Immortal Flora: Dry Flowers And Preserve Them

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I believe, I am quite familiar with the essence that creates a ruckus in your soul when you are offered a flower by someone whom you dearly adore. I believe it is the moment when you start adoring them all the more, and that particular flower is the memento of that particular moment when someone stole those few vagabond seconds from you, and granted you in turn, with something special, a precious memory. The impact that a flower tends to cast on us, is quite memorable and on immensely positive notes too. Flowers, as I have put forth before, over the course of time, are the boon of mother nature, its offsprings, its very children. They are beautiful and intriguing at the same time and harbor a sense of mystery, that we have been trying to decipher – like forever, but we don’t try hard enough, for we don’t really want to know the origins and meaning of such immensely beautiful forms – for this very form of ignorance, make us, appreciate them, all the more. A flower is significant – as an entity. Every aspect of it means somethings or the other, every meaning of its aspect is a nod towards its relationship with us. The shape of it, the colors it dawns, its very type – all of it, significant, all of it, denoting a notion. Hence, flowers are beautiful. And more. But, there is always a but, there is always a but in what we create, for as some would say, this blog is good but – there is always a but in what nature creates in the form of an interruption, a halt, or say – a permanent stop, that is, death. Like all creations of nature, like us, like everything else that surrounds us, a flower too, has to die.

But. If a particular flower, harbors cherishable memories for us, then can we let it deny us its presence so easily? Can we let it die so easily? Would we sit, with our arms flung in some helpless formation, watching it get devoured by annihilation? Yes, we would, for we don’t possess the powers of nature, and even nature lacks when it comes to resurrection. But, the best we can do is to preserve the flower, preserve it in a careful and thorough manner, so that it dies but does not fall, so that it is lifeless but never devoid of memories, so that it’s faded but not colorless, so that it actually does not die but gets transformed, from one entity to other, from being beautiful to being melancholic, from being adored by us to being nothing short of precious for us. And I shall tell you how?

A few years back, in my possession, I had a beautiful flower. The very same flowers that is being displayed in the photograph above. For the life of me, I cannot figure out its name. But, when it was young with life, when the early morning dew still rested upon its tender and delicate petals, it was quite a slender and dainty beauty. Even when it was lively, there is no denying that it was fragile. I was offered it by someone and I carefully brought it to my place along with me. It was whitish red in color, and there was no definite fragrance. It was an empty vessel of beauty. But it held a few memories for me and I witnessed it in the harsh electric light, observing it – the beauty of its color, the subtle nature of it, the humble definition of itself that it seemed to cast upon me to decipher, it was charismatic, it was beautiful, it was a vessel that now harbored tendered memories, but from the very beginning itself, I must admit, it displayed an essence of being melancholic. After I had admired it for long enough, I placed it in an empty vase (yes, I am a glutton for flowers), and forgot it for a day or two (typical human being sort of behavior). After a period of two days, I was engaged in a book. Reading is one of my primary hobbies and I can dive into a book for hours, not realizing that I have been immersed in it for so long. After a while, when I thought that I have had enough of the book, thereby deciding to hunt for another activity to engage myself in, I started searching for a bookmark, in order to place in midst the pages where I had left off so that I could start from that very point itself, the very next time when I feel like reading again. And though, just an hour or two ago, I had placed the bookmark somewhere, I could find it, for the life of me, in the untidy, badly arranged imagery of my room. As I was searching for the bookmark, I laid my eyes on the flower in the vase – it had now started to fade and had begun to droop down. What a pity! – I thought it was quite a beauty, and it was also a present. It was a memory. I don’t remember if it was a reflex guided by the need of a bookmark, or an action that was well pondered over, I ended up placing the dying flower amidst the pages of the book that I was reading, tightly shutting it off and placing it away. I started reading something else when I felt the desire to read something the next time and forgot the book that harbored the dying flower.

After a period of few months, by chance not by the propel of remembrance, I came across the very same book. The mere sight of it reminded me of the flower that I had placed in it. I hurriedly opened the book, to witness it. It was not there. It was replaced by something else. Something purely melancholic, donning fading vintage colors, all dry but not fragile – rather rigid and accurate as if crafted out of precise geometry. The flower was reborn, in a way I had not imagined. It was all the more beautiful, and I fell in love with it, all over again. But then, I didn’t waste any more time, and instantly got the flowers framed with a black background. It was now something more than a mere flower, it was now a piece of art, a decorative that shall forever last – a memento that had been crowned with the importance that it deserved.


Photo Courtesy: Prahaas Srivastav

Unknowingly, I had practiced one particular way of drying and preserving a flower. It is known as pressing. You press the flowers amidst books and other household objects and grant yourself the very same surprise that I had witnessed. Another technique to dry flowers involve the hanging of flowers in an upside down fashion, in sunlight and waiting. After a few days, you shall be blessed with beautiful crisp artistic entities. Yet another and the very last technique that I am familiar with is placing of flowers in a vase, with their bottom end soaked in a bit of water. Forget about them for some time (just like I did) and once the water had evaporated, the flowers shall be all perked up and shapely, as you did expect them to me. So, next time don’t throw away the flowers that had once had been offered to you, because, I bet that they were special enough for you to hold a significant message, hence, immortalize them with one of the above-mentioned methods, and keep them by your side, forever and ever and ever.