Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Iris flower

             The florist dusted the counters. Again he had to discard the flowers. It was a tricky business. Everyday you had to keep the freshest of flowers, there could be no cheating over here. You could be caught easily. And the last few months had been terrible. No more was the business in full swing. Other than the odd customer all was in shambles. But he hadn't given up hope. The day was cloudy. Again not much of a day for business. But he was a bit happy today. Finally after a rigorous search he had found the exotic Iris flower. The one which was the envy of all florists. One of the best out there. He had displayed it on the topmost shelf. It occupied a position of honour in his shop. It was simply beautiful. He was not going to sell it all. No not for any price. Whatever may it be. He settled down for another dreary day. He propped himself on the cosy couch and settled for a lazy read of the magazine that lay on the table. It thundered outside. The clouds had gathered. In a huddle. And it started. Pouring, raining in gallons. 'Ohh! All those little chances of having a customer had been now washed off', he thought.'Who would venture in this wild rain to buy a bouquet. It would be sheer foolishness'. Now he had to drag out another miserable day. The torrential rain poured in all its might. It was so very close to a storm. 
             As the rain gained momentum, the florist began to doze off. All of a sudden the bell on the shop door clinked. "Strange a customer, in such a weather?', thought the florist. Or may be it was just some traveller wanting shelter from the rain. Yea in all probability it must be the later. He stood up and went to the counter. There stood a drenched young man. In his early 20s probably. He was drenched to the toe. Shivering due to the chill. The young lad stepped forward and said, 'Could I get a rose bouquet please?'. The language was quite polite, a contrast to his dress up. The florist gave a plastic smile and asked him to wait while he prepared the bouquet. The young man stood, hands in his pockets and tried to warm himself. He was glancing at the beautiful array of flowers on the show case. There it was the beautiful Iris flower. 'Thats a beautiful flower you have got there.', said the guy. 'A genuine smile of pride crossed the florist's face.'Yea it is the Iris. Mind you its quite rare and of course not going to sell it for any cost.' The guy smirked and said,'As if I could afford it'. The florist gave another head to toe inspection of the young boy and handed him over the bouquet, stringed with a satin lace and covered in plastic. The roses were beautiful but not as pretty as the Iris. The boy's hand went to his pocket, if you could call that wet thing a pocket. And out came a single wet note. The boy grimaced.'Ohh, seems I can't afford that one too.' The florist was disheartened, 'So no customer even today, when luck hits you bad it is really bad', thought he. The Boy hopelessly tried drying the note by blowing at it. He seemed desperately in need of the bouquet. The scene was pitiable.
                Something struck a cord in the florists heart and he said, 'Take it my boy. Take it for free. Its you day. Enjoy' Hardly had these words spilled out of his lips the boy brightened. The smile was beaming. It was contagious. The florist smiled as he handed over the bouquet to the boy. 'Good luck and good luck to you dear boy'.The boy was delirious and said,'Ohh yes I need all the luck I can  today. This is for the one. The special one. I hope she says yes. And more importantly her father. I just wish it does happen. Ohh god please.' The florist thought for a second and said,'Wait'. He stepped towards the topmost shelf and took out the Iris flower. He looked at it, a fatherly smile and placed it in the bouquet. Ah it seemed so perfect now. The colour the beauty seemed to be in a perfect circle.'I can't afford that one, let alone take it', the boy said.'keep it its yours and good luck. I am sure she won't say no now', said the florist and winked at the boy. The boy literally skipped out into the rain onto his way. The florist sighed as he came back to the counter. Another day. So now he had to close down the shop, maybe forever. He couldn't afford so many loses. He had so easily given away his most precious collectible free of cost. But he was happy. That's all. Tomorrow would be it. The last day of his beloved shop.
                A new day dawned. The florist opened the shop with a teary smile. It would be the last day today. Today he had used up all his savings everything for a complete buyout of the flower market. He had bought the most beautiful flowers. He started decorating the shop. Today more than ever. Docking it with flowers. Ironically it was like decorating a funeral pyre.He smiled inwardly and sat down for the one last time at the counter. It was a bright sunny day out there. A pleasant day for flowers. Such a paradox. He sat down appraising his shop. And then he heard the screech of rubber outside his shop. It brought him back out of the reverie. He looked out of the window and saw the most royal car he had seen to date. It was so unusual in these parts. Especially for a florist. It was a rolls Royce. Ohh it was one heck of a beauty. The chauffeur opened the door and out stepped a burly man. A gentleman with a gold walking stick and exuberant suit. Every apparel of his screamed just one word "Rich". The man moved aside for someone else to get out of the car. 'ahh how can it be', thought the florist. Out stepped the young boy. In a dapper suit, hand stitched, with a beautiful lady at his side. The couple was perfect. The trio stepped into the shop. The burly man cleared his throat and the florist was by his side at once. 'How can I help you?', asked the florist.'Irony was the day today, on the day when he was about to close his shop forever he was getting his most rich customer to date.', thought the florist. The burly man said,'Ahh so its you who gave my son-in-law the Iris. Thank you for that'. The florist nodded. The young man stepped ahead with the lady and said,'Sir yesterday I was in shambles and desperate. It was your Iris which played an important role in getting my lady. So thanks for that. Today I  am here all with another request. I want you to be the one to set up the decor for my marriage. No costs barred.' The florist was in a haze. When all roads had seemed dead and bolted. A gate was thrown open to him. As the trio left he saw a check of a million dollars across his counter. So it was not over after all. The Iris had turned out to be lucky after all.

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