The string of jasmine

draupadi jadaiThere was a hesitant knock on her door, when Sabrina opened the daughter there stood Mumtaz her maid’s daughter,

“Bhabhi, I came to give you this” she held in tiny palms, an assorted collection of jasmine buds and parijatha flowers.

‘Where did you get it from?’

“In  the garden they had fallen from the balcony,”

“Do you like flowers?”

“So why don’t you wear them”

“we don’t have a garden to grow it, and  I have to save pocket money before i can buy,”

Sabrina thanked her and closed the door, but the wistful look of the little girl stayed, ”flowers they are the laughter of the earth” she recalled her grandfather saying.

It had begun with the assorted flowers she placed on the sill, every one ridiculed her for choosing the ordinary vinca rosea instead of the exotic flowers but looking at the marigold, the aboli and vinca rosea each morning took her right back to being the excited five year old prancing beside her grandfather who began his day with an hour of gardening.

The balcony attached to the bed room, overlooking the garden had a mini layout, the L-shaped ledge had jasmine adjacent to each wall the pegs on the wall helped the creeper climb, beside it came the roses, the vendor who sold it called it “Sophia Lauren” then came two zinnia plants, and in the centre where two arms met to make the  L, she had the bongavilla two creepers of different colours as the creepers grew their leaves adding colours.

As she looked across, a young man walked up the pathway of the house cross, with a bunch of flowers, the door opened, the person collected the basket and signed a sheet, the man left, how ironic thought Sabrina, when she was younger Valentine’s day was the only day when bouquets came home, or flowers were given, or if you were at an event as a guest.  Strings of jasmine were given somewhere it also bespoke a certain commitment in the relationship.

The first time she was talking to Arvind, a girl had come selling Jasmine, and Sabrina had bought it, she had told Arvind that she loved jasmine, since then every time he met he brought Jasmine, it nearly thirty years now, but he never forgets the Jasmine, despite their spouse, and their children, he still visited her with a string of Jasmine.

Somehow her husband had never bothered with flowers for her, neither the valentine ones or the jasmine, it was like the song, “tere bina zingadi se koi shikhva toh nahi, ”  when the marriage died, she created this companion who always made sure that the flowers were there for her, larger bins for the Parijata, and Champa.

Sabrina, put the flowers on a damp towel, slowly strung them together, four jasmines, alternating with a red stalked Parijata, walked up to the dressing table to look for something to pin the flowers on her hair, when the sound of the child laughing rang into the room, the wistful eyes remerged before Sabrina.

Sabrina, put the clip and the string down, and went out to the balcony..

“Mumtaz come here,”

Mumtaz came up to the door she seemed rather apprehensive,

“Undo your pony tail,” the girl obeyed with increasing apprehension. Sabrina braided the child’s hair, picked up the colourful crunchy that she did not use, and pinned the string of flowers on to the braid,  the face of the child lit up. It had been long since Sabrina had seen that look. ”

this article is an excerpt from my NANOWRMO writing.

“You can pick these flowers and wear them every day,” the child’s face lit up.

“Do you know how to string it?” asked Sabrina,


“Would you like to learn, you can make two strings, one for me and one for you”

The child could only nod, “I’ll teach you tomorrow,” promised Sabrina.


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’ For those who would like to start their own garden but are scared to here is where I found help


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