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We descended into chaos. There was no time to think or plan as we were swept into the tide of people. At a distance a mosque of white spires and domes rose like a dream. It was 7a.m.

Bundles and bundles of roses lay spread on the streets. Red was clearly the favourite.

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There were occasional daisies, lotus buds, garlands of asters, marigolds, and sandwiches of multi-coloured flowers and round leaves.

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Lines of Holy Basil garlands were strung on chipped walls and rails. On another side, the pavement was heaped with spengeri, which is commonly used in flower arrangements for that touch of green and artistry.

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Most of the flower market circled around a mosque or dargah. It was a small green and white structure with a moon and star rising over it. A smaller, concrete moon was inscribed with Urdu script.

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The flowers made way for vegetables and fruits – trays of eggplants, peas out of their pods, okra, and ginger roots. A broken and forsaken toy car hinted at the presence of children.

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We were in the middle of monsoon. The misty rain got heavier and we took shelter in a building. It was business as usual for the vendors; they opened their umbrellas.

© Anuradha Prasad, 2016

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