The present part of my residence was once a part of my grandma’s house, and just like my generous grandma, the gardens were spacious and inclusive, along with the variety of fruits and flowers there was always enough space for the wild to grow.

As a seven-year-old, my first encounter of the castor plant was closely observing the spikes, trying to touch and feel how the thorny surface is, and was relieved to find the thorns were blunt and rubbery , then I would pluck some of them and sit with them imagining how oil is extracted out of the seeds, (Castor Oil) a popular oilseed in the kitchen ,very common, also used as a laxative for those suffering from constipation.

Castor Plant growing in our backyard.


The dry castor would hold several seeds within, and I would be busy in collection of these seeds in a box, which I called my “treasure box” and would always carry along with me, while playing with my plant friends.

Calotropis gigantea, captured this in my backyard 6 September 2023

The Calotropis plant were found in abundance in a remote corner of my grandma’s garden, and we were told it was the forbidden area to venture in, and thus was frequently visited. It will be usually around peak of afternoon, I would spend time observing these plants and wondering about the poison story told to me by grandma every day before sleep .

The story was from a real-life incident, about a thief who broke in one night in my grandma’s house through the forbidden area and while on his return lost his vision, because he had touched the flowers and the poison turned him blind.

I would everyday imagine the thief and his instant punishment, yet with all the thrills and chills stayed glued observing the flowers, empathizing with the thief with a firm resolve that one day I would assist him get back his vision.

This plant is known in India as “Aag Ka Phool” loosely, translated as Fire Flowers.

Every summer a tall thin man, must be in his 30’s would visit my grandma’s orchard, from her would buy the pipal leaves, these fire flowers and lot of castor seeds, perhaps he was a healer or someone with expertise in herbal medicine.

I would greatly admire this man, and with an unending curiosity would imagine the process through which a flower, a seed or a leaf, would heal?

What did it consist of? and how would the flower, seed or leaf know where it hurts inside and they exactly go there and heal, were some of the questions I kept pondering about, and would resolve to be a healer like him once I fully understand the way healing works?

Present day today, after fifteen years of corporate contributions, followed by a seven years of life coaching, therapy and counting, I realized I’ve come a long way in being a healer, with all due respect and humility, I’ve become a healer of minds, helping people become resilient by learning the best ways to deal with hardships of life.

Yet, still in search of the thief, I could help and heal 😉

(c) Mehnaz Amjad – 2017 -2023

The blog post series on – Little Joys of lifein this space, I am bringing you stories and experiences from my life to share the unique source of happiness that resides within each one of us. Let’s explore these “Little Joys of Life” and find joy within!

About the Author Mehnaz Amjad, is a Life Coach and a Cognitive Behavior Therapist,

I’m on a mission to empower people with strategies and tools, they need to cope with difficult times & navigate through challenging circumstances.

If you are in search of support to help you, find a way out of your challenges, click to connect

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