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Saturday, May 1, 2021

the costliest flower ! - not from any garden though !!

You may have read this saying -  “April Showers bring May Flowers” -  is there any truth to it?  .. .. at a time, when you are more likely to read that ‘flowers remain unplucked – not finding market et. al’ – here is something on the costliest flower perhaps ! – not a fragrant variety though !!

Bizarre patterns, vibrant colours, heady scents — flowers present a buffet of choices to draw pollinators. In fact, studies have shown that bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects have particular preferences in the flowers they visit. Researchers found that the female common emigrant butterfly, found widely across India, had an innate inclination to the colour yellow, while the males preferred both blue and yellow. To some extent, the butterflies could also be trained to change their colour preferences. Odour is also an important deciding factor, and an attractive enough scent can drastically alter or even reverse any learned preferences for colour. Flowers, too, are known to alter their characteristics to attract more pollinators.  

‘Malligai en mannan mayangum ponnana malar allavo’ was a popular song of the 1970s – from the movie Dheerga Sumangali featuring Muthuraman, KR. Vijaya – MS Viswanathan being the Music Director.  

Flowers are beautiful, make a pretty sight – whether they are singular, in a bunch, on the plant / creeper / tree, in a strand and more ... many of them provide fragrance and some claim that they have magical powers of healing too.........  most of them are passionately worn by women, especially in South India.  Right from Sangam literature, flowers have been integral part of Tamil lore – Malligai, Mullai, Sengagam, Lotus, Magizham, Rose, Lily, Vruchi, Senkanthal, Aambal, Anicham, Kurinji, Vaagai, Vagulam, Kongam ......  and more ….

At Chennai in Parrys area, there is the Pookkadai [flower bazaar] nearer Kothawal chavadi [once the vegetable hub] – the Police station on NSC Bose road is also named ‘Pookadai Police Station’.  The place once occupied by the wholesale flower trade is now a parking bay for State transport corporation buses. There are still a handful of flower sellers on the pavement in that area. Just opposite lies Badrian Street where you would find Stationery shops.   As you walk inside there is the flower market [though the wholesale market is shifted to Koyambedu] – here many flowers, especially Malli and rose would be sold.  One can buy Jasmine in strands or buy in kgs.  Walking inside narrow streets would by itself be an experience – yet there was so much fragrance around.

“முப்பது பைசா மூணு முழம்...... முல்லை மல்லிகை கனகாம்பரம்” – was a hit song of 1970s from film “Pookkari”  (written by Vaali) – descriptive of not only the fragrance but also the economy – in that song, heroine (as flower seller) – would dance and sing, selling flowers – the lyrics – ‘3 measures of flowers – Mullai, Malligai, Kanakambaram – for 30 paise’ – yes,  a measure for 10 paise  !

                 In England, the month of April brings huge weather swings with the jet stream lifting northward at the start of spring. The saying itself has only grown being used in other types of writing and movies. With the sun shining bright and all the flowers in bloom, it is a great time to visit your backyard, pluck, grind and smear them on your skin and hair for that summer glow.

Two days before the NFL draft, the Washington Football Team found a reinforcement for its offensive line by reaching a trade agreement with the Miami Dolphins to acquire Ereck Flowers, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation. The deal includes a swap of late-round picks — Washington gave up its 244th selection in the seventh round and received Miami’s 258th pick — and the Dolphins converted $6 million of Flowers’s 2021 pay into a bonus to leave Washington a salary cap charge of only $3 million, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Flowers’s $9.975 million salary in 2022, the final year of his contract, is not guaranteed, meaning Washington could cut ties with him after one year and face no cap repercussions. Flowers, who spent the 2019 season as Washington’s left guard, is expected to compete to start at the same position this season. Washington cycled through three starters last year, beginning with Wes Martin and finishing with Wes Schweitzer. Saahdiq Charles, a 2020 fourth-round pick, started one game and played two snaps before suffering a season-ending knee injury, and while Charles is expected to return to health and compete for a starting job, it’s unclear if the team intends to use him at left tackle or guard.

Ereck Flowers, is an American football offensive guard for the Washington Football Team of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Miami and was drafted ninth overall by the New York Giants in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins. He began his career as an offensive tackle prior to switching to guard in 2019.

Moving away from the news, this lockdown and the time that it allows you to be at home, is – boon to try your hand in garden at home, or at housetop – we have some and the pleasure that one gets in seeing blooming flower is indescribable !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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