Chennai, Oct 29: Life yet to blossom for garland makers. Their lives are not the same as that of flowers, Many women in Chennai wear small strings of flowers in their hair, and the scent, wafting behind them in the heavy air, is a sort of delight for the garland makers.
Garland makers are usuallywomen and children. Stories of their daily struggle showed how courgeous and determined women are.
Laxmi Raji(38) is an independent flower- seller, 38, a widow and mother of four children. Laxmi took up the flower trade after her husband’s death.
During festival season made a good sale of around 1,000 a day but on the normal days they live in tight financial conditions.
“I wish we could had some work during the months when our sale is negligible. It becomes very difficult for garland makers, we just don’t find any work,” she said.
Veeshali began to make garlands 10 years ago. she learnt this art of making garlands from her sister, who is also a garland maker.
“I enjoy making garlands for numerous occasions. It gives me eternal satisfaction. I need to work hard daily to earn more money to expand my shop” said Veeshali
Ragini who is a regular customer at her shop and likes to wear Jasmine flowers in her hair and around her arms said “it is the tradition among South Indian women to wear Jasmine for weddings and during festivals”.
Garland-making is not as profitable as making bouquets. However, the demand for garlands throughout the year makes up for the absence of large margins.
It is ironic that the same flowers that add beauty and cheer in an upper class drawing room, only remind women like Laxmi and Veeshali that their lives haven’t blossomed as much,despite their daily grind.