Nurturing for a Living


R. Narayanamma sits amidst fragrant flowers, nurturing the city’s greenery through a small nursery at the MVP rythu bazaar. Yo! Vizag takes you through the journey of this woman of steel.



Age: 60

With a ready smile that lights up her face, it is heartening to see Narayanamma sit amidst the red roses and jasmines in season, adding to the city’s greenery through her small enterprise. Managing a nursery at the MVP rythu bazaar, she reveals that she has been in this line of work for the past ten years.

Her story is unique and leads one to believe that not everything in life goes as per plan. Her husband left her when things did not go desirably. It then fell on to her slender shoulders to look after the welfare of her two daughters. ‘I lost one of my daughters to brain cancer, 18 years ago. She was 18 years old at that time’ she reveals sadly. ‘Thankfully, my second daughter is married and is happy with her husband and two children’. She smiles fondly as she shares that her grandson is now 23 years old and works as a driver at the municipal office, and that her grand-daughter is married as well. And then, when life could have been described as somewhat ‘settled’, the Hudhud cyclone came and took away the little she had. ‘I had to take shelter in the nearby rythu bazaar’ she recalls.

Despite all that, Narayanamma has the uncanny ability to put all negatives behind her. Today, she has no idea about where her husband lives or what he does, and she doesn’t want to think about it. ‘I live with my sister’s family in Yendada at times’ she says, adding that this nursery too belongs to her brother in law. ‘I don’t have a house of my own, so I stay at the nursery itself.’
‘My work keeps me busy all the time and I enjoy tending to the saplings and selling them to customers. I also sell flowers.’ Speaking about her work, she tells us that roses and jasmines are the fastest moving flowering plants. Tulasi and croutons are in good demand too, and when the season comes she also supplies seasonal plants like chrysanthemums, dahlias and petunias. Summer isn’t a good season for her trade, as plants wither in the heat and people go on holidays. With income ranging at an average of Rs.3000/- per month, she says that good sales usually happen during November and December, when the temperatures are relatively lower.

For plant growers, she shares that getting the right sapling during a good season is important. ‘We get saplings from Kolkata. Also, nurturing them with neem powder and rose mixture can help the plant stay infestation free and help the flowers bloom nicely.’ As we end on a happy note to part our ways, we wish that she continues to smile like her flowers and that success blossoms for this brave woman.