Friday, February 15, 2013


The most tragic wound inflicted by Man on Nature, has, alas, gone un-reported and un-lamented to the best of our knowledge- the dispossession, the merciless stripping,  of the Fragrance from the most beautiful of flowers, the Rose...while, we may add, the thorns continue to ‘stalk’ the flower! Soul-less, we have left it...

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet...

used to be one of the most quoted passages from Shakespeare. Will posterity know what it meant and stood for? We stand condemned......

The poignancy of it all struck us last Sunday, when, while flitting around the garden in our new Shillong home, we, having bred roses in the 1980s, sniffed upon an inviting rose, wondering whether it carried the damask fragrance or the tea fragrance, and drew a blank. Kong Helen, our landlady just laughed in mirth at the foolish act, saying “God has placed the eyes above the nose, don’t you forget Carl...”-

‘We didn’t expect this at least in Shillong’, we protested feebly....

“The 2 million year old fragrance evaporated in two years flat, believe me Carl, when the commercial rose breeders discovered that the presence of the fragrance is inimical to its shelf’s all in our mind- the powers of nature...stuff and nonsense”

Pray, whose permission did you seek before so wantonly suffocating the delicate lady...robbing her of her identity...? A crime committed in broad daylight....They all must be wondering what happened....the butterflies, the bees, the meek little insets for whom the nectar was the only sustenance....Saint Valentine...the visually impaired...., for the fragrance was the flower's sole token for them....the only means of appreciating the lady's beauty.....Put it back, maaan...till the fragrance is still around...before it becomes extinct....that’s all one can plead. 

Or bring out the candles, for now usually the chandler has the last laugh......!


 A word of apology will do, for Gertrude Stein, fellow rose-believer who said : 'Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose'  !

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