By Kabeer Yousuf -
A medical doctor in Muscat is all set to bestow the longest, naturally grown snake gourd in his backyard garden, a fillip by seeking an entry into the Limca Book of World Records.
Recently, Dr Renchi Mathew, a Consultant Physician in the capital has been in the limelight ever since his 188-centimetres long snake gourd hit the records of longest in that genus which was later verified by a team of experts sent by a leading hypermarket in the city. Later it was kept on display at their Bausher outlet which pulled a steady stream of crowd.
Popular search engine Wikipedia and some encyclopedias define snake gourd as "Trichosanthes Cucumerina, a tropical or subtropical vine raised for its strikingly long fruit, used as a vegetable, medicine, and a lesser known use, crafting didgeridoos. It can reach up to 150 centimetres long and is popular in the cuisine of south Asia and Southeast Asia. The shoots, tendrils, and leaves are also eaten as greens. "But the snake gourd that we grew in our backyard is 188 cms long", says the elated doctor.
For Dr Renchi Mathew it has all been a part of his life where he breathed farming and vegetation since his childhood rather than just inclining to it as a pastime. Hailing from a reputed land-lord family in Kothamangalam, Kerala, ploughing the land, seedling, and seeing the plant bear fruit, harvesting are not something new in his life, though he never got involved in any sort of farming. And no wonder this medic who can be proud in his MRCPS and FRCP from Glasgow after his MBBS and MD, has interests hovering around soil, greenery and nature.
"I'm in the process of getting the necessary papers done for the world record entry", Mathew told the Observer. "It would take a couple of weeks more to comply with necessary documentation so that I can go ahead with the application for recognition", Mathew, who completed two decades in the Sultanate said.
He doesn’t rule out the saying "behind the success of every man…" adding that his wife Asha, who is also a medical professional, has been there to help and support him whenever needed. "The biggest support that I can render is to let him have more time in the garden and I do that by taking care of more family chores," Asha says.
Bhavya, an engineering student in Kerala, Nikhita and Natasha, both students of ISM, are their daughters.
Dr Renchi Mathew concludes saying "it is all in the land. Oman's biggest advantage is that it is blessed by virgin soil and less pests that attack the seed whereas there are enough flies that help pollination".