The red roses at the far end of the rose garden in Hyderabad had escaped the blistering heat and were posing for the Nikon SLR and flirting with the sun as they glittered in its eight o clock morning warmth.
They were just a small lot of the 100 or so roses still fresh enough for photographing amidst the thousands of others which had dried up to remind everyone that the pitiless heat of the Hyderabad summer was whirling towards us without stopping for a breath.
But the red roses had kindly made my long trip worthwhile as they shone and glistened like only red roses seem to do – with that reckless glamor of rubies that always makes us stop and stare.
Then the old, frail seller of some mysterious ‘magical’ potion or sweetmeat arrived and began to gently advertise his wares. His voice was mild and yet insistent as he told everyone around about his ‘’zero cholesterol’’ goodies wrapped in clean muslin packets!
No-one ever seemed to ask about his wares or to buy them. But he hobbled around the immense carnival of roses on tattered grey green slippers and kept on promoting his goods daily. It was hard to imagine how he made a living with this daily chore. The mystery of his life was embedded within the enthralling sea of roses.
He never begged or cajoled to buy and very quickly walked past even as he mildly called out his ‘’zero cholesterol’’ mysterious offers! The hopelessness of his enterprise kept me from even asking about it, though I was curious. I just felt that frailty of life emanating from him, and the truth that he above all needed the elixir he was offering!
For a while his story as he hobbled past, worried me a little, as anything that we feel helpless about, does. But then the red roses looking up directly into the sun which would soon be burning up the whole City, wedged their way into my worry and cooled it a little with the wisdom of all wild, silent things.
Nearby was the regular crowd of people laughing out loudly, giggling and shrieking, to promote good health. For some reason, this was even more difficult to take in. The red roses somehow seemed to agree!