The Diwali Wholesale Flower Market at Dilli Cheh (Dilli 6)Bushra Alvi Razzack
The Diwali Wholesale Flower Market at Dilli Cheh (Dilli 6)
It is a bright and beautiful day with a warm sun smiling upon the city. The air is clearer, the sky looks bluer than it has the past few days and the spirit of festivity pervades the atmosphere.
Udal Singh of Dankaur and his wife Billawati along with their son Sanjay, are on their annual trip to Delhi to sell flowers at the Diwali Flower Market on Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road, opp Old Delhi Railway Station. The passenger train they come by takes a short journey of 4 hours. They have been coming here since the past 10 years to sell flowers which they grow in their own fields for this festival season. The rest of the year, they grow wheat and other grains.This year they have brought 70 kgs of loose genda flowers (marigold) which they are selling at Rs 70 per kg. They will be at this market till Govardhan Puja day.
Rajesh, who is a resident of Delhi, has been selling at this market since the past 4 to 5 years. is busy plucking off spolit petals from the kamal ke phool which he sells for Rs 25 each. He tells me they are from Himachal Pradesh and he has procured them from the Ghazipur Phool Mandi. He has 10 huge cartons of these flowers. He doesn’t know how many kilograms they are but as offering of lotus flowers is an important part of Diwali pooja, he knows his stock will all be sold out.
Bani Ram and Kesaria have come all the way from Kolkatta to Delhi where they feel they get a better price for their flowers. The gendas they have got are strung tightly into garlands and sold in bulk.
Mani Singh has brought his genda flowers from Khurja, near Aligarh, UP. He is selling a big bundle of these flowers, wrapped in jute cloth for Rs 500. Each bundle approximately weighs 10 to 12 kg. Some vendors are selling the same amount for Rs 600 – 700.
Ashoka leaves, folded and strung together are also available. They are interspersed with strings of marigold to decorate doorways and entrances. A few vendors are selling gladioli, red roses, gerbera and chrysanthemums. There is a festive atmosphere all around. Those who do good business will be happy. Everyone is confident of their stock selling out by Diwali. Some will stay on till Govardhan Puja. Goddess Laxmi is benevolent. Diwali is a time for seeking her blessings. Lakshmi is worshiped for prosperity and progress by every Hindu. And the bright yellow marigolds from this market will soon adorn her idol, her picture and the place where she is worshiped.
Seeing me taking pictures with my Nikon camera, Udal and Billawati’s son, Sanjay insists I click him along with his parents. I oblige. He then comes running up to me and insists I show him the picture. I oblige again. “Theek hai?” I ask. A get a broad smile in answer. I smile back. The parents look pleased that their child is happy. They are smiling too. And why not. After all it’s the festival of Diwali.
Shubh Deepawali doston. Let’s spread light, cheer and goodwill all around!