As I walked home with my little bag of flowers this morning, a local lady passed me. She looked at the bag, nodded her head at the bag, and then gave me the biggest smile.

Flower garlands are used for puja – a devotional ritual. I buy my flowers after practice from Mahesh, a rickshaw driver who sells flowers outside the gates of the yoga shala. He has long garlands of flowers, which he cuts using a double-sided razor blade.

I had seen something mentioning the fact that his mother makes the garlands, and I asked him about it. “My mother and my wife,” he said, nodding. “Six hours every morning.”

The flowers are all threaded together to form a fragrant garland. I just returned to my apartment after being out for a few hours, and the scent is heavenly.

I put flowers on the deities in the shrine in the kitchen:

And there’s some for the big Ganesh in the living room:

And a little something for the small Ganesh on the bookshelf:

I don’t really have any puja ritual beyond offering the flowers, but it’s a lovely daily routine.