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Brinjal plant enters Guinness Book

Brinjal Plant A creative horticulturist, Abdul Masfoor, has grown a unique brinjal plant that is on the the way to the high neavens. As it stands now, it is 20 feet tall. The plant recently jockeyed Masfoor into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The brinjal plant, with three different varieties growing on it, was 18.1 feet when Guinness authorities recognised it as the tallest in its category. the plant continues to grow. Masfoor says it will go up to 25 feet.

Normally, brinjal plants don't grow exceptionally tall. Neither do they last long. But Masfoor concocted a unique combination of fertilisers to tend the plant. More importantly, he used the stem of wild brinjal (solenacia), available in plenty in the nearby Nagarhole forest. The result: A marvel that has kept growing since it was planted two yeaars back.

Thirtyfour years in the government's Horticultural Department has not curbed Masfoor's enthusiasm to play God. A couple of years back, masfoor had grown a unique three-in-one plant - two varieties of Brinjal and one of tomato on a single stem.

But, Masfoor decided to go in for "greater" deeds. The brinjal plant is a consequence. "The idea was not just to enter the record books but to make it available extensively," he said. The plant has yielded at least 80 kilos of brinjal.

Initially, four varieties of brinjal grew on the plant. Three were local Mysore varieties while one was a hybrid. Since the hybrid variety was heavy and endangered the growth of the plant, it was cut off.

Any moves to patent the method? Masfoor is least interested. "I have done it for humanity. Let everybody enjoy the fruits. Why should I place any restrictions," he says, totally unaffected by the current craze to patent any innovation. The tall plant can even be cultivated in household kitchen gardens, he says. Masfoor is probably over-optimistic. For, the plant requires extraordinary care for such a growth.

The two sons and daughter of the horticulturist along with the wife keep an eye on the plant almost round the clock, that is, until nightfall when the dog Caesar takes over. "Caesar made sure that no rodents came anywhere near the plant, and he would frighten away cockroaches and caterpillars,"says Fayaz, the younger son.

Speaking about his future plans, he says, "After my retirement in four years, I have plans to break fresh ground in horticulture."

Among other things, Masfoor has thought up a way to grow lime the whole year. At present, it is seasonal and needs plenty of rain. Masfoor is confident that he will develop an evergreen variety.

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