An ode to the rose

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.” – W.Shakesphere


Starting with a quote from the Bard is a good thing – it gets us all comfortable. And that’s not a bad thing since today’s rumination is on “the rose” – a topic that kept coming up several times over the week.

Interestingly each instance related to entirely different experiences as you will see, but they all brought out the common theme of enigma – how else can you describe a flower so beautiful yet endowed with a thorny stem that is so very prickly?

Available and yet not quite so…- memories of a walk in a park

I remember a stroll in India’s largest rose garden – the Ooty rose garden. It has hundreds of roses catalogued amidst a stunning landscape. It is painstakingly taken care of by the management who understand that along with “The Botanical garden”, it’s probably the tourist location’s golden goose. The terraced gardens are a pleasure to walk – as you take in the pieces of information displayed and the quaint names (most of them British – but then the rose is England’s national flower if I am not mistaken). Is there a catch – you bet there is. The roses are in full bloom in the summer but the crowds of admirers are so huge that you could scarcely catch a sniff of the rose. And if you were to come back later in the year, the crowds wouldn’t be there – but neither would the roses. So what does the discerning rose admirer do?

Seal’s masterpiece – “Kiss from A Rose”

I happened to listen to the wonderfully haunting song from “Batman” again yesterday. Soulful, dark, melodious, lyrical and even inspiring – the song depicts everything Chris Nolan showed us of his amazingly layered Batman – sample these starting lyrics, add Seal’s mesmerizing voice and really-  you couldn’t do better:

“There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea.
You became the light on the dark side of me.”

The genius’s labyrinth – “The name of the rose”

Umberto Eco’s first novel is the stuff of legend. It’s a murder mystery, a scholarly amble through medieval times – all weaved into one of the most elaborate plots you are like to encounter ever.

Wikipedia describes it best:

The Name of the Rose is the first novel by Italian author Umberto Eco. It is a historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327, an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory. 

Indeed this is not so much a book, but an experience to relish.  It was not my first Umberto eco book – and will certainly not be my last – it’s a book that will leave you willing this author to say more and to give you the appetite (and intelligence) to be able to digest – indeed savour it.


That kind of brings us to journey’s end – for today. A forgotten ramble in a park, a haunting song reaching its crescendo as I read through a novel that really is a work of art – sometimes memories and nostalgia can make you very, very happy indeed.


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