Sunday, April 13, 2008

Mullickghat flower market, I join you here to pick up the broken pieces...

















































































































































To day I am here to share the tragedy of Mullickghat Flower Market.
http://www.humanflowerproject.com/index.php/weblog/marigolds_of_mullickghat/

This amazing flower market was almost burnt to ashes on the night of 11th April 2008.
http://www.humanflowerproject.com/index.php/weblog/comments/mullickghat_flower_market_burns/

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080412/jsp/frontpage/story_9129093.jsp

This is one particular place where I love to visit whenever I find my self down in spirit.

I was first taken to this market by a close friend, to purchase some flowers to decorate the church for our son's marriage, Febuary. 2004.

After two years when I first learnt how to use the camera , I took my husband with me to visit this flower market : 30 July 2006.
We were so amazed by the market scene, especially me, like a child finding a new ground to explore.I went on clicking my handycam... when we came home, I found I had taken more than a thousand photographs in Mullickghat that day!!...

Yes, the market looks so old and broken... but the basic human feeling for supporting each other to survive through flowers is very much in this market, and it makes one feel so fresh and ageless.

It's a very, very crowded place, yet you'll neither find your pokect being pinched nor you being cheated or mugged.
They keep their cool when they find a transport vehicle breaking down in the midst of their stalls, patiently they will hope the mechanic repairs the truck fast...

When they saw me with great enthusiasm with my camera, they would smile for me and even offer me a flower!!

At one point of time, it started drizzling... and I lost sight of my husband in this sea of human..I, being so small and tiny, it was not possible for me to locate him or he to see me, though I tried to stretch my neck as long as I could... I must have looked very helpless, therefore, one flower seller offered me his stool and allowed me to stand on it to locate my husband!!
I had added 3 ft. to my 5ft. height, that had enabled me to be tall enough for my husband to see me!!

In the meantime, I was getting so much encouragement from my dear friend Julie Ardery
I learnt so many things that I had never bothered to learn, be it flowers, custome, or human behaviour....

And Mullickghat has become a healing touch for me ever since...
I love to see the madness with which the flowers are being valued by the sellers, growers and the buyers.
I try to get drunk with the perfume from the flowers that's floating in the market air.
Each season has its special scent, during winter the marigolds smell so sweet, that it makes you turn your head to search for the flowers.
I guess that's exactly how this sweet smell works on the insects to locate the flowers.
Once in a while I'd peep through the shoulders of the humans to get the beautiful sight of the faithful Hoogly with its beautiful Howrah Bridge..

This place is like a complete community living in hormony.
With the tea makers offering a good cup of tea in a small terracota cup; the locally made ice cream/lemonade to cool oneself in the summer heat; the coconut flesh to quell the rumbling tummy ; the sweet water melon to refresh the dry throat; the blacksmith to sharpen the knife in his cycle stone grinder...
This is the only place where one never hears of anyone complaining of the summer heat!
In fact, it is the most eco- friendly place ...

If one can afford, there will be a small table fan near his stall, or else, a palm/plastic fan is good enough to keep oneself cool...
who needs the air conditioners?
The gods/goddesses never ask flowers that need to be kept in the air coditioner!

Only the exotic flowers sellers need an air condition stall..
but then when it is too comfortable, the owner goes off to sleep!!!

For cold storage?
There are men who sell ice in plastic bags, and this packet of ice can be kept amidst the flowers to prevent them from wilting in the summer heat!!

Who says we need a modern building for the flowers?
We do not need to become multi- millionaire through flowers...
we need only the faithful devotees to come and collect the right flowers for the right gods/goddesses... The way Mullickghat has been doing for the last 125 years....
Dirty? But they are only waste from the flowers... it's organic dirt... why not turn around and look at the river bank and see the dirt that has been ignored!!

But then, the mystery fire did take place on this weekend...

Every one was speechless....
I was speechless too.. I went and visited all the familiar faces....Yes, there is sadness in the eyes..there is the smell of burnt wood in the air but the devotees still have the faith; the sweet smells of the flowers make them know the gods/goddesses will bless them ever more nevertherless...

I came back home feeling stronger, and I believe Mullickghat will rise again like the phoenix- come alive from the ashes again and again...

There will be a modern facilities for the flower market in Mullickghat very soon, but the people will continuously selling the flowers abundantly in the same old fashion to please the gods/ goddesses . For that's the only way they know.

I know Mullickghat will be my healing touch once again, I will pick up my own broken pieces within me as the way the humans in Mullickghat are doing now!




(The first 7 pictures - Mullickghat after the fire.
The remaining pictures - taken during my earlier tirps to the market)

2 comments:

theysaywordscanbleed said...

that's a heartbreaking scene...

Arlene,
Lakewood florist

glaucoulcigrai@virgilio.it said...

... is there a flower for me, Sandy Ao?
Ciao Glauco