Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Every Sunday morning fresh fruits and vegetables arrive from the villages and are then sold on the roadside in the area where we live. I'm just assuming here that they arrive from the villages because I’ve never seen them actually arriving, all I know is that when I go down in the mornings they’re already spread out by the vendors on the roadside, kind of like the Mizoram Saturday morning markets. You get fresh and dried fishes too. Each vendor has a regular spot, and the faces have become familiar, I’ve been going there for almost a year now. The guy who sells me potatoes always asks where I was if I missed a Sunday or two. The lime-soda guy always puts less salt for me. The dried fish vendor always asks me to buy some although I never did, not that I don’t like dried fish, I do, immensely, I just don’t buy them. The young man who sells fruits is always ready with a smile. You see, I know them quite well.

Last Sunday I went down a bit earlier than usual, I think it was around 9. What I usually do is, I’d go until the end and start my shopping from there until I eventually reach our doorstep. So off I went, and hadn’t bought much when I saw these roses, beautiful roses in different shades of red, pink, orange, and some yellows and some whites, being sold by the man who usually deals in fruits. There was quite a crowd of housewives around him, and his assistant was shouting at the top of his voice “Five roses for ten rupees.” Ten rupees is quite a popular scale in this market. I thought, “Two rupees per rose, now that is cheap!”and fought my way through the fat women and soon found myself at the front row. Five minutes later I had with me a bunch of yellow and white roses, and I continued with my shopping.

When I reached home I discovered we didn’t have any flower vases so I cut an empty mineral water bottle in half and arranged the roses as best as I could. Next came the problem of where to keep my arrangement. All the tables were covered with bags and newspapers and books and chargers and earphones and drawing sheets and magazines and crayons and coloured pencils and T-squares and all sorts of scales. So I put the “vase” on top of the medicine box on top of the fridge. It gave the house a happy summery feel to it, and I gave myself a pat on the back for having bought the roses.

A few hours later, I found that most of the heads were bent down, as if they’ve had their last meal and were now waiting for the executioner’s axe to fall. It was then that I realized that the roses were way too close to the ceiling fan, making them bow their heads in submission. I straightened them, and looked for another place to keep the vase. The only horizontal surface that was free from clutter was the computer table, so I put my arrangement there.

Sunday went by in a flash, and on Monday morning I thought I’d change the water to keep my roses fresh. But to my horror I found they were almost dried up, and the water had gone down almost to the bottom of the bottle. I took them all out, tied them up with an old shoelace and hung them upside down on the kitchen wall. After a few days when they are completely dried I will take them down and paint them and I will have beautiful dried flowers, but will not have a place to keep them.


  1. Roses, memories a kaitho e, lolz. Pakhat cheng hnih a lei chu a man a tlawm khop mai, min lo lei kep ve tawh dawn a nia. Aizawl ah chuan 1 Rs.10-20 te a ni tlangpui. A buds hi 1 Rs.5 inlei tur te chu awm ve a.

    Mineral water bottle a awm kha a duhlo a niang :). ROses

    I think you should googled a topic "how to preserve roses for longer time" a vawn that deuh dan a awm mai thei :). Ros

  2. Roses at 2 bucks apiece is definitely a steal. I agree flowers around the house lend a gracious look and feel but I'm hopeless at flower arranging. My sis is quite an expert though and she told me once that it helps popping in a couple of painkillers into the vase of water. Apparently it helps the flowers to deal with the pain of being cut and stay fresh a little longer.

    One thing you can do with dried flowers is pick off the petals and display them in a little wicker basket or glass bowl. They make a very pretty decoration piece.

  3. Vana - Aizawl te chu engkim a to alawm. Ka lo lei kep toh ang che next time. Mineral water bottle a duh loh chuan Pepsi/coke/maaza bur ruak a ni leh tlawng mai.

    J - I can arrange it quite nicely, provided I have the material. It's so hot out here I don't think a painkiller would've helped. And the glass bowl thingy sounds good.

  4. Ka comment khi a break nas luttuk, Aduh im sorry, ka hmanhmawh ltk a, kan inpuang ange- office atranga ka comment a nia, inthlahrung taka hmahmawh taka ziak.

  5. Actually its not that cheap always...

    You managed to pick up the right time when it was cheap. Similarly, even vegetables are extremely cheap in Delhi when you go in the night right before they close.

    An advice to all men: Never get down from an auto dressed up for a date and buy a rose from the roadsidewalla. Those guys are smart and will charge you exuberant prices as soon as they observe all that, because they know you're in a rush and you HAVE to buy the flowers and being a guy, you're most likely to buy there itself instead looking somewhere else for a cheaper version.

    Always buy your roses one day in advance dressed shabbily and while walking on the pavement.

  6. Women and the art of flower arrangement. Kohhran hmeichhe ho kehdarhna chhan pakhat pawh hi pangpar rem chungchang ah hian lawm.

  7. vana - no worries, a chhiar theih tho e.

    Kima - Yes I was quite lucky to get it that cheap, its not everyday that you buy roses 2 bucks apiece.

    A helpful tip you gave there to the male species about the proper rose buying attire, I'm sure your fellow men will be most grateful.

    Mosa- Nia kohhran hmeichhe ho hi pangpar khawi nalhah hian an inel tak tak asin.

  8. Cut-out water bottle makes a good improvised vase...done that

    @illusionaire- u seem to have really mastered the art of silent bargainging...think i'l try that next maybe 3 years from now

  9. illu, "exuberant prices" or exorbitant prices?

  10. Ah, roses! They do do something to your heart, don't they? Such a pity they fade so fast. On the rare occasions that i buy them - no one gives me - i have to buy myself - i put them in empty ketchup bottles that i save for the purpose. Btw, i think it wrong to put flowers in pretty vases.

  11. Opa – Yeah beggars can’t be choosers, right? Anyways even if I had put my roses in some fancy vase they would have withered just the same, so the mineral water bottle was the perfect thing. And I don’t have a fancy vase for that matter.

    J – lol, maybe roses are naturally happy 

    mesjay – we are in the same boat here – nobody buys me roses so I buy them myself!! And they are such a joy to look at, quite an uplifting bunch indeed. Yeah it’s a pity they fade so fast, but if they were everlasting will we still appreciate them?