The 24 ways !

Flowers fascinate. The whorls. The colour. The splendour of the bloom. The fragrance for the bee. The soothing for the eye. The subject for poets. As symbols of love. Sorrow. Happiness. And so on.

For my part, i have always loved flowers. And plants as well. As earlier stated, the Madurai Malli has been a personal favourite.

Many a picture has been clicked from my camera. Many an incomplete poem resides : half in paper, half in my mind. A few posts have also found their way on to this blog !
Today, i was in an institution where i spotted this.

And of course, wondered, if i can ever continue to do all what i do. Read that carefully. There are twenty-four items that the reader is asked not to do. This left me staring in open mouthed awe.

If you really wanted to do something bad to a flower or a plant, you could. Couldn’t you ! But, in 24 different ways ! Phew !

I wonder if all of this was thought through and made at one go. Or one statement over a period of time, has expanded to become as all-encompassing as possible !

And that includes ‘borrow, break, pinch..’ etc. The essence however resides in the last line. Which states ‘touch’ ! But wait a minute. How can you borrow, break, pinch, endanger, mutilate etc…without touching ?


Did they get to see my snaps ? Or worse, did they read my poems ? Did someone complain ? Or are there many like me ?

And i thought, the only thing that you could do with a flower was to let it be ! Ssshhh..! Dont say that aloud. Twenty five ways’ has a nice ring to it.

Twenty four ways are scary enough !

Of flowers. Noise. Colour. Fragrance.

And as we sit in Bryant Park in Kodaikanal, the spectrum of colours that stand on green plants are just mind boggling. Theres this endless stream of red and yellow. And then, as we walk a small distance, there is a blue, violet, white mosaic.

I pause to click a few snaps. And in the lens appears what appears to be a Cartoon character. I look away from the camera to admire nature’s fine dance. Many more images seep through the lens’ to the hard disk.

Just then, a bystander says ‘if only these flowers had as much of fragrance like the Jasmine..’ and i seem to agree. Of course, why don’t these flowers have some of that hauntingly waffling fragrance of Jasmine. I think. (of course i love jasmine)

We move on.

In some time we walk to ‘see’ Jasmine meandering by. Peeking from a basket that a vendor carries. And by the time we reach the car, the driver has adorned the rear view mirror too. And the aroma fills the car. The question returns. And i wish there was some more colour !

A few days from then, we reach Madurai. And folks at home wear flowers. And this question of colour remains. Dormant. You don’t speak it.(of course not). Ah ! But the mind resonates with ‘If only there was some more colour to the flower…!

The next morning, i am on my morning jog. At the Corporation Park. They have many signboards. And here is one that i pause to read. ” Every flower has its own beauty, you cannot compare two flowers…. ” And after reading those two lines, i stop. To read the full signboard.

Of course ! Of course ! The Jasmine regains its unparalleled height in my mind. And so do the colourful tapestry of flowers from Bryant Park. Each reigning in boundary less kingdoms.

I laugh. Suddenly i feel handsome. Powerful. Light. Simple. A thousand life events zip by in those intervening second. Even ‘Kavis Musings’ with all its faults seems OK !

I quickly re-pass the resolution that i slip out of. Often. ‘Do whats to be done. And leave out the rest’

And so, i jog on. And as another man sprints by, i tell myself ‘Yes leave the rest out. The rest of it is noise’.

Madurai Malli !

clicked outside Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Ok. All those wonderful ladies who asked me to post pictures from Madurai, this post is especially for you !! It would be a error of judgment if i put in four -five posts on Madurai and didn’t get the flowers in ! Madurai Malli ( Malli = Jasmine )

Yes. The legendary Jasmine flowers from Madurai are world famous. I would give two hoots and a half to ‘world famous’. I would give the world to the wonderful and distinct aroma that the Madurai Jasmine permeates.

clicked outside Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

My dad published a book on flower marketing. That was downright confusing. Flowers meant those white nice smelling thing in baskets, and endless bargaining over a few paise!

Of course, there was a wonderful aroma in the air when the flowers were around…but a book was way too much ! Years later, i realised that Jasmine exported world over from Madurai is quite something indeed.

The flowers that you see in Madurai are so neatly knit and so tightly knit too. There just is no space in between two flowers ! Such a contrast from many other parts of the country where there is so much space between two flowers, that if it were a border between India and Pakistan, we would be at war with each other every day !

clicked outside Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

Wearing flowers on a daily basis is a very daily thing for women in Tamil heartland ! In certain parts of India, i am told that this is not the practice. But hey, numerous tamil films have indoctrinated in us that to demonstrate love, you give your lady love :Jasmine flowers. Roses were very western !

clicked at a wedding in Madurai
And ah, the very many patterns & designs that such flowers take on the head, that indeed is something! That’s supposed to leave an impact on the eye, after the nose was taken in by the aroma !

For some reason, this post reads like a documentary ! I have scratched my head enough. But today, thinking of the Jasmine aroma… my mind doesn’t work. The fingers seem to have glue coursing in them. So, i leave it that !

Phew ! What a disgrace. To documentaries ! And of course to flowers !