Maati Maati Main, Maati Maati Tu
Mati kaaya hai tan, mati hai harshu
Made of Soil, Made from Soil – The bond between two creations of nature, the flowers and their sellers sing a song of life and vibrancy at one of India’s largest flower market.
As vibrant and vivacious as their flowers, the dainty flower dealers of Mullick Ghat are full of life and have many inspiring stories to narrate. What is known as one of India’s and perhaps also Asia’s largest flower market, Mullick Ghat is a workplace for more than 2,000 flower sellers.
As I searched Google to learn about Mullick Ghat, a number of results were generated featuring articles, blogs and travel sites that talked about the market. The market with a History of 130 years has lots to say! I wondered what would be a day like in the lives of the hawkers who are an integral part of the market.
Something about Subhasini made me want to know more about her. The warm smile combined with a vibe of confidence she was the first seller I spoke with. Subhasini wakes up in the wee hours of the night to prepare for the day and travels daily for almost three hours to reach Mullick Ghat. Dainty yes, but she is also fierce, fierce in her endeavors.
Her friendly demeanor made the chat an easy breeze. She showed me her beautiful garlands of ‘Akundo phool’ The fresh flowers were her source of livelihood and a source of joy. Occasionally spraying water on the tender buds and leaves, she ensured that her flowers were always fresh.
Apart from being a flower seller, Subhasini plays several other roles of which her favourite is that of being a loving mother to her sons. Slightly disappointed with a rather dull market that day, she anxiously waited for customers to buy her garlands.
On the positive note, she had some time in hand to chat with me.
I asked – ‘What do these flowers mean to you?’ She reflected on the question for a while and then didn’t reply but I could picture her to almost nonchalantly say –
‘I am because the flowers are, the flowers are because I am’
Working along side her pal, Subhasini believed in a life of discipline and values, a life of diligence and dedication to her every big and small purposes.
The bazaar that brims with inspiration has a lot on offer. While the riot of colours is a treat to the eyes, it is the people here who’s vibrancy is almost contagious.
The air was filled with fragrances of bright orange and yellow marigolds and that of blooming red roses. Varieties of flowers were on display and a lot of stories were yet to unfold. There’s more to this, more stories of surprise and to do justice, one blog does not suffice!
I guess I might need to have a separate series to cover the stories of Mullick Ghat! 😉
This blog is a part of the BlogchatterA2Z series and my theme for this time is Hawkers of Kolkata. You can read the theme reveal post here.