Photo: Purabi Das, Grand Cayman

I have a personal relationship with the Bougainvillea. Is it any wonder then this tropical flower has been the center of my attention while travelling through the Caribbean islands?

In India, I grew up surrounded by the glorious beauty of this perennial vine. The flowers, paper thin yet hardy, adorned the gates of old colonial style houses in my hometown. I often wondered how it was possible for them to grow in such profusion on so little water. Winter months are rain-free and that is when the Bougainvillea trees burst into brilliant light.

I carried a bouquet of these flowers on my wedding day. Our garden, teeming with all sorts of blooms, did not have this one so the bouquet had to have arrived from somewhere else. Instead of asking I quietly accepted the bouquet from my husband’s family; but my mind seethed with questions. Having arrived from another city, at least a thousand miles away, there was no way on earth they could have brought the flowers themselves. So, the only solution to this puzzle had to be someone living in our town, possibly a common friend of our two families who had created this beautiful token.

The heavy bouquet weighed me down, I had to be careful of hidden thorns. But the fact that it had been gathered by hand from someone’s garden, had to have been pretty early since it was high summer, prepared with love and care, then sent to a new bride who was about to start on a new life journey makes that memory just that bit more special.

The beauty of the Bougainvillea in this post is thanks to Grand Cayman – I was dazzled by the colours and couldn’t stop taking pictures.


Keep well…Keep smiling.
Purabi Das

#bougainvillea #riotofcolours #grandcayman #amwriting #myjourney


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