Mr. Murugesan, a resident of Serene Kshetra

A walk along the quiet lanes of Serene Kshetra takes you to a house with an extraordinary garden. Look closer and you will realise that the planters in the garden are made of waste materials. Its aesthetically pleasing façade makes it hard to believe that the garden is made with discarded materials such as tyres, water cans and single-use plastic bottles. If you wish to meet the man behind it all, you can find him quietly tending to his plants in the mornings.

Meet Murugesan. An engineer by qualification, he retired as the General Manager at TVS Motor Company after working with them for 43 years. He has lived in Delhi, West Bengal and Rajasthan and has travelled extensively for work, gaining insight into various cultures. Murugesan retired at 70 and moved to Serene Kshetra to pursue a life that he always wanted.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Gardening was his long-time hobby but he started creating art out of waste at Serene Kshetra. “When I replaced my car tyres, I didn’t have the heart to throw the old tyres away. I didn’t want people to burn the tyres and pollute the air. That’s when I thought of making planters with waste.”

He is highly motivated and doesn’t believe in preaching and inspires others with his actions instead. “I once found heaps of garbage being dumped by devotees performing Girivalam (a ritual performed by Siva devotees) around the Arunachala hills. I organised a clean-up drive with the help of the very efficient folks at TVS,” he says. Even today, when he sees garbage on the roadside, he picks it up and disposes it off properly.

Murugesan believes that old age is an opportunity to make the most of life. “After my retirement, we’ve been spending our time productively, pursuing hobbies that we didn’t have time for earlier,” he says. Speaking about the importance of good health, he adds, “I have been exercising for over 20 years now. Even today, I ensure that I stay active and go for brisk walks every morning with my wife. Staying healthy adds life to your years.”

Murugesan dedicates about three hours every day to gardening. He has set up a terrace garden and is currently working on a feed dispenser for hummingbirds. He continues to do his part to save the environment, one planter at a time.

Birthday: 18th May, 1947
Hobby: Watching old films and listening to old songs
Favourite Actor: Clint Eastwood
Pet Peeves: Littering
Favourite Food: Idli with tomato korma

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