Early, in the morning Ma was in a grumpy mood.It was due to the constant pain in her legs. The pain was not going away, making ma more unhappy. So, to surprise her and to change her mood, I decided to arrange our dining table with flowers. Now flowers especially rose, cost more than two chicken burgers together and that too a single rose with a long big stem.What one does with that stem? Only God Almighty knows.It feels as if we are paying more for the stem than the for the rose and then there is another thing where the roses are of smaller size, but they still cost the same and after buying them, the florist will trim the roses to make it even more shorter.The florists are making a lot of dough simply by selling roses. Even if they sell twenty roses, their day is more than made.
I looked outside of the window and saw that rains were coming down heavily.But that did not deter me and I went out and got on an autorickshaw and I asked the driver to take me to the local market.He took me to that place, but I didn’t the know the exact location where they sold flowers at wholesale rate, so I requested a passerby to help me and he told me exactly where it was.I got down at the main road, as the shops were located in a narrow gully.
By this time it was raining very heavily and I was getting drenched despite being under an umbrella. When you walk on the street while rain is falling heavily, what happens is, that all the sounds get all mixed up. Why am I mentioning this? For, someone was calling my name aloud. That person had shouted my name atleast four times before I realized that it was my name that he was calling. I turned and looked back and saw that somebody wearing a raincoat was waving in my direction.I waited for the traffic to clear.As the traffic slowly cleared, a man having a cup of tea in this heavy rain was walking towards me. As he came forward, his face became clear and I realized that he was my college friend. We used to study together.He came upto me and we shook each other’s hands as greetings.
Friend-“What are you doing here? As soon as you got off from the autorickshaw, I noticed you.You haven’t changed a bit, particularly your walking style.”
Me-“I have come to buy flowers, from the wholesale market.I didn’t see you, but when you came near, I could recognize you.”
Him-“Flowers? You are here to buy flowers?”
Me-“Yes, for my mother.”
Him-“From here? In this heavy rain?”
I-“Ma likes flowers, so I have come to buy the flowers.”
Him-“By the way, are sure that you have come to buy the flowers?”
I-“This is the third time that you have asked me about the flowers.Neither did you ask me how I was and nor did I ask you how have you been. So, why go beating around the bush regarding the flowers?”
Him-“Actually, I work nearby and never before have I seen you here.”
I-“Yeah generally I come here in the evenings, so maybe you haven’t seen me before.But you still haven’t told me why you were asking about the flowers and where do you work? I don’t see a lab or an office or a factory nearby.”
Him-“This is the local market; so how can you see a lab, an office or a factory in this busy crowded place?”
He felt a bit shy before telling me and then suddenly a big smile came upon on his face.
Him-.”I am a florist and I have a shop nearby.”
Me-“What???? You are a damn florist and you have a shop here? You never told me.”
Him-“Well, I felt shy.Studying to become a scientist and then becoming a florist, doesn’t go well with people.”
Me-“Well, it goes very very well with me.If I had the chance and opportunity, I too would have become a florist. Where is your shop?”
Him-“Just around the corner.”
I-“Let’s go there.”
We went to his shop.
Me-“This is your shop?”
Me-“But here used to be a goods shop and they used to specialize in kitchen wares.”
Him-“Oh! that was my dad’s shop.He has shifted his shop to the next lane, where he has bought a bigger shop and instead of renting this one out, he gave it to me, to excel in my own domain.While giving it to me, he said-“son, this is your opportunity.Have fun and always be honest and truthfull to your customers”.After pondering over a lot of options, I decided to become a florist.
Me-“That’s very very cool.”
His shop had lilies, tube roses, roses, orchids,long stems for decoration and many other types of flowers.
What I found out, is that,the flowers were very cheap at his shop especially the roses and some were even cheaper than the wholesale market price.
Me-“The flowers are really cheap at your shop.”
Him-“At my shop you will find everything at nearly twenty five percent discount. Roses, are a different matter.They are at fifty percent off.”
I-“That’s simply excellent!”
Him-“I directly order them from Paradise nursery and my dad’s contact got me connected there, so they sell quite cheap to me and I don’t find any point in making a huge profit out of my customer’s pocket.So I sell flowers after keeping a small amount of profit.”
Me-“That’s truly noble of you.”
Him-“Thank you my friend.”
I asked him to pack different bunches of flowers with a rose of different colour centered in each one of them.Due to the low cost of flowers, I could buy many more within my budget.
After he gave me the bunches of flowers, I told him -“We both are students of science.You have become a florist and I am really proud that you done so and I am also proud for the fact that I could buy flowers from you.Thank you.”
Him-“I too am proud that I could bring a smile on your face, for we met after so many years.”
Me-“Do you still play gully cricket?”
Him-“No.They don’t invite me anymore.But sometimes the old fellows return and they ask me to do umpiring for them.But I blatantly refuse them.It’s either batting or bowling.Other than that I don’t know you.So, they have stopped inviting me even for umpiring.”
Me-“That’s very poor of them.This is how teams and friendships go for a toss.Atleast we could reconnect after so many years.”
Him-“Definitely true.Here’s a small gift for you.”
Saying so, he brought a very small bunch of three roses and said-“no charge”.
Me-“Thanks friend.You wait till I tell ma.She will be so happy to hear about you.”
Him-“Please,do give her my regards.”
Me-“I definitely will.”
Rains had subsided by then, but they started falling again very heavily.
Me-“I need to go immediately or I will not get any autorickshaw. Bye.Take care. We will meet again.”
Him-“Bye and take care.See there is an empty autorickshaw standing”
Fortunately I got that autorickshaw and rushed to my home and after washing my hands I arranged the bunches of flowers on the dining table.
Ma was resting in the bedroom, so I called out to her-“Maaaaaaaaaaaaa.”
Ma came out of the bedroom and the moment she saw those flowers, she became so happy that, she gave me a big kiss on my cheeks.She said-“my whole leg pain has gone away.” I was very very happy that her leg pain had gone away and I told her about my friend and she was very happy to hear that he had become a florist and all’s well that ends well. Ma decided that one day, together we would go to his shop and buy lots and lots of flowers.