Deo Prakash Rai, a Darjeeling lad, came to live with his sister in Kathmandu when he was just 15. He says he never got much education in Darjeeling because of the frequent strikes in the course of the Gorkhaland movement. After arriving in Kathmandu, he started working as an assistant in film sets.
Rai worked in the Nepali film industry for many years before starting a plant and flower business. “I was fond of plants and gardening from an early age,” says the now 50-yearold. “Since I was working in the film industry, I fulfilled my passion for gardening by planting flowers and other plants on the terrace of the house I rented.”
He was also an ace badminton player during his youth and won several national and international trophies. His love, however, has always been gardening. This romance blossomed when he opened Rosedale Nursery at Minbhawan 13 years ago. At his nursery, Rai specializes in exotic flowers and bonsai plants. Some of the bonsai plants in his garden are over 45 years old. They were planted by Rai’s late elder brother in their home garden back in Darjeeling.
Many people have come to him offering high prices for his prized bonsai plants. “But those specific ones are not for sale, no matter how high the offer,” he says.
Besides bonsai, Rai is also interested in growing orchids. He is proud of an award he won for his orchid during a recent flower exhibit. He says he uses Nepal-made compost fertilizers and Dutch technology to take care of the plants and flowers. His cousin Roshan Thulung Rai helps him around in the nursery.