Monday, August 13, 2012

Feel-good effect of flowers!

Over the weekend, we took Abhay to the historic “Lal Bagh Flower show”, a bi-annual event at Bangalore’s most famous botanical garden, Lal Bagh. It was a trip down memory lane for me as I remember accompanying my parents to the flower show as a little girl. While it is still an annual ritual with my parents, I dropped out quite some time ago, when I grew into a jaded teenager! But I guess somewhere, I have been influenced by those visits as any given day I would prefer fresh flowers to artificial ones at home. A bunch of fresh gladiolas, tube roses, gerberas, and carnations arranged in glass vase not only brightens up your room but can also brighten up your mood! Well, hoping to instill the same taste in my son, we took him inside the glass house which is always the centre piece of the flower show.
But forget the elaborate floral decorations, Abhay felt so overwhelmed by the jostling crowds that he wasn’t even interested in the giant dinosaur made up of over 50,000 roses and instead was constantly whining about wanting to get out! To add all to this, he was being coaxed into posing for the camera at every turn! Finally, we saw him smile as he eyed the hawker selling toy guitars! So….all I can say is…better luck next time!

Whether or not Abhay was enthralled with the flowers at Lalbagh, I wanted to read to him about the positive effect of flowers.  Magnolias” by Malati Shah and illustrated by Amrita Kanther is about a story set in the hill town of Shimla.  Gulab, the gardener climbed up the mountain at sunrise heading towards the old house with gardens all around. He was happy and content toiling all day beneath the shade of the old magnolia tree. When it was time to leave at sunset, he remembered that his wife had asked him to bring her one of the flowers that look like the moon. So he leaves with an enormous bunch of magnolia flowers to share with everyone – one for the horsemen who gave Gulab’s child a free ride, one for a girl named Tsering and her baby Norbu who recently migrated from Tibet, one for Hari Dhabawala, who served him a glass of hot cardamom tea, one for a school girl with ribbons in her hair, one for school boy chasing the sun, one for Santosh aunty who had rescued Gulab as a child, one for the cow herder Lachchami who was following her cattle back home, one for Bilal, the fruit vendor who carried Karshmiri apples on his back; after presenting the whole town with Magnolias, does he have any left for his wife Kusum? For Kusum, he brought a seed from the Magnolia tree that he planted with great care. Soon it was spring and a little magnolia tree sprouted its first leaves. Kusum was delighted and assured her daughter that she would see magnolias by her window when she grows up…..and as she grows up and looks out of the window, she sees the brilliant blossoms of the magnolia tree! Besides the beautiful magnolias, the illustrations of life in a quaint little village on the hillside are a visual treat to the readers. On a side note, this book reminds us that it takes loads of patience and perseverance on one’s part to witness the seeds sown to see the light of the day! This message may be a little too deep for Abhay to understand, but the books on flowers was a feel-good ending to our visit to the flower show!


  1. I also like botanical garden. It's really beautiful, there are many types of flower which I never seen anywhere. True said carnations arranged in glass vase not only brightens up your room but can also brighten up your mood.

  2. I just read what you wrote about my book. Thank you for reading it to a xhild. Perfect!

    1. Sorry for my much belated response. Im humbled by your comment..I love it when the author the books that I read stops by my blog. Thank you. It is indeed a delightful read.