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Safflower: Kusumlei

Safflower

Kusumlei (as it is called in Manipuri) is a special item for the Cheiraoba, the New Year of the Meitei calendar. We usually do not have it in our garden but we started growing some of them some time back. In one of the previous Cheiraoba, my mom had kept some of the dried mature flowers and strewn them in some flower pots in early spring. Lo and Behold! the plant survived and very soon started giving these spritely blossoms of bright yellow and orange flowers on spiky sprigs. Although I have no idea what is so special about this flower that it is an essential part of the New Year offerings to deities, I imagine it is probably the feeling of optimism that this lively flower inspires to embark on a new year ahead full of possibilities

©ingellei

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