In this congregated mass of humanity there is colour so vibrant and aromas so powerful that it would match that of any perfumery in the world. Eyes drown in the colour and your nose in the fragrance of a million flowers all stacked in baskets in multitude. A kaleidoscope for your senses. Dadar Phulgalli [flower-lane] takes your traditional Bombay smells of sweat, toil, paint, iron and turns them into the smell of marigolds.. Wipe your brow and you find petals in addition to sweat
Bombay’s entire economy is pinned around one ability- the ability to move its mammoth population from their suburban homes to their work places in the city. This is down to Bombay’s local train system with a miraculous efficiency, it is believed that it carries 6.1 million people a day. Where millions pass, commerce generally follows. I would describe it as a mobile mall. Each station has its bazaar and each bazaar its speciality. You just hop on to a train and simply sample the delights along the way, quite like a giant amusement park filled with 15 million people and a billion opportunities to explore. Dadar station in the geometric heart of Bombay’s main island is one such station. It is an all round super railway hub and one of the busiest train stations in the world. If they ever made the ‘Indian’ Vanilla Sky and they wanted the Tom Cruise Bollywood equivalent running through the Indian equivalent of Times Square, they would probably have him run through a desolate dadar station, the scene could be made even more freaky if they showed an empty Virar fast rush by.
Dadar market is where you can get anything from green veggies to a two hundred rupee sonata ghadi [watch] to fake live strong bands [in any colour] to a pethani saree. In one such galli [lane] is Dadar’s phul/phool [flower] market. Roses, chrysanthiums, marigolds, jasmine, gladiolas, asters, lilies, gerberas, carnations are a few things that line its narrow walls.
Flowers are big business in India.
The cut-flower market has opened new vistas for floriculturists. Flowers
from Pune and Bangalore are sent to Hyderabad's Jambagh market , which is a
transit hub. Cut-flower exports are expected to double this fiscal from an
estimated $20 million last year
- Hindu Business Line
A boost in agribusiness is a positive economic boost to rural India.
Another positive I found in flower retail which is sometimes overlooked is there is an equal participation among men and women in the entire process. With a few exceptions women for various social reasons do not actively participate in the process of commerce in India. This plays out to be an active barrier against their economic and social empowerment. Also it leads to wastage in an untapped segment of our human resources, a bright one at that. Women add ethics and other values to economies. I’m sorry I’m drifting into economics here.
I did buy some flowers,10 stems of orchids for 20 rupees [value]. The challenge for the day being getting them home to Bandra by train in a second class compartment. Today being Saturday I could easily find a space to stand and get them home without any scratches. I tell you this because they are happily smiling at me with their purple dog like faces from the glass vase on my dining table.