A man, a passion and an orchid dream
It is indeed a bouquet of orchids for Vinay M, a resident of Konankunte off Kanakapura Road. And literally too, because he has immersed himself into the diverse family of the renowned flowering plants for the last 18 years...as a passion, as a business and as a research subject.
"Please don't ask my age as I want to remain as young as my flowers," he says.
And what was a passionate start with just one flower in his house is now a collection of more than 400 to 500 different varieties of orchids, with many having at least 40 to 50 colours that includes, red, white, yellow, pink, purple, black, maroon along with mixed colours of yellow and white, pink and yellow to mention a few. "Every orchid goes with a name. For example, we have Spider orchid, Lizard orchid, Dove orchid, Lady slipper, Fox tail, etc. Such names are created because they look like one. Orchids are just not named for the sake of naming. If we don't know the correct species, we send the flower to the Horticulture department, who gives us complete details on the same," he says.
Today, his house is popularly known as Orchid House. "The entire terrace is filled with orchids as well our verandah, hall, kitchen, dining hall, bathroom. Every space in our house is filled with these beautiful flowers. Even our car parking is filled with orchids. We usually don't welcome people, the flowers welcome them," he says.
For this businessman, these flowers was a beginning of a lifelong passion. "Orchids are unique from rest of the flowers. I usually import orchids from various countries. Since I travel a lot on business, I spare at least a few days for orchids. These flowers when imported needs some certification," says Vinay," who runs a printing facility.
What started as a hobby has now become a business. "When I started growing orchids, I had friends who would want to take some home and I used to simply give away. When the demand increased, I converted it into business. Today I sell orchids which range from Rs 75 to Rs 2,500," he says.
Today Vinay who is supported by his wife and my mother along with a few co-workers maintains an impressive regime in maintaining these flowers. "I spend at least two and half days in a week on my orchids. Most of the residential people and corporate houses prefer orchids because it stays intact for 2 to 3 months. This flower doesn't create any garbage waste either," he says.
In addition to cultivating orchids, Vinay also conducts classes for people who are interested to know more about the flower.
"I teach housewives and hobbyists about orchids free of charge. I fix up a time when I get at least four to five people. They either gather at my house or my farm, which is near to my place. I charge those who want me to conduct workshops," he says.
According to Vinay, during his time abroad, he has seen orchids at every house. "I now want to see it happening in India too. Every house should have an orchid," he says.