Words of a Part-Time Florist


Muskaan Jadeja

I kiss plants sometimes.
I read somewhere that plants are alive,
little souls woven into the roots, little lives melded in the leaves, little thoughts swirling in the vines.
And they know things. So much so that they could scream.
But they lost their voices long ago.
So all they want is love and attention.
I grew up with my father singing to our money plant, one of five scattered around our house.An old song in his quiet rough voice as he watered them early in the morning, the scent of saffron agarbatti still fresh.
“Jaane woh kaise log the jinke pyar ko pyar mila”
I wonder how it was for those whose love found love.
Her vines drape the staircase now, a satin curtain of green.
“Humne toh jab kaliyaan mangi, kaanto ka haar mila”
I asked for a soft petal, and got a garland of thorns.
She curls over the doorway, her leaves like temple bells over the threshold.
“Khushiyon ki manzil dhoondhi toh gham ki gard mili”
I reached for the doorsill of happiness, but found the dust of grief.
I kiss plants sometimes.
Gingerly holding their leaf like a child’s tender hand and pressing a soft kiss on its palm. To remind that sleeping soul down in those roots that we know you have something to yell out.
“Chahat ke nagme chahe toh aahein sard mili”
I wanted songs of desire, but heard cold sighs.
Silent spectators, they made themselves. Storing promises, secrets, angry words and stories deep in their cells.
They know when Night crept in and Day’s chariot descended, but only after the two held hands in the gold evening. They see nymphs wandering in groves, and young goddesses running across fields.
They knew so much, they could burst, filled to the brim with skeletons tucked away in phloem veins, pushed downward.
“Bichad gaya har saathi dekar pal do pal ka saath”And soon all my friends split away,I kiss plants sometimes. And sometimes, they whisper back a secret.“Kisko fursat hai joh thaame deewano ka haath”After all, who had time to hold the hand of the mad