.. the flower!! I’m sure Ammu would have instantly assumed I’m talking about Jasmine, the Disney princess 🙂
Aaah jasmine… the flowers bring back many many fond memories..
- Summer vacations in Madurai
- The evenings when we would eagerly wait for the flower vendor
- Granma teaching me the art of tying the flowers using fibre of banana stem
- Excitement about wearing the flowers
- Aunt/granma bringing these flowers for us without fail whenever they visited.. it used to be such a big deal.. the malli poo and the halwa!!
- Competition with cousin as to who will tie it best!.. evenly spaced and rounded..
- Mom wearing these in her hair ..
- Dad keeping some portion especially for sis1 to wear. She had long hair and wore sarees to work. And the malli poo/mallige hoovu complimented her attire very well 🙂
We are lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy two of the best varieties of jasmine flowers.. the Madurai malligai poo and the Mysooru dundu mallige!! Both these varieties have unique properties and have been given the GI tag. You can read more about this here and here.. Below images sourced from this article in The Hindu.
Back to the memories .. 🙂
When I was around 15, granma made a poo jadai or moggina jade for me. Unlike the ready ones available in the market, she wove the flowers right into my plait. Meticulously done, it looked very very pretty. I was made to wear a traditional silk paavadi dhavani and taken to the photo studio, with much anticipation. In those days a camera was not a very common possession!
Unfortunately, when the pictures came, granma was not very satisfied as there was a slight line near the head and she decided not to buy the pic 😦 I guess I was disappointed.. but thought that we would do it again. Of course that never happened. Neither me nor my sisters get that opportunity again! So.. no pic.. just the memory exists 🙂
One more fond and evergreen memory is that of granma jealously gaurding and taking care of the flower shrub that grew just outside the compound wall. This was when we first moved to Bangalore. Ammu was just an year old and granma was staying with us. This was another variety of Jasmine… called kakada hoovu. A beautiful white flower.. but with no fragrance as such.
Granma loved tending to this plant. She would carefully pick the blooms and make garlands to offer to the Gods. This used to be a daily ritual that seemed to give her immense joy and satisfaction. She would take care not to pick the young buds. Passers-by picking the young buds would annoy her like nothing else!! She didnt mind them taking the flowers but was very particular about not picking the younger buds that were not yet ready to bloom.
Even now, I love to buy flowers and tie them by myself whenever I can make time 🙂 And, this love is shared by the sisters and D,our house help, too. It sure is cheaper than buying the garland.. but the activity gives a kind of joy. Almost feels like meditation! I guess that’s why granma loved the ritual so much!!
Loved going on this memory trip and writing it all down here. Hope you like reading it 🙂
This post could well be for M – Mysooru, Madurai, Mallige hoovu/Malli poo, Memories… But J it is !! 🙂 Linking to ABC Wednesday
P.S: 2nd post of the day!! After a long long time 🙂