It’s a pet project, quite literally, for Pramodh Chandrashekar. The 20-year-old law student from Christ University recently started an initiative where beloved pets that have passed away are turned into a shrine in the form of a plant. “After my grandmother’s death, I wanted to give everyone something that carries on the memories of their beloved ones not just in their hearts, but in physical form, in reality. That’s when I came up with the idea for this, but it was very hard to pitch it to people. Even my classmates, I’m talking about budding lawyers, were uncomfortable with the idea of their beloved relatives’ presence inside a plant.”
Elaborating about how the seeds for the enterprise were eventually sown, he says, “That’s when a friend suggested that I should do this for pets. The response from the same people was extremely different now. Everyone loved it. That’s when Last Ripple started.”
The idea behind the biodegradable urn is simple. There are three layers. The ashes go into the lowermost, followed by the soil. The ashes and soil are separated with a disk, so that nutrients from the ash are sucked in by the soil. The topmost layer is the sapling. “People have very deep emotional bonds with their animals. The first one we ever did, the pet parent was particular that it had to be a hibiscus flower sapling. The reason was that the pet mother believed that every flower that blooms from the plant would be a gift from her beloved four-legged Nikita. That’s how much it means to people,” says Pramodh.
As of today, there have been 35 such plants created. Pramodh considers each pet shrine a ‘plantation’. Each plantation is different from the other depending on what the pet parent wishes. Some parents take the sapling home, some parents grow more than just one sapling, and some even let the sapling grow in a public place like Cubbon Park.
Hari Balan, who works with corporate marketing, says, “Pixie was with us for 14 years. When she passed away, she took a part of us with her. When we went to cremate her at the BBMP animal crematorium, we met Pramodh. My children were excited about the idea. They named the plant Pixie as well and they looked after it for a while but the loss was so much for me that I went and adopted another dog. But Pixie continues to live on with us this way.”