the happy flower - jahnavi john

Do you know what the difference between sunflowers and humans is? They have no alternative like we do.

Sunflowers are just as sad as we are. We aren’t taught to hide the pain and the discomfort, but we learn to. Sunflowers, on the other hand, cannot hide their pain. They simply wilt.


Sunflowers, as the name suggests, won’t live at all if the sun ceased to reveal itself. Nothing on this earth would. But sunflowers -- they'd be really sad. Their whole lives revolve around the sun. They are named after it. That’s how attached they are. They blossom in the mornings, just after the sun.

The sun, if I may put it this way, is the man after their heart. They follow his direction. Everywhere he goes, you see the sunflowers smiling at him. Have you ever thought why is that? Why do they follow him? Except for photosynthesis.

Because, it’s the sun that gives them a reason to live, to move on. To look on the brighter side of things. To anticipate a future.


Have you ever seen these same energetic flowers in the evening? Just after dusk? Have you seen how they wilt? So delicate and fragile. Silently devouring in their self induced misery. It’s as if someone took their reason to live away from them. Took their sun away. As if they’re just rendered useless without the sun.


Have you ever walked by a field of sunflowers in the evening or a dark night? It’s as if they’re sad for all of us. As if they’ve taken all our pain away. Feeling the anguish for us.

photo: rhea kothari


An unfeigned virtual dirge.


Chrysanthemum is supposed to symbolize death.

But have you seen a sunflower? How gracefully it manifests the concept of death. Slow death. Deep sorrow. Eventual fading and ceasing to exist without anyone around realizing that.

You might have seen a sunflower, but have you really watched a sunflower? Have you watched how it lays aside it’s façade in the night? Making itself so vulnerable, allowing itself and all of us passersby to feel every ounce of it’s agony. Hoping we just sit by it in solace while it lets us in on its woes.


Sunflowers are so much like us. Rather, we are like them. Only they’re much purer than humans. Don’t all of us wear our façades hoping no one will see how broke we are? Yet, all the while, secretly praying that someone sees it.


Who is your sun? Rather, what is your sun? Mine is knowing the fact that one day, perhaps one day, in the midst of life, I’ll be dead.


- jahnavi john

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