310820075461.jpg 

Can anyone participate with a stranger like this –  such a natural flow
of energy from irregularly formed yellowed teeth, from skin wrinkled
by not so comforting life of hers? she is being herself, she is proud of a
day’s hard labour. That’s all she cares about. She does not care much
about glorifying herself. When the masses cease, for a while, to throng
the stone corridors, humbled by the realization that they are in the much
celebrated adobe of the gorgeous Goddess, to gape at the grandeur of
sculpture and the profusion of stucco craftsmanship, 31082007542.jpg

she takes a respite 31082007543.jpgwith other women who sell

flowers of different colours – loose or in garlands, jasmines known for 
for their bold arrogance, slim jasmines with slender waists, 

resplendent marigolds, lilies, water-lilies, 31082007549.jpgmixing their
natural fragrances with home-herbs tulsi, etc. she stuffs a wad of betel
leaves crammed with nuts into her mouth, settles down to talk about
her life or to listen to those better things or tormenting worse developments
in others’ houses with thatched roofs. Red stains appear in the street
in a few moments, generous bouts of laughter are spread across the
tiny shops set-up near the footsteps, the entrance gates of offices.
Is there a better way to celebrate than by hurling things through the air?
The fragrant blossoms amuse at this celebration of life from their respective
wooden baskets, at these simple-minded women who demonstrate this
profound piece of wisdom to passers-by as always. They free their world of woes,
effortlessly, put a blind faith, unflinchingly, on someone who resides in
blue skies whose representative came down a few eons ago, to reside in
elegantly crafted stone houses – Temples. A gentle rhythm appears to embrace
everything, everyone like that thin swirl of saambrani smoke. I realized
that I am alive. To meet women who can smile at others with so much ease,
whose smiles filled with warmth vendorofflowers.jpglift that unknown heaviness

from strangers who stop a while at their little shops which disappear in the nights,
who remind most of us those wonderful trees which blossom early in the fading
darkness of mornings. I want to know, how does she drape dignity in one
of the corners of her home? Does she turn away her face, a gentle profile is
thrown at the world, with her nose adorned with a big ring of stones embedded
in Gold, which shines in the daylight brilliantly? But I do not mind if she does
not tell me her secret. But I am glad that I met her and part from her with a promise
of seeing her again. In the sunset years of her life.  Someday. When her beautiful
smile lives on her eyelids, skin over them wrinkled further with a few more
memories. But her dignity to be revealed in a much richer robe hued in many
vibrant colours of life- borrowed from the horns of the cattle painted, from
the fields where flowers bloom everyday without fail , glass bangles, wooden
puppets, from the bazaars of common traders who thrive upon the nature’s designs.

{from my Travel notes – Madurai Meenakshiamman Kovil  & the last image of flower vendor is borrowed from}

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