Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Floral Escapade:Colours, Scents and Smiles

Before sunrise when the streak of light hits the grave, dark skies, Dadar flower market is abuzz with the cacophony of flower vendors, customers, trucks and taxis. Dadar flower market is Mumbai’s largest and cheapest wholesale flower market which comes alive at 4 in the morning. Truckloads of flowers are emptied every day which come from Satara, Sangli, Nagpur and various parts of Maharashtra. As soon as one proceeds towards Dadar west in the early hours of dawn, the fragrance of fresh, sweet-smelling flowers fills ones nostrils and the eyes are captivated by the beauty of a multitude of colours.

Majority of flowers are available at the Dadar flower market which include roses of every kind, lotus, marigolds, champa, jasmine, orchids, chrysanthemums, gladioli, asters, lilies, gardenias, gerberas, carnations and many more. In addition to this there are delicate and beautifully hand-made gajras made from mogra, crossandra and jasmine. Garlands are another fascination of this floral paradise and make for a highly profitable business. Flowers from here are picked and transported in plenty all over the city to prominent florists as well as those with small businesses purchase their share from the market. It is extremely difficult to walk without dashing against someone and it’s impossible to save your feet from landing into muck.

The street is crammed with vendors who are bidding at the top of their voices in interesting ways in order to attract attention to them. It’s usually the loudest and cheapest selling vendor who triumphs in this challenge. The florists display amazing skill and within seconds make bouquets selecting the perfect combination of flowers, ribbons, glitters and other decorative substances. One can buy a bunch of flowers at nearly half the price as compared to anywhere else in the city. A basketful of marigolds can be bought as less as Rs. 20 and a bunch of roses at Rs. 10.

It is not just the flowers that are captivating about this place. The simple attitude, beaming faces and polite nature of the ladies and gentlemen selling flowers add a beauty to this place that cannot be taken away. The little boy with the basket, the shy lady weaving gajras, the youngster making the bouquet and the old man requesting and calling out to come, see and purchase his garlands and a couple of flowers etch pleasant moments in one’s mind. The atmosphere makes one happy and it is one place to come if one wishes to break the monotony of an early morning in Mumbai. For once abandon the honking train and the jammed compartments, immerse in the delightful aura of the Dadar flower market.

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