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By Sapna Bhatia. November 2013

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Flowers…what comes to my mind when I think of them?

They are a memory of my childhood. I can still see them spread in the Puja “thaali” (ritual vessel) of my grandmother. In the summer months, I remember making wreaths of the jasmine flower and placing them in various corners in our home. And now every time I smell a “desi ghulab” (Indian rose), I am transported back to my childhood.

For me, flowers are all the shades of happiness in a Takashi Murakami painting.

And, I think, no one can bring glory to falling rose petals compared to Nandini Valli Muthiah in her artwork “asleep”.

It seems that I am not the only one besotted with flowers. Today, the global flower market trade is pegged at 3000 million US dollars. In different cultures across the world, flowers are used for establishing, maintaining, nurturing and even ending relationships. Professor Jack Goody, in his book, ‘The culture of flowers’ writes that the widespread use of flowers is chiefly a manifestation of 'luxury' cultures in hierarchical urban societies. It is more simply expressed by a modern Hong Kong grower: 'the consumption of flowers usually correlates to the economic atmosphere.'

Image of Phool Mandi Print

Perhaps, that is the reason that we found Delhi’s flower market brimming with all kinds of flowers. Thanks to high disposable incomes, Indians not only spend money on regular flowers but are also buying expensive imports.

We were completely enchanted by the colour, smell and stories of Delhi’s “phool mandi”. And it became the theme for our first city inspired collection.

The theme kind of grew on us. We made numerous trips to the flower market. During our research we were introduced to the seasons of flowers. “Rajnigandha (tuberose) smells the best after the rains, the fragrance and beauty of Nargis(daffodils) is un-paralleled but they only visit the flower market for 15-20 days (in the month of November). The highest selling flower is the Indian Marigold and it comes from across India during the festivals.” These were some of the insider tips given to us. So we were sold on the “phool mandi”.

Image of Phool Mandi Print





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