NAMASTE!

Scent of a Market

The flower market was a recommendation that came in by chance. This occurred when I was crammed in the stall with Banana Ammachi. The very sprightly woman looked at Riya and I saying that we easily look like sisters and she carried on to say how her daughter in law is also a Malyali. Discerning Tamil isn’t easy but she kept on asking, “Do you want jasmines?” I did not reply, but we ended up getting a set of directions. And somewhere during a late afternoon, we were trotting towards it, and Riya was certain that the flower market was going to be far more pleasant than my ‘hideous’ skirt.

Usually during Onam, I used to see pavements lined with flower markets in Kochi. I grew up hearing tales on how flowers were transported from Tamil Nadu, but this was another world. 

Usually during Onam, I used to see pavements lined with flower markets in Kochi. I grew up hearing tales on how flowers were transported from Tamil Nadu, but this was another world. The stalls were divided by stunning velvety rose garlands, and the bounty of marigolds immediately lit up the market. It was an art to see how many were sitting in unison and stringing the ivory colored jasmines. Unlike the previous markets, there was something more calm, a few were listening to the radio. Compared to other sweltering markets, this one was cooler. While walking through, mainly due to the awning, some of the blue sheets cast different colors on to the flowers.

Passing by,I saw a stall that was filled with framed portraits, pride filled in me, these photographs encompassed the idea of bequeathing talent. For some have been in the business for over 50 years. I tucked myself into a corner watching a man making a garland, in which he said takes an average of three hours. His eyes were fixed, but he looked up, tight lipped and said, “ Wedding seasons are the hardest.”


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Here's the lingo guide: 
Dugbe* - A market situated in Ibadan, Nigeria 
Gele* - A type of head scarf commonly worn in many parts of Southern and Western Africa 
Malayalam* - The native language spoken in Kerala, India 
Rickshaw* - A wheel operating vehicle in India 
Chappal*- Colloquial term for sandals 
Bharatanatyam*- A major genre of classical dance that originated in Tamil Nadu, Kerala 
Chechi*- Colloquial term for sister in Malayalam 
Ammachi*-  Colloquial term for grandmother in Malayalam 
Mutta* - Colloquial term for egg in Malayalam

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ART DIRECTOR & WRITER

ATHEENA WILSON

Run parallel, meet at intersections, skip a few lines, the line of thought has journeyed across a few latitudes and longitudes. To more miles before the big sleep. Cheers, Atheena

PHOTOGRAPHER

AGHIL MENON

While he is searching for the right frame, he believes, that art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Perhaps he is lost in Pondicherry or found in Cochin.

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