Just west of the Eastern Express Highway at King’s circle you will run into an Ayappa temple, a Nalli sari store, and a variety of small Tamil eateries, all signifying that this was once an enclave of Tamil brahmin culture in Mumbai. Although you hear as much Gujarati and Marathi on the road today as Tamil, it still remains Tamil in spirit. At the eoad crossing leading in to the Ayappa temple is a flower market.
In the afternoon the flower market is quiet, but you get a strong feeling that the pace quickens at other times. The morning must have seen a rush of devotees to the temple, and the evening’s customers have yet to arrive. Everywhere people are stringing togther garlands of flowers. Most flower stalls have two levels: the upper level is normally the point of sale, and the lower is the back-office. At this time of the day both levels are workshops.
I took a closer look at one of the persons rapidly putting together garlands. His hands are a blur to the camera. The man concentrated on his work, looking up only once to check me out. Since I was obviously not a customer, his attention was back on his job in a moment.
One man was clearly not in the Ayappa business for the rest of the day. He was rapidly churning out bouquets which look totally different, and could well be used in weddings. As I was taking photos, two young men came by in a scooter and started negotiating a large order for a wedding. Since this is the marriage season, the market must be pretty large.