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The Flower Shop

April 28, 2011
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Gifting flowers in India has never been considered expensive. One can get a beautiful, big bunch of flowers for as less as 50 bucks, as opposed to anywhere abroad where the same bunch would cost, well the same amount. Unfortunately, $50 could be a week’s rent while here, it is probably the price of a meal.

But inflation is slowly catching up in Bangalore and flower prices are pretty much going red.

I went to pick up a huge bouquet of flowers today. I knew for the amount I had in mind I could get a fairly impressive bunch. Except, the florist hiked up the price by 50 percent for each flower. It took me five minutes to convince him that I knew he was hiking it up needlessly and I wanted those flowers at the normal prices. But once he was convinced, he began talking about how people weren’t particular about how much they paid for things like flowers and such because these were for ‘special’ occasions and spending more on these things made them feel better.

He pointed to stores that had cropped up at fuel stations and such that sold slightly wilted flowers for higher prices.

“We need to keep up with them madam” he said.

Funnily, these flowers cost around 3 bucks if you hit the markets early in the morning. Huge bunches of every type of flowers are being sold at these markets. 

He began wrapping those flowers and I began intruding at every step. I wanted the daintier white flowers to go with the bigger ones, not the yellow. I wanted the stalks to be slightly long. I wanted the flowers to be wrapped in a particular kind of paper, which apparently is cheaper but not as popular. I wanted silver powder; white ribbons and tied nicely, not just curled.

“People never pay this much attention to any bouquet anymore,” he said as he handed me the bunch. And he says that he would’ve offered me a job in his shop because I know so much about it all but “your taste absolutely does not match 99 pct of our customers” he says.

Well, least I’ve a career option to explore yet.

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