Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Flower man cometh

A middle-aged male waiting for the flower guy. Isn't that an interesting sight? Okay! I agree I am going fast on this story. So let me step back and take you through it slowly step by step. The first and the foremost, I need to explain you about the flower man. If you live in Paris, you have already met him. It is the man with the distinct South East Asian features selling flowers to you when you are dining or drinking in your favorite hangouts. They magically get admitted into all kinds of establishments regardless of the length of the queue. Even though I refer to him as the flower man, they only sell roses with red being the predominant theme.

I am not sure if the flower business is indeed a lucrative business. You see a lot of these flower guys in Paris. Because of the region of their origin, they do elicit concern, affection and sympathy from many of my friends. In most cases, the amount of love is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. As a result, most of my friends buy roses in bunches and give to all the women in the place we are hanging out. In some cases, they ask the flower man to deliver the roses and asks him to say it was from anyone other than the person who bought the flowers. It is kind of social service for connecting people. If the flowers are delivered directly without the help of the flower man, they mention this is an effort to help a decent man earn a living. 

Anyways, that is all the background you need to come to the main story. So here I am, enjoying a few drinks with my friend's colleagues in the south-western edge of this tiny little city called Paris, celebrating the end of a working week. The stress of the entire week was being washed away in drinks and entrees. That is when the flower man made a grand entrance. Upon seeing him, my friend's middle-aged colleague turned jubilous and exclaimed, "I was waiting for you!". Words would be inadequate to describe what unfolded in front of me. The middle-aged colleague picked half a dozen roses from the flower guy. The whole process of examining roses, picking the right one and lining it on the table in front would have taken more than five minutes. The price of the roses was nothing compared to the tab these guys had it going at the bar. So, the casual way of ordering drinks and the careful way of picking up the flowers provided enough contrast to pique my curiosity.

I was not sure what he was going to do with the roses. So I watched him through the corner of my eyes as unobtrusively as possible. Even while drowning the next few rounds of his favorite beverage, he took extra care to protect the roses that were neatly laid on the table. He didn't offer the roses for any of the women in the bar. He took the roses with him while walking out of the bar. Who were these roses for? If you are wondering too, this was my sentiments when I saw him leave. It wasn't difficult to figure out. His friends explained it to me. The roses were for his wife. This is part of the Friday ritual.

Bringing flowers home after drunken revelry provides an interesting lessons for a cynic like me. First, love is still in the air no matter your age or how long you have been in a relationship. Second, you are thinking of your partner even when you are having fun. Third, you are thanking your partner for letting you stay back a little longer even though the little is more a lot longer. Fourth and final, the flower man survives because of these loyal customers.

Tags: Musings,Flower,Rose



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14 comments:

  1. Should have been "Pappettan waits for the flower man"

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    1. :) I could have written it as a Pappettan story. For me, Pappettan is more colorful character. Although he is romantic, he is not romantically involved with anyone. I want to keep it that way. :)

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  2. :) nice one !! flower man or should I say rose man.. the middle age love .. with wife and thanking her for allowing her guy to have fun ...everything so adorable ... good read !! :)
    Hopefully this culture worked in India too...Indian wives ideally yell on top of their voice when they realize husband is drunk and that was the only reason he was late :)

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    1. No comments about the culture in India as I am also guilty of staying outside and returning empty-handed. :|

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  3. Nice one. Never knew about the flower man being so popular in Paris!

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    1. The flower man is a common sight in Paris. About popularity, the incident mentioned in the blog was my first experience too. :)

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  4. good read.. i too had bought flowers from them just to support them. ultimately the dried flowers had to go to the dustbin

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    1. he he. All flowers ultimately go to the dust bin. So you should not worry about that. The main thing is you are providing support to someone who is trying to make a honest living.

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  5. You know what's the best thing? The story ends well for everyone! In satisfaction for the customer, in joy for his wife, in monetary compensation for the flower man, and in a probably good moment for you!

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    1. Yes, true. You noticed the best part of the post. :)

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  6. Refreshing read , thank you :) ! loved it

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