~ Thomas More
Sam came home yesterday with a surprise - a garland of jasmines (my birdbrains had expected samosas instead)! For his flower-loving wife, it was certainly a big deal. Now it is very common here, in Southern India, for women to adorn their hair with jasmine garlands. Therefore, to find the roadsides laced with vendors selling fragrant flowers in heaps and bunches is quite a familiar sight. However, instead of going local, I chose to hang it from the mouth of a tall vase in the hall. How soon the little white flowers filled our home with their sweet, hypnotizing scent and with that tumbled along the bittersweet jasmine nostalgia.
When we were kids, how we cousins would get up at the crack of dawn and pluck the full-bodied jasmines in our grandmother's garden during the summer holidays. Groggy and half sleepwalking, the seven of us would tip-toe on the ticklish, dewy grass, lest we commit the unforgivable sin of waking up any of the parents. We had to be really quick because once the sun's rays fell on the flowers, they would go back to their shy sleep. Later in the morning we would all sit with grandma, over breakfast and mythological tales, and sew jasmine garlands for our gods and goddesses.
It has been twelve years since dear grandma passed away and since then we children have more or less qualified the huge test of being called grown-ups, managing tight, tiny universes of our own. But despite death, distance and differences, these small joys linger forever. Just like the unforgettable fragrance of jasmines.