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A Blooming Blog

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by twinsmom, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    There is a saying in Tamil- 'Kada thengaya eduthu Vazhi pullayaarukku odakkaradu.' The effect of the adage may get lost in translation....but the nearest I can get to in Queen's English is 'To rob Paul to pay Peter'...
    In Bhadravathi, it is an art in itself. Here unseen hands don't think twice about pilfering what doesn't belong to them. Pedestrians make an art of picking flowers as they walk past houses with shrubs laden with flowers.

    The place is still inhabited by people who adorn their hair with flowers (another vanishing species)... and those regularly going to temple every morning...

    But jasmine which is common in Tamil Nadu, is rarer in these parts. They are nurtured in select homes. generally jasmine is 'imported' from other states and is rather expensive...We have a poor country cousin called 'Kakada' which looks similar to jasmine but lacks its fragrance, the haunting lingering smell. Also'kanakambaram' is very scarce ... the commoner here is a purple one called 'spatika'...what we used to call December flower. I used to enjoy the combination of jasmine, margam and kanakaambaram... which looks and smells divine...

    Wearing flowers used to be passion in my salad days... the long hair I used to tote those days complemented the beauty of the flowers. Today, with a shoulder length hair styled and maintained for sheer convenience, my 'flower tucking' days are passe.
    I get side tracked... As I was saying, flowers are an integral part of South Indian existence.

    Growing flowering shrubs is mandatory in most homes as flowers are offered during morning prayers to all the family dieties. So generally compounds would have varieties of hibiscus, parijatha, mandaara, chrysanthemum, bell flowers and any other variety that is considered worthy of being offered to God.

    Other than these, there are Musanda, Ixoras, bougainvilles and marigolds...
    When my in laws were in Bokaro, they had a fantastic garden with wide varieties of roses and colourful patches of seasonals fringing their lawn. She used to have asters, chrysanthemums, cosmos, phlox, dahlias, petunias, zinnias and lilies winning them prizes, every year! Now, in Bhadravathi, they has stopped maintaining flowering shrubs as pilferers are aplenty. After many rose shrubs vanished even without traces of their roots... they have stopped caring. Now the compound has only the flowers which are used for puja.

    But we have a tough time warding off pilferers. Like I said in the beginning, robbing Peter to pay Paul is an art perfected by some locals here. There are those early marauders who creep along the compound wall before day break and pluck all the flowers off...for their homes. Then there are the 'morning worshippers' who, on their way to the nearby temple, religiously (pardon the pun) help themselves to flowers which they offer to God... in the hope that Gods don't know the source from where these offerings came! Then there are those futuristic ones... They pluck the buds off the shrubs in the evenings and at dusk, so that they can force it to blossom in a dish of water for the next day! In fact, a particular rich man in the area had a habit of stealing flowers on his way to the tempe and his argument was that the offering of stolen flowers is more sacred than the flowers bought with one's money! Fine logic for justifying his crime!

    I should not say it is an affliction in Bhadravathi only. In my childhood, in Trichur, we used to get gutsy flower thieves...who would scale the high walls around the house to pluck flowers. My grandma used to console herself saying, anyway, my 'Thiruvambadi Krishnan' will get it... So what if I don't get to offer it to him! But the very thought of someone stealing it used to get our goats. Yet, we as children never thought twice while throwing stones at mangoes in the neighbour's compound!

    Many a battle of words are waged on these flowers. The rage of the house owner who waters and maintains his garden is understandable, I suppose. There is some kind of justification for stealing... say by a poor man. But to steal flowers and even full flowering plants is a crime unpardonable! But the saga continues here... Culprits once caught, exonerate themselves by helping catch other thieves....and vindicate themselves... I know it is incurable... it is bloomin' kleptomania...!
     
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  2. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Twinsmom
    Again a winner. your wonderful writing style transported me to those days too when i had longer hair and could handle the beautiful flowers. mmmmm... thanks so much for writing and sharing your memorable thoughts in your incredible style. I dont know if you answered my question is anyone from Chittoor (kerala) from your side of family as my father is from there and i have spent many summers there too.
     
  3. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    dear viju,
    this is a common sight even in bangalore, they always carry a plastic bag along in the pocket on their way back have all the seasonal flowers in them for the puja as u say, but when young, my uncle had green fingers, and we had 4 varieties of roses, edward, scented ones in pink and red, light pink and so on, we had jasmines,and shoe flowers in plenty. now the jasmine has to be shared and i had two more sisters with me so seeni perippa would say two days a week manni gets it or even 3 days because i take care, but i was too fond of jasmine, so used to go in the night and with slow observation the white bloomed ones will vanish and there used to be a mahabharatha,then he frightened us with green snakes there in the jasmine shrub.

    at that age i could face even a snake for flowers..it was my airforce mama who purchased flowers for me, in those days it was 8 moZham for 4 annas now to get at least one rupee worth and have it on my hair, i used to roam around like keerai kari, one for my friend described, that put a block in my mind and from then onwards my stringing of flowers came down a lot, why even now, i cut my hair because of the longing for jasmine, if i dont cut may be i would do all sorts of stuff for the flowers, so i put my own ban on me...thanks for taking me back to those days of mallipoo...sunkan
     
  4. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi twimsmom,

    My dad had to raze down a beautiful garden in our house after the two tenants had their wars....now there is no garden there...

    I have started a small container one on the terrace in my flat....these pilferers just pluck them in the bud stage... if it is roses...not even giving me the pleasure of sseeing them bloomed and others also....:evil::evil:..my daughter is thinking on having a cam installed...to see who did it...:-(
     
  5. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hi guys,
    I remember once when I was newly married, I had this close North Indian friend, to whom I told, it is my craze to put one or two mozham of jasmine flower on my hair and she told me....in the north, only women of disrepute wear jasmine on their hair! I was appalled... what regional difference...eh?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  6. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    In bahrain,When i picked up a gajra from the roadside person who was selling, my friend shouted at me...only those girls..and those men buy it...those meaning ....
    You know what bahrain is famous for!!!:bangcomp:
     
  7. krish22

    krish22 Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Twinsmom,

    I felt very good after reading your post as it taken me back to my childhood days.Jasmines means spring/summer when we used to apend all holidays rather jollydays in my grandparents house who used to live in railway quarters which had plenty of space for the gardens.At that time roses have special preference and treated like children.Because of flower pickers we used to keep all rose pots inside the house at nights and outside at daytime.And trees like
    badam and pomegranate ,guavas and sapotas are rescued by my grand mother all the afternoons without her nap .Because afternoons are the highly dangerous times for friuts.She wants to savw those friuts for us.And besides this there were curryleaves and some beans creepers also.And all these were spread frontside n backside of the house .My grandmother used to run front n back to keep sn eye on everything.It was me who used to accompany her all the noon while rest were taking their nap.Those were the days I should say.


    Krish.
     
  8. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    hello viju


    bhadravathi
    bokaro
    or trissur
    get me a garden for stay
    will you...
    mm the flowers that you mention
    will sure make a thief of me..!
    sure as someone said here
    the afternoons are apt times
    for missing flowers fruits or whatever...!
    now viju
    you should observe something...
    whenever they put up a sign...........
    (and we dont in households
    so they are free...!)
    they say
    dont pluck the flowers
    did somebody say
    dont take away the plants..?
    haha...
    i too have problem with people visiting
    they have their ways of uprooting
    small flowering plants..
    and they smile..just took one for my garden
    eh he

    sathya
     
  9. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hey Sathya,
    You have a wonderful knack for self expression, yaar.... Enjoyed that!
     
  10. twinsmom

    twinsmom Silver IL'ite

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    Hi Krish,

    Nice memories of Grnadma's house... I can imagine her running around to save her trees and plants from pilferers' hands... It is the same scene at home...


    Hi Shanvy,
    Hahahaha Gajra memories...!
     

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