Two canoes lay in pursuit of our lone shikara. A loud Kashmiri confab is exchanged as the two boatmen row with increasing vigour. One of the boatmen has obviously won as the other boatman discontinues his pursuit. Dal Lake is a floating garden of sorts and what garden (floating or otherwise) is complete without flowers. The lone canoe is painted a wild jaipuri pink and is one the many floating tourists traps on the Dal. On the side of the boat I read, ‘Prop : Mr. Bashir alias Mr. Wonderful Flowerman’ . The name seems to be a remnant of the flower-power sixties. His canoe is a tiny sampler of flowers.
“I sell flowers madam and gentlemen”, he spurts out in an English accent born somewhere between Kashmir and England.
'I have blue sunflower seeds and lotus seed.’
‘How bout some bulbs? I got tulips, daffodils. Very good and colourful’
'What lotus seeds have you brought?'
'I have six-colour lotus seeds. And wild orchid and wild tulip.'
‘I have not brought any money with me.’
'You buy and send me the money later.'
‘Here’s a wild iris for the beautiful lady.’
I am beginning to wonder if yellow daffodils will ever bloom in the Mumbai.