‘Don’t click my picture. I don’t look nice’, she told me, pointing to her toothless mouth before covering her face with her hand. ‘Click my flowers instead, they are the beautiful ones’.
I had asked the lady running a flower stall permission to click her along with her flowers, and that was her answer. I refused her suggestion, asked her to pose with her glass of tea covering her mouth and clicked her, with her flowers.
It was 5:30 am, though seeing the hustle and bustle at this early morning hour you wouldn’t believe that!
Welcome to the wholesale and bustling Flower Market of Chennai, in Koyembedu. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, watch your step and prepare to jostle your way through the crowd.
Don’t let the crowded, and terribly filthy, entrance of the market deter you. Dodge cows, dogs, men with their buys mounted on their head rushing by, and walk in bravely. Before you know it you are surrounded by gorgeous flowers!
Florists, shopkeepers and regulars make their way here as the sun rises over the city, to take their pick of the freshest flowers in the city.
We did attract a lot of curious glances as we made our way through the market, me asking for permission to click pictures and The Husband translating my request in Tamil. The shop owners gave it easily, with a shrug. Some curious ones even asked what the pictures were for, and one impressed me when he said he knew what Blogging , and a Blog, was.
Pretty flowers in varied hues everywhere make you overlook the filth. Mind your step though, as the crushed flowers and leaves on the ground make it slippery.
You could buy a small amount of flowers or buy them by the kilo. Since this is a wholesale market, the flowers here are sold by weight, and at a rate that is much cheaper than you can imagine. It’s almost a steal!
Garlands, big, small and even huge, can be bought here too. Wedding Garlands seemed to be a speciality, as were the ones used to felicitate dignitaries. 2 enormous ones were being strung, with ribbons of 2 opposing political party colours, reminding us that elections are just around the corner.
A day at the Flower Market starts as early as 4 am. It is a wonder to see the people work there with Zen like calmness, between all the noise and chaos. A visit here is not only a wonderful photographic opportunity but a lesson in perseverance and hard work.
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