Flowers are secret messengers of nature. Even the most busy bees halt for a moment to feel their beauty: the richness of their colours, the lingering fragrance and the moods they evoke.
For the sahridaya individual, the flowers seem to sing songs, that make us enjoy all of nature, the leaves, trees, grass and the wind in a fleeting moment and space. These beautiful quicksilver-like moments are precious, arrive from the middle of nowhere, and drench us in oneness with the universe. It only takes a beautiful flower to hold our wrists and gently make us play with nature.
Then there are lovely floral notes in Odissi that create a kaleidoscopic world of associations. Floral shapes in mudras, the dancer’s silver jewellery shaped like flowers, the shola flower buds in the Odissi dancer’s head dress – all present the floweriness of Odissi.
The Odissi bindi is also shaped like a beautiful, big, blossoming flower. It has a big red circular bindi in the middle with little white dots around it. On the forehead of any child or woman, this unique flower blossom makes her look radiant.
In many Odissi abhinaya, Radha is swayed by flowers : fragrant mango tree blossoms whose fragrance remind her of Krishna waiting in the mango orchard by the banks of Yamuna river. The flowers of these dance moments seem to add fragrance to many such moments, and one’s Radha-ness is enriched forever.
The dancer offers many flowers of devotion (shraddha-suman) to her aaradhya : the lotus-eyed Vishnu or Shiva, the lord white as jasmine. Radha is also compared by her sakhi to a blooming lotus, beautiful both from outside and within. There seems to be a flower in the heart of every dance, for nature’s every colour, setting and mood.