Garden to the Beloved: The Gulaab’s Journey on Valentine’s Day
A rose’s journey from a garden to the traffic signal is an interesting one. This V-Day we follow the rose trail.
Given as a stand-alone gift or an accompaniment, a rose hardly ever fails to win over hearts. You can buy them from a traffic signal, road-side shops, posh stores or order them online.
The Valentine week has become synonymous with roses. There is, however, a story behind every rose bud that reaches the market. We show you how.
Roses From Bengal Are Special
At 3:30 in the morning, labourers wait for the roses from West Bengal to arrive in the market, almost as eagerly as a lover waits for his beloved.
According to them, the demand for roses from West Bengal is neck-to-neck with the roses from Bengaluru.
Sturdy Roses From Bengaluru
A flower dealer in the Ghazipur market, Anand Singh, told us that roses from Bengaluru are considered the best quality buds.
Commercial growers in Bengaluru have invested a lot of money and effort in developing a hybrid variety that is bigger and has a good shelf-life. Although they come in the odourless/cut-flower category, they have created a niche market.
Ready, Steady, Rose!
At 4:30 am, the selection of flowers for sale is in rapid progress at all the flower centres. Every bundle is categorised. It is a sacrosanct morning routine.
Love Is in the Air and Prices Soar
You have to pay Rs 110 for a bundle of roses in this market. 10 days back, the price was Rs 80 per bundle. Cut-flower dealer, Mahesh Pandey, told us that in the Valentine week, the prices will rise up to Rs 150 per bundle. But the joy they bring to one who receives them is priceless!
As Fresh as a Daisy..Oops! We Mean Rose!
Close to dawn, dealers make efforts to keep the flowers fresh.
But Marriages Were a Deal Breaker!
Most dealers were worried because of the low demand for flowers during wedding season, which is usually the earning season for this market.
What Is With Gifting Flowers?
As per a local survey, only 2.5 percent people buy flowers because they like them. The rest buy and gift them out of formality.
Rose – the King of Flowers
When imported flowers like orchids and carnations entered the Indian market, there were speculations that the rose will be forgotten and its demand will come down drastically. Well, we don’t know what to say to that.
Dilli Ka Gulaab
The roses from Delhi are not about fancy packing, sturdiness or long shelf-life. They are famous for their fragrance. You know Dilli ka gulaab has arrived, just by the way they smell, even before the sacks are opened.
Roses for the Young Heart
Shopkeepers rely on youngsters for a majority of their sales. According to a flower shop owner, Ramadhar, the younger generation wants everything to be presentable. Since they are our biggest customers, the competition for better packing is also high.
There’s Nothing That Cannot Be Said With a Rose
At 7:30 am, amidst slight fog, roadside flower sellers open their shops, only to get flocked by high-school and college students.
Waste Management by Kids
After the day’s business is over, the leftover flowers wait to meet their fate. The dealers sell these flowers at the rate of 10-15 rupees per bundle. Our dear rose is now worth less than a rupee. Kids from the families of labourers working in the market purchase these bundles to sell at traffic signals.
Hard Work Behind the Leftover Flowers
These flowers are kept in a bucket full of sugar water. Then, the wilting buds are removed and thrown away. Rest of the flowers are used to make small bouquets with 10-15 flowers each. These bouquets are sold on traffic signals at Rs 20-25.
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