Monday, December 27, 2010

Mysore: Jasmine Flowers

One of my favorite daily rituals is walking home from practice and picking up a string of fresh jasmine flowers. The garlands are seen everywhere: at temples, strung around rickshaw lights, doorways, in people's hair, and are commonly sold by men pushing or riding bicycles, baskets full of coiled flower. Along the streets and sidewalks, women spend hours affixing the small flowers to strings, cutting lengths according to rupee count. Mysore Mallige, the variety grown around and named for Mysore, is fragrant, beautiful and inspirational: It once inspired a best-selling poetry collection Mysooru Mallige by Kannada poet K. S. Narasimhaswamy.

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