Oct 21, 2010

Not long ago, there was an article in Yomiuri newspaper which had reported about my university. A day prior to that, the same news too was broadcast on a nationwide tv program.
The news was not about how good the hospital service was, or any recent significant discovery in medical sciences research or how the new hospital building had facilities that would put Malaysia ministry of health to shame. was about something I least expected.

It was about a muskmelon.

Yeah...muskmelon. And quite an inspirational story too.

This image was taken from Yomiuri newspaper

So, you must be thinking how that not so juicy looking, relatively small in size, not perfectly round melon made into the news.

Now, I have to admit this is why I find the Japanese fascinating (but can be irritating sometime)

The story went like this,

The melon was spotted to be growing in between the fine cracks of cemented floor. It was found by a staff who was working at the hospital's food supplier line. Just across the road from the kitchen was a small building, where the organic rubbish from the kitchen was sent to. Yeah, it seemed that the seed had probably escaped from the rubbish bag and dropped onto the floor while being carried from the kitchen to the big rubbish bin. It managed to grow despite the limited supply of nutrition from limited source of soil. Plus the super hot summer this year, people had never thought that the small plant, which happened by a mere coincidence, would grow and what more, bear fruit.

They named the melon 'ど根性メロン’ or 'The gutsy melon'

And since this so called 'phenomenon' happened within a hospital vicinity, the people around had given a fresh translation to this news.

People have been given lots of comments and one of the comments that I personally liked was,

'I am so inspired by this. There is a hope in everything we do. The melon taught us that we should take the chances and ganbaru (work hard). I shall never give up even though I am now diagnosed with cancer. I will think positive about everything from now on. Who knows, miracles like that may happen to me...and that I will survive for many more years to come...' A patient voiced out with hope.

When interviewed the staff who spotted the plant, he said,

'I never thought the plant would survive the hot summer. It was really hot this year. I observed it every day. Water the plants when I was around. Plucked off the new flowers so that this one and only melon would have the chance to grow bigger.'

Hmm... I was quite surprised that the news didn't elaborate much about what this man did. If I were to be interviewed, I would probably mention this equally important gesture and add my own interpretation that may go something like this,

'This also means that, no matter how miracle the story sounds like...we must always remember that, the support from people around us is equally important in achieving the goal. Also, we must remember that God gave us the chance to survive, but the key to success is still you. You will have to work very hard in achieving this.'

You are probably wondering how the melon is doing right now.
Yeah, the busy body me actually went and took a few photographs of the melon the next day after it got famous. It was still there, visible clearly from the road. Anybody could have stolen the fruit if they wanted to. But no, the fruit was given a chance to grow to its full size. It was also crazy to realize that I had been using this same road everyday, cycling to and fro the university and yet, never had I noticed the existence of this melon until it got famous.

A close look at the melon

Tracing the root

Aha! So your stem managed to squeeze out from this crack too!

It was reported in our local news two days later that the melon was harvested. Nothing was mentioned whether they kept it for public view or whether everyone at the hospital got to eat a fraction of this famous melon. Ahh...I am still curious, do you think this melon could have possibly received enough nutrient and tasted sweet?

Ermmm...I guess I will have to talk to the kitchen staff for that piece of information.

The gutsy melon

Any lesson learned?
Melon seems easy to grow. I may try to grow it in my garden when I go back...*wink*


TK said...

Very interesting..cerita melon tu pun bole make headlines ye. Here skrg sebok cerita Siti Balkish dilarikan jin...

Yes, I so agree with you that we also need the support and motivation from people around us in order to succeed.

BTW, I love melons. Here in Terengganu and Kelantan melons are found in abundance everywhere and there are more varieties.There is a type of melon which should be taken with susu cair. My hubby loves it so much. Ive never seen it in Selangor. Tak tau namanya apa.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Nana, really a fascinating story. Just by chance my wife bought 2 at the supermarket as we love them.
I guess some plants will just grow anywhere given the right soil conditions.

What would a melon like this one cost where you are? Here sometimes its 2 for a dollar.
Have a nice day, Lee.

My Putri said...

Hahahaha..comelll...amazing ppl can make stories out of anything ya.. hehehe.
melons are my favret too...

Nana said...

Hi TK!'s always nice to get support from people around us kan. You'll feel more confident and energetic with more supports.
I love melons too. In Malaysia, honey dew is more common. And the price is relatively cheap in Malaysia. Bila2 nak makan, beli jer kan. Kat sini, hmm...the price of musk melon can be quite expensive. know, the price we see in supermarkets is around RM 150 for one! Believe it or not, the ones for gift (like fruit basket in Malaysia...), just one melon may cost about RM300~400. Ridiculous right? But, the taste is heavenly. The sweetest fruit I have ever tasted!

Nana said...

Hi Lee!
We love melons too. Especially my son. He won't stop eating when we serve it. But we cannot have it too often. The price is ridiculous. It's about ¥3000 (RM150) for one! And a 'branded' melon can go as high as ¥10000 (RM350~400).
Wow, you can get two melons for a dollar! That's very cheap! I guess, in Japan, everything else is expensive except for the electrical stuff like cameras. hahaha

Nana said...

Thanks for coming My Putri.
It's amazing right! We see it quite often in Japan. Japanese people are quite inquisitive in nature. When they are given tasks, they really do it thoroughly and we can tell that they really used their brains. No wonder they are so advanced in everything!

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