a shallow container and â€˜saiâ€™ means a plant. So a plant grown in a shallow container is called Bonsai. Bonsai is a blend of science, horticulture and art. It depends on three techniques container growing, Root pruning, wiring and shaping to bring out beautiful three dimensional dwarf tree. It is the only living art! Q: Is Bonsai only a show piece or is there any greater value attached to it? Bonsai is not only a show piece it is a living thing passed from generation to generation. The Bonsai grower takes its care like a child. The Bonsai artist is always on with his scissors to maintain its shape to create three dimensional beautiful dwarf tree resembling a tree grown in nature. Bonsai is called nature in miniature, small but beautiful. Q: How true is Vastu claim that Bonsai is a symbol of restricted growth? It is not true. Anything that overgrows whether it is human hair, nails, a tree or plant and grass grown in a garden has to be restricted in growth to maintain its looks. Bonsai cannot be an exception. In fact bonsai Artist gives wonderful looks to his creation by continuous pruning and shaping. Bonsai grower gives lots of love and care to his plant by giving regular feed of plant food i.e. fertilisers, regular watering and by administering medicines like insecticide to save it from insects etc. Q: If one is keen to start on Bonsai where one should look? To grow proper Bonsai one must go through proper training under an expert. City of Lucknow is privileged to have Avadh Bonsai Association founded by me & my husband KK Arora with a team of 11 dedicated founder members. The Association has its office and training centre at AP Sen Road and conducts basic and advance courses. The Association holds exhibitions and bonsai camps periodically. It also invites experts from India and abroad in order to enhance the knowledge of students. Avadh Bonsai Association also has well stocked library for its members.