As summer slowly descends upon India, I think of times past…

When I visit my mother in India, I try all the remedies of my childhood. The flame of the forest flowers aren’t available as easily as they used to be, so I simply fill two buckets of water when it’s still early morning and keep them aside for my two showers of the day. I try different kinds of ittar. I revel in the mulberries, how beautiful their stains appear on my fingers, and how lush they feel on my lips. I eat all the mangoes I can. I grate the muskmelon to thin, long shreds and dust it with powdered sugar and let it chill in the refrigerator. I read the books of my youth, The Bridges of Madison County, The Bridge Across Forever, with the hope that they would lull me into romantic dreams filled sleep.

Is it unfair of women to expect flowers from their partners?

On one hand, I understand the concept of equality. Of being equal partners in a marriage, of being responsible for your own happiness, and that you can get yourself a bouquet if you feel like it, and do not need anyone to get or send you one. And lately, even the sheer expense of these bouquets and the economics or the commercial undertone behind the celebration of a lot of 'days' and what one is expected to do on these days as a mark of love or respect. However having said that, I love receiving and gifting flowers.