“The spring wakes us, nurtures us and revitalizes us. How often does your spring come? If you are a prisoner of the calendar, it comes once a year. If you are creating authentic power, it comes frequently, or very frequently.” – Gary Zukav
The bougainvilleas in my neighbourhood are weighing down the branches that wear them. The roses are boastful, having survived the fervor of Valentine’s Day, and, bless them, the impatient lovers did not pluck them, roots included, on the Annual Day of Love. (Please insert an eye-roll emoticon here.) The summer is knocking, earlier than usual. (Every year, it comes a day earlier than the previous year. Have you noticed?) The birds are wearing their bright, mating plumage, and being generally noisy. Spring is here, my friends.
The jackets that the husband and I wear, to pretend that Mumbai has winters, have been packed away. Light coloured muslins have been washed, with the hopes that they would resist mating with greasy gravies. And thick curtains have been hung over the windows, because Sun really does rain down on us in this city. Spring in Mumbai is more of a concept than a reality. But hey, you can’t take that away from us. If you have a song for Spring in your heart, the season stays with you forever.
I am not much of a singer, but the life hack for Spring songs is simple. You don’t sing them out. You live them out. This year, I found a woman who lives in Spring as much as I do, so obviously, we got along well.
The Reason For Her Being
Urmi Bhatia lives in Mumbai, bringing up one husband, two teenagers, and one retriever puppy. She also has a superpower. She can turn the most ordinary looking sheets of paper into the most extraordinary flowers. These are not your regular craft flowers, cut out from craft paper and strung together with glue, for a school craft class. This is real art – delicate, elegant, and difficult. It takes many years of diligent practice to make the flowers this woman does. After her marriage, she took a sabbatical for years. And just a couple of years back, her secret magical powers called out to her, and Mi Ikigai was formed. Ikigai is a Japanese word, you all, and it means “a reason for your being”. And Urmi’s reason is to breathe life into plain sheets, and create spring bouquets so real, they look like they were plucked off their branches a while ago. So yes, the woman who sings the song of spring with her paper flowers, and I, the lover of tables and stories, decided to set up a table.
We got together for a quick meeting over coffee (which she didn’t drink), and sandwiches (which she didn’t eat), and discussed ideas. Since we share a love for flowers, colours, and all the fuss and paraphernalia for a table setting, we ended up with some crazy electric energy. What you are about to see is just first contact. I assure you, there will be plenty more coming from the two of us. But first, the table.
The Language Of Flowers
Spring writes her songs in the language of flowers. And Urmi created for our table the most beautiful and vibrant ones to capture those melodies. She crafted several enchanting and magical clusters of flowers in bright and lively colors like purple, pink, and peach, with sprigs in spring green – a breathtaking celebration of the wonderful time of the year. Though their spirit is rooted in Spring, Urmi’s wonderful blossoms suit every season of the year. They can either fit into or contrast with the other decorations on a table, a mantle, or a bedside. They are an elegant way to bring a flash of eternal spring to your room, or to make a marvelous addition to your seasonally inspired table. Her astonishing, opulent blossoms make for a vivid and dreamy decor, perfect for a country-style arrangement.
Bringing The Spring Theme Alive
So that’s what we made our first “Song For Spring” all about. We decided to work with a wonderful variety of pink and purple shades. A mix of different flowers of all shapes and colors turned our setting into a happy flowering meadow perched delicately atop a small wooden table.
The wooden table gave the setup a natural look, and made the flowers stand out. To this we added books tied with a ribbon, floral napkin rings, and beautiful linen napkins. The flower arrangement itself rested in a book shaped case, taking the book theme forward. A vintage sugar bowl filled with flowers added a touch of whimsy to the setting. The tea was served in a glass cup and saucer to add another dimension to the spring feel. The transparency of glass provides a lighter feel than heavy vessels. For a more vintage look, choose mason jars, bell jars, old bottles, or carafes. Some cookies and chocolates completed the setup, and we were ready for an evening full of conversations.
Books, tea, cookies, chocolates, and eternal flowers – what more could two women addicted to the song of spring ask for? I’ll tell you what they would ask for. They’d ask for another song. And another one. Because spring awakens in some hearts throughout the year.
So, we got started with another table.
What, you thought there was going to be just one?
Of course not!
We are just getting started.