Friday, April 20, 2007

My Floral Inspiration

This post was inspired by a comment left on another Bombay-lover's Bombay musings. The comment author was not a Bombay fan because s/he believed Bal Thackeray to be the city's biggest icon. S/he is of course entitled to her / his opinion, but I beg to differ. My instant reaction was yeah Mr. T is one of the city's icons, but is he the only one? Definitely not.

So who or what are the city's icons? Are they only the rich and famous, or the rich and infamous? Only the most popular places and things? Of course, all of these are iconic, but they're not the only ones. An icon could be any symbol, any person that represents a significant meaning to someone. S/he or it need not be well-known, need not be known to anyone other than you for that matter, but it could still mean a helluva lot to you....still convey something that maybe only you understand.

For me, there is one image that I remember very vividly. Its one of those things that I’d seen daily while traveling in the train but never paid attention to. Yet on that one particular day as I looked out at the same old scene zipping by, this image just stood out – a patch of flowers growing tall amid sewage. Tall stems and bright red and yellow blooms. You see them growing all over, even in gardens. I was just struck by their beauty and how glorious they looked, despite being surrounded by so much filth.

A lot of people talk about Bombay’s stark contrasts, which are of course undisputable. To me, those flowers represent that contrast – that you can have goodness, beauty and growth no matter how terrible your situation or your surroundings. More than being iconic, for me they are inspirational.


  1. Had seen the yellow ones... It is is inspiring...

    Nice one...

  2. Sathish - this is late in coming, but better late than never...thanks for ALL the comments.

  3. Thanks for the link. Very nice post, Shalom. I agree with you - I don't think Balu T is an icon of Bombay at all. But unfortunately, the Tehelka survey seems to tell us that a lot of other Mumbaikars think he is. Yet, I don't think that means anything much. I'd say its a bit unfair to base an opinion on Bombay just on one survey. The city's much, much larger than just one person.

  4. BA - you're most welcome & thank you for the visit. Totally with it a place or a person or a thing, I don't think you should form opinions based on just one piece of information... to me, its a sign of a closed mind.