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I am not a flower, but watch me bloom

“I am not a flower, but watch me bloom.”

The Bougainvillea seemed to say, to all its naysayers, especially in this summer heat, when all the other spring flowers seem to wither and die.

They said, leaves can’t have colours, but the bougainvillea in brilliant shades of pink, orange, salmon and yellow, seemed to be breaking all the rules. Leaves don’t look pretty, leaves can never bloom, leaves are just food for caterpillars, said the naysayers, and the bougainvillea that had been relegated to the ‘bract’ family, not fit enough to be a flower, seemed to be showing the haters the middle finger.

I am a huge fan of Bougainvillea , infact every summer I am drawn to write about it, or repost one of my favourite pists from 2010 The namesake 

A couple of months back, the people in Goa seemed to have their collective egos in a twist, when the coconut tree got renamed a grass, but did the coconut tree care?

 It stood head and shoulders above all the trees, even when the taxonomists said a grass should not rise above ground level.  They said, grass can only be fit for cow fodder, the coconut laughed and said, whichever cow can reach up is more than welcome to them.

While we humans got all upset about the names and categories, the coconut continued to bear fruit, and the bouganvillea continued to flower.

Imagine the tomato in a school of fruits, being taunted by the mango, king of fruits, for not being as sweet. But did the tomato care? It went and conquered the culinary world. No fries can do without the ketchup, no pizza without the marinara sauce, no Indian gravy without the tomato base. I don’t need to be in a fruit salad, cut me and serve me up with basil and cheese, and people will choose me over you, said the tomato to the naysayers.

We humans, we just can’t seem to shake off our labels, our boxes , our definitions.
Go beyond labels, and definitions.

A few days back news of Serena winning a Grand slam while pregnant made news, the fact is millions of women continue doing what they do while pregnant, whether it is collecting water from miles away as they walk in the heat, or entertaining a house full of guests, or going to a board meeting, or putting in 13 hours at work, every day.

Labels are not just put on women, labels have men in their strong hold as well; men can’t wear pink, men cannot cry in public, men cannot make round rotis.  

Labels are for the masalas in your kitchen, not for people, and even the masalas seem to be defying the labels. The turmeric is easing itself into sweet dishes, as well as savoury, and into face packs as well. Jeera powder is equally comfortable amongst the spicy jal jeera, the cool chaas, or with boring old potatoes in a jeera aloo, then why do we humans chooses to be either spicy, or cool or boring? Why can’t we be all of that, and even if you can’t be, why can’t you accept that someone else can?
We have multitasking beauty products, the lip balm which can double up for a shimmering eye shadow, but we balk if a working mom decides to pump at work, or a man works from home and does house work.

We look for affirmations, positive reinforcements, encouragement even , from the world around us. More often than not, that is not going to happen, more often than not we are going to be told we are not pretty enough, smart enough, man enough, or woman enough to be doing what we want to do. But should that stop us from following our dreams?


Not at all. Not only is there the sublime happiness of fulfilling your dreams , but the added benefit of turning around and saying those precious lines “ I may not be a flower, but watch me bloom .” to all those who say you couldn’t , has a joy all its own.


7 years back I was a post graduate student of Ophthalmology, and today I am a consultant with My own clinic. my growth both in my writings as well as my beliefs. read my previous post on the bougainvillea HERE

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