Monday, July 6, 2009

Elpehantine garlands, only from Tamil Nadu

My husband and I got married here Matunga). Apart from the register marriage (where the registrar HAD to be given a box of sweets:) we had several ceremonies, simple, often just the two of us and two stragglers, either family or friends... because we were Muslim and Hindu. I was cooking for the friends and families, so it was not a wedding in the usual fairy tale fashion -- but it felt right:)

Any case, we bought garlands hereabouts I remember, at Matunga's flower stalls. Those were small garlands unlike the usual big, elephantine ones that are on sale here... Tamils, it seems, like their women, and their garlands, big!

I remember in Tamil Nadu, my father, a government official, would often be felicitated at speechifying functions with these enormous garlands. For days the house would reek of mogra,jasmine, roses, and the intoxicating lilies. We little girls used to try to retrieve some of those golden threads, complete flowers ... but that was always an effort. It bothered me that so many flowers could be cut off for a momentary felicitation where the man, burdened by the garland, would keep it aside, not to look at it again. We human beings.
But at least at Matunga the garlands are being made for god. And for marrying couples.
For couples, somehow, that makes sense... some moments to be remembered in a flush of floral bouquet... moments that reek of jasmine, roses and sticky sweet lilies whose fragrance lasts and lasts...
But that day, this year, last month Matunga's flower stalls were smelling of roses. Hey, if there is a floral association to be made that with Tamil Nadu, then it has to be jasmine. That way Matunga has changed -- from mogra to roses:(

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