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The story of a flower

That flower. I laid my eyes on it on a rainy day. I walked under a floral umbrella, taking careful steps from work to home. And this purple flower with white streaks caught my eyes. It danced with the droplets of rain falling on its four petals, spaced so perfectly. It kept its roots strongly in the soil of an earthen pot. It sat quietly on the window of the makeshift stall of its seller. That day I decided to make it my own. The very next day I went to buy it, but the seller was gone. Every day for a week I walked past it in the hope of finding the flower again. It was not before two weeks that I finally found myself fishing coins in my bag to pay Dhs 20 to the seller. I complained repeatedly about his shut shop. The moment he handed me a white paper packet of seeds with the picture of the purple flower, joy flowed through my veins. I briskly walked home. All the way I missed the sight of the students leaving the school. I remained unmoved by the congested lanes caused by the disorganised parking. As I walked over the foot bridge connecting my home to the office, I missed the river flowing below, the boats and birds perching on its bank.
I carefully walked through the dirt of my room and carefully picked the flower from the wall. Was there a way I could preserve it? Sana Altaf I was all the while planning the life of my flower. Before reaching home, I had decided the colour of the flower pot, the place it would sit and how I would care for it. No sooner had I reached home, I filled my blue and white ceramic pot with clay and some fertiliser. I carefully put the seeds, praying for its healthy growth. I watered it and put it in the sun. From the next day, it found place on the window sill of my room. Every morning I would check for the sapling. It seemed a long, long wait before I saw the first shoots. I tendered it to the best I could and waited for the day for it to flower. As days went by, it grew in size and strength. I took every possible care to see it bloom. I was thrilled when, after about a month I saw a bud. My wait was nearing its end. I remember shouting at my mum from my room when I saw the flower bloom one morning. It was such a feeling of accomplishment. It adorned my room and my life. But least did I know what was to come next. Gushing waters My flower was hardly a week old when heavy rains flooded my land. Everything was under water including my home. We had to leave home, my flower alone on the window sill, amid the gushing waters seeping in the house. We survived, but so much was lost. When I returned for the first time to my flood-washed, mud and murk drenched home, I rushed to see my flower. The pot was broken to pieces on the floor. The clay was settled on the window. But the flower remained pasted against the wall, with all its petals, still purple with white streaks. I carefully walked through the dirt of my room and carefully picked the flower from the wall. Was there a way I could preserve it? I took one of my favourite books from the book shelf that had survived the water. I placed my flower between its pages. Five years since, my flower still rests in my favourite book. It’s still mine. Sana Altaf is a Dubai-based freelance writer.

That flower. I laid my eyes on it on a rainy day. I walked under a floral umbrella, taking careful steps from work to home. And this purple flower with white streaks caught my eyes. It danced with the droplets of rain falling on its four petals, spaced so perfectly. It kept its roots strongly in the soil of an earthen pot.

It sat quietly on the window of the makeshift stall of its seller.

That day I decided to make it my own.

The very next day I went to buy it, but the seller was gone. Every day for a week I walked past it in the hope of finding the flower again. It was not before two weeks that I finally found myself fishing coins in my bag to pay Dhs 20 to the seller. I complained repeatedly about his shut shop.

The moment he handed me a white paper packet of seeds with the picture of the purple flower, joy flowed through my veins. I briskly walked home. All the way I missed the sight of the students leaving the school. I remained unmoved by the congested lanes caused by the disorganised parking.

As I walked over the foot bridge connecting my home to the office, I missed the river flowing below, the boats and birds perching on its bank.

I carefully walked through the dirt of my room and carefully picked the flower from the wall. Was there a way I could preserve it?

Sana Altaf

I was all the while planning the life of my flower. Before reaching home, I had decided the colour of the flower pot, the place it would sit and how I would care for it.

No sooner had I reached home, I filled my blue and white ceramic pot with clay and some fertiliser. I carefully put the seeds, praying for its healthy growth. I watered it and put it in the sun.

From the next day, it found place on the window sill of my room. Every morning I would check for the sapling. It seemed a long, long wait before I saw the first shoots. I tendered it to the best I could and waited for the day for it to flower.

As days went by, it grew in size and strength. I took every possible care to see it bloom. I was thrilled when, after about a month I saw a bud. My wait was nearing its end. I remember shouting at my mum from my room when I saw the flower bloom one morning. It was such a feeling of accomplishment. It adorned my room and my life. But least did I know what was to come next.

Gushing waters

My flower was hardly a week old when heavy rains flooded my land. Everything was under water including my home. We had to leave home, my flower alone on the window sill, amid the gushing waters seeping in the house.

We survived, but so much was lost.

When I returned for the first time to my flood-washed, mud and murk drenched home, I rushed to see my flower. The pot was broken to pieces on the floor. The clay was settled on the window. But the flower remained pasted against the wall, with all its petals, still purple with white streaks.

I carefully walked through the dirt of my room and carefully picked the flower from the wall. Was there a way I could preserve it?

I took one of my favourite books from the book shelf that had survived the water. I placed my flower between its pages.

Five years since, my flower still rests in my favourite book. It’s still mine.

Sana Altaf is a Dubai-based freelance writer.

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