Sounds of a Petal

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Cholena reveals her relationship with . Though she hated initially for its frail symbolism and it being likened to women, she always loved Tulips; it reminded her of her Sailor Dad. An exclusive photo feature on flower for Different Truths.

Don’t get me wrong. I actually hated flowers, flowers in general. To me, they were way too pretty. Too perfect. Too . Too attention seeking. On top of that, they die too quickly.

But somehow Tulips has gotten a hold of my heart in a rather strange way. My dad was a Sailor and he used to send me postcards from all around the world. One particular was from . It had ribbons of tulips with towering Dutch windmills and cobalt blue sky as the backdrop and a promise that was written on its back, in a neat beautiful handwriting of his that he will take me there some day. But he never got around to doing it and Tulips henceforth became a reminder of broken promise.

Comparing flowers to women made me hate them even more. I believe that women are much tougher and stronger …they can very well take care of themselves and it’s an insult to compare them to flowers. So obviously I hated it when someone gifted me flowers. It was like saying “Oh so you are a girl. So soft. So delicate. So weak. You reminded me of flowers. So here, this is for you.” When instead he/she could have gotten me some cactus or something … which is hardy and has the will to fight and survive no matter what the situation is.

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That was exactly why I became a little bit nervous when I got a project to shoot flowers. It’s so easy to shoot something you are in love with but how do you shoot something that you hate the most? So I decided to do something that I have never done before. Google for flower images…and tada, everything was right there in front of me – every angle and colours I could think of.

This was the part when my job got way tougher. I not only had to shoot what I hated, but also in a unique way. So I decided to look at them in a different perspective and see them as an interesting subject and not merely as weak flowers.

That dreadful day finally arrived and I was the first visitor to walk into the Flower Dome, the world of perpetual Spring in Singapore. Colours were all I could see. Too many, in fact, to the point I couldn’t differentiate them. So I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I could hear the gentle, soft melody of classical music floating in the air. I pushed the colours out of my mind and shapes started to appear. I opened my eyes slowly. All set, I started to .

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While shooting I realised something that I should have realised much earlier. I had forgotten the part where flowers had to go through hardship in order to bloom and live, even if it was only for a few days. After all, all flowers go through dirt. Maybe I should at least give them credit for that and not associate them with the word hate.

Even till today, I’m not entirely in love with flowers and I prefer not to be compared with them. However, Tulips somehow has gotten my hearts complete attention. Deep down, I admire them a lot for their uniqueness and the exotic colours. One major point is that tulips are directly connected to my dad. Also connected to my childhood fantasy and I guess I just can’t get rid of that admiration I had for them when I was a kid.

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What were hours felt like minutes and my stomach finally started growling! I decided to call it a day. At that moment, if someone could have gifted me Potted Tulips, without batting an eyelid I would have easily smiled and said, “Tulips are my flowers.”

©Cholena Nashan

Pix by author.

Cholena Nashan

Cholena Nashan

Cholena Nashan means Song Bird, which is supposed to be tiny and loud. Cholena is neither tiny nor loud. She is a very imaginative person, she loves to shoot, cook, eat, draw and paint . Not in that order always.Cholena is a health fanatic and allergic to serious situations, so she lives life her way. She resides in Bangalore with her family.
Cholena Nashan

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