There is a new flower shop in our lane. Goes by a fancy name it does, and a signboard that hasn’t a single spelling mistake. It is a replacement to the boutique that functioned from the same spot till a fortnight earlier. The clothes it housed have either all been bought or gone into depression from being confined to clothes-clips for so long. With due regard to my conviction in the latter notion, I am up to newer hypotheses.
“Oh the flower shop pays much more rent. Of course!” said a middle-aged man who lives farther down the lane. “Though how they manage the pay is a curious case.”
“They say the clothes shop had a fall-out with the landlord. Seems their tailor had eyes for the daughter of the house.” put in another, not to be outwitted in the local gossip.
Theories abound in plenty but the result is for all to see. The flower shop – the answer to your delivery options for weddings, birthdays and annaprasan – stands in glorious majesty, adorned by streamers of red and yellow blossoms. Though the, err, compound is rather small, they have managed to staff their shop with a pretty girl at the counter, an in-house gardener, a man with ribbons and scissors and a cashier. There is also someone who comes in at regular intervals to supply fresh flower and see to home-delivery and orders.
The house next door can experience a market-side feel right from the comforts of its balcony. Cars stop over, motorbikes break down. The staff whiles away long afternoons listening to loud music or arguing about who rejected a job offer at the nearest shopping mall. When evening arrives, the flower-streamers give way to flickering red and gold lights. Our lane is transported to instant nirvana.
“This commercialization will be the death of me.” said a concerned ‘society’ member at a weekly meet. “My son couldn’t get his car past the dratted shop this evening!”
“It’s the money that is speaking Sir. They are all obsessed with the moolah.”
“The fools.” said the former. “Now if I had some empty space, I would never resort to such tactics. Those mobile repair people say. I would let it out to them…”
There was a time – long ago, when I was a young dame – when you could hear the pigeons hum in our lane. The trees would whisper in the winds and the road would lie in anticipation of a school bus or two, bursting with merriment and cheer. The ‘cheer’ it seems has quadrupled in recent days. The pigeons, however, have flown away.