Monday, January 12, 2015


This week, i.e. today, in his column ‘Vignettes ‘ in ‘The Tribune’ , Shriniwas Joshi has discussed two flowers – Narcissus and Chrysenthamum- as being impervious to the onslaught of Winter, as also the myrhological story behind Narcissus. Not surprisingly, a person ‘sick of self love’ -to use Shakespearean phrase –is called Narcissistic, and the phenomenon itself is called Narcissism .In Hindi it is called आत्म-मुग्धता. I am reminded of the days in sixties , when some enterprising farmers from the adjoining villages of Shimla used to carry Kilta loads of Narcissus or Nargis flower on bus top to Delhi to earn that extra penny as Delhi was a potential market for flowers, when floriculture had not taken off in a big way like now. I did not understand the economics of this venture, taking into account the expenses involved in 3-4 days’ stay at Delhi and to & fro bus fare. In any case, the flower smells nice and with long stem and white petals with a yellow cup in the middle is a visual treat. I am baffled by the Urdu couplet :
“हज़ारों साल नर्गिस अपनी बेनूरी पे रोती है,
बड़ी मुश्किल से होता है चमन में दीदावर पैदा “
-meaning there are few takers for Nargis, which fact the flower itself laments.

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