~ The Flower Sellers of Dadar Local

~ The irony of life in Mumbai slums captured through a lens ~

The flower sellers at Dadar station sell beauty in the form of exquisite flowers, as if that one act completely obliterates their own shredded existence, that of abject poverty. The same flower seller who perhaps has half a meal by night and thinks nothing much of the flowers he trades as a mere commodity, has the power to sell unlimited hope to a recuperating patient in the hospital, a dear friend or a besotted lover, by day. The beauty of the flowers stands in sharp contrast to the dilapidated surroundings and the sepulchral expression on their faces. The loneliness of human existence is nowhere so obvious as in the hustle-bustle of the busiest station in Mumbai, a city that teaches one sublime lessons in existentialism. Here at this station, the suited, booted, well-healed merge seamlessly with the penniless flower sellers as a motley crowd at the station totally overwrites individuality and makes ones’ ego fall to the knees. Much like the humans, these flowers also tell a similar story, one where the whole world values them and admires their beauty when they blossom, and the very same flowers lose significance as soon as they fall to the wayside and get trampled upon!

Photos by Amishi Tandon