Larger Than Life

Amidst the crowd at the flower market, under the blazing hot sun, right beside his heaps of fresh yellow and orange marigolds, he sat on a wooden stool; waiting for buyers. He seemed to have the brightest flowers and also a well-chosen strategic location that made it easier to spot him.

He arrives to Malik Ghat, everyday at 9am after traveling for 3 hrs; only to begin with 8 more hrs. of toiling. Surrounded by fellow sellers from his hometown, he seemed at home. Sharing a joke with them now and then, he appeared happy and relaxed.

On being asked his name, he moved aside and pointed to the stool. Something was engraved there, his name perhaps? Smiling, he made himself comfortable again. The market that day wasn’t too good, he had comparatively more time in hand. He said, if it was wedding season, the demand would’ve been crazy! Flowers from here are exported to many nearby cities and villages. I sell almost 5 to 6 quintals of flowers per day.

A constant smile on his face made him approachable. I wondered about his dreams, his aspirations and his take on life. Did he wish to pursue an alternate profession or did he enjoy selling flowers? Having spent years doing what he did, his work for him wasn’t anymore a job that he had to do but it had become his way of life! A habit without which life would probably seem incomplete.
His aspirations however, were beyond what one could’ve imagined – He said he wishes to be a personality much more revered than that of the Prime Minister! That amazed me! Later on I realized, it was said with a sense of sarcasm. But the fact remains, this man had dreams larger than life and why not! 🙂

We chit-chatted for sometime and I learnt that he has daughter and that he is also a grandfather to 3 grand kids! After retiring from work, catching up with his family is his solace. I begun to take his leave as I saw a few customers approaching.

It was a wonderful experience to have spent the afternoon at the flower market. For me they’re not just flower sellers, they are much more than that. People with dreams, sometimes dreams that are larger than life! 🙂

You can read all the previous posts covering stories of various hawkers from Kolkata at –

1. Amidst the City of Chaos, His World Exists
2. Belly of Bertram Street
3. Connoisseur of Flavours Around the Corner
4. Dainty Dealers
5. Evening Feast
6. Full of Life at 89!
7. Gleefully at Work
8. Hoichoi of Gariahat
9. Ink of Love
10. Jolly and Jovial at Chowringhee
11. Kolkata’s Answer to Parched Lips

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