Ever since a friend of mine recommended a Vada Pav place in Dadar to me, I’ve been hogging food there and taking people there to give them a taste of authentic Mumbai snacks. Yesterday was one such day and I was guiding my friend Ella around Mumbai.
On our way back home, we happened to take a stroll in the alleyways of the Dadar flower market under the bridge, right outside the Dadar railway station. There were different varieties of flowers everywhere. Marigolds were sold in kilos, filling our sight. The strong aroma of champas, or sampangi’s (as my mom would call it), was in the air, mixed with the sweet smell of jasmines. Exotic flowers like lilies and orchids were sold in vast numbers and treated carefully, keeping them away from the foot path. My friend Ella wanted to wear flowers in her hair, so we picked up the delicately woven crossandra garlands for her while I bought some blue lotuses to decorate my living room.
It was the golden hour in the evening, but Bombay’s golden hour comes with a whole bunch of people heading back home in the local trains. We bumped shoulders with many others while we hopped onto the train. The time I spent in the tulip fields of Netherlands played in my mind like a movie reel as I stood by the train door. I think it was the flowers in the market which subconsciously transported me to the Dutch region.
As a child, watching Indian movies songs set in the tulip fields backdrop was a jubilant experience. So in the spring of 2017, I lived the Bollywood dream of spending a couple of days in the tulip bulb fields of Netherlands. With spring comes the famous Keukenhof flower festival, which is held less than 50 kms from Amsterdam and is well connected via trains and buses. I lost the count of the number of varieties and shades of flowers I saw there. The country side is ideal for cycling, and there are separate lanes for bicycles, which makes it very easy to commute. Those two days seemed like two weeks; there was no rush to do anything, no checklist to tick off, taking things as they come.
Just me, my bicycle, endless tulip fields and a childhood Bollywood dream!!
Also read: Living with a Thai Family in Bangkok