The best person you should gift flowers to is... yourself

And why it will probably be the best thing you would do


Sushmita Bose

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Published: Thu 17 Nov 2022, 6:45 PM

Till a few years ago, I used to think flowers — not the ones in gardens which are always a treat to behold, I am talking about bouquets — were overrated. I grew up in India, where, back in the day, bouquets were these ghastly, badly arranged ensembles of semi-withered blooms (I know that sounds oxymoronic), in all the wrong colour combos, and held together by shiny strings and random pickings from the field. Also, I used to believe they were a waste of money: if one attended a birthday or wedding or an anniversary celebration, and had no idea (or didn’t want to afford the means) what to “present”, a bouquet was immediately purchased, and before the evening was out, it looked like a beaten up motley crew of stalks and dejected florals. In fact, I remember one of my friends wisely remarking, “Even if you give a measly Rs10 (which is 50 fils by today’s INR to AED conversion rate) instead of a bouquet, it has way more use: you can buy a bus ticket with it. Whereas a bouquet of flowers has absolutely no use… what can you do with it — except bin it!”

But as the years went by, the world around me evolved, and I started noticing it had begun to bloom. Floral bouquets looked nicer by the day. Even so, I was not entirely convinced of their efficacy.

Then, one day, it all changed. I was on my way to a friend’s place, and wanted to get something for her, and she’s the sort of person who believes she has everything she ever needed, so it’s a tough ask to figure what it is she would really want. It popped up suddenly in my mind that she likes flowers — she had mentioned them in glowing terms once. So, I stopped at a flower shop en route and decided to customise a bunch for her. The enthusiastic man at the counter tried to hard-sell some of the arranged ones, but they all looked very jaded, so I rapped out arrangement orders, and soon put together a beautiful bouquet: carnations, chrysanthemums and those tiny filler flowers (I read somewhere one variety is called Baby’s Breath, which I think is an astounding name), wrapped in stolid brown paper — not garishly-printed plastic sheets.

My friend loved it, and went into titters of oohs and aahs as she put them in a lovely vase at once. All through the evening, she kept exclaiming how pretty they were and how happy she is to receive them.

On my way back home, I noticed the same flower shop was still open. So, I went and purchased a similar bouquet for myself, carried it home, and placed it in a makeshift vase (I think it was a tall glass that had seen better days) on the centre-table.

The next day, when I woke up and entered my living room and saw those flowers, my spirits immediately lifted. Since then, I remained a convert, frequently buying blooms as gifts for myself. If anybody came home and saw them, and asked who they are from, I always said airily and mysteriously, “Oh, someone sent them to me, aren’t they gorgeous?”

I decided to out myself as a self-gifter of flowers when, recently, yet another friend told me that, on her birthday, she orders half-a-dozen arrangements for herself online and has them delivered at various times of the day. “It’s an unbeatable feeling.”

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