Flowers are part of daily lifeNovember 30, 2017 in India
In every hotel we have been, we are welcomed with a thumbprint of red or saffron paste and a flower necklace. Women wear fresh flowers entwined in their hair. Outside every shrine and temple are stalls selling garlands of flowers to be used as offered gifts to the gods. Fresh flowers figure prominently in Indian life.
We walked through a raucous wholesale outdoor flower market in the morning. The peak time for the market is at 4 AM; we are there at 8AM and I can’t even imagine how there could be room for 4 times more people and vehicles here a few hours ago. This is where the street vendors, hotels, and restaurants come to buy their supplies. At this market alone, 6-10 tons of fresh flowers are sold daily. There are piles of red roses, golden chrysanthemum, fragrant white jasmine, and light pink lotus bud lying on blue plastic sheeting for inspection.
The alleys are narrow and muddy as it had been raining overnight. It is noisy and active, each stall deep in haggling between buyers and sellers, while small pick up trucks spilling over with large plastic bags of just-purchased flowers snake through the narrow alleyways making deep mud ruts.
Like almost everything else in India it is sensory overload—sweet fragrance, sucking mud, a saturation of colors, juxtaposed against the backdrop of rotting garbage behind the corrugated metal lean-to.Read more