The D Day is over. Congress has won a safe majority such that a stable
government is ensured. Thousands of party volunteers and enthusiasts
are gate crashing into residences of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh
with flowers, sweets and garlands. I heard in NDTV news that a
Bouquets Collection Center has been set up to gather all bouquets
brought by such enthusiastic crowds.
The idea of a Bouquet Collection Center appeared funny and odd to me.
Why take a flower bunch just to leave it when the leader does not even
know who sent him flowers. As the leaders would have been submerged
with thousands of bouquets, will it mean anything if yours is not
there? Are you trying to convince yourself that you are important
enough to be associated at the bouquet giving level with a great
Don't you feel odd that leaving such bouquets in a BCC and leaving
wreaths at a funeral are the same? The recipient does not know or does
not care that you have sent in flowers? Why do we continue this
formality? I beg to know, for whose benefit? Only flower sellers
benefit. Yes - they benefit a lot as these bouquets are re-circulated
(like gifts that we get) and given again and again to lesser mortals.
Is such a fad necessary?
Well, I think the whole idea started from temples. In newer temples
that are built recently the idea of cleanliness is paramount. They do
not allow you to break coconuts in the sanctum sanctorum. Nor are you
permitted to burn camphor or Incense Sticks of your own. Pretty much
away from the God (Deity) you make your offerings in a de-personalized
way and take back your portion of prasadam from the hands of a third
party purohit-representative. After all, you have made your offerings
whether in the presence of Deity or elsewhere. It is up to Him to
collect it and bless you.
If reforms are needed they must start from leaders. They must say: "I
understand your support without flowers. Don't waste your time and
money on such wasteful practices. They are only a fad. They add to
pollution and garbage. Let us pit an end to it" Then followers may