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“Flower on the Road” is a children’s poem by Chitra Padmanabhan that explores a conversation between a glamorous vine plant and a small flower as they discuss the happiness they bring to the world.
About the poet
Chitra Padmanabhan is a contemporary Indian poet who is mostly known for her children’s poetry. Her famous works include “Flower on the Road”, “How many greens?”, “The Pigeon Party”, etc.
“Flower on the Road” by Padmanabhan consists of 20 lines but carries only three sentences.
Summary and Analysis
Spring has come, said the bougainvillea Crimson, orange, cream and yellow Making a flower wall along the road I bring happiness to all.
The bougainvillea plant says that the spring has come and therefore its time for it to bloom in all colours to cover the wall along the road by making it a flower wall that will bring happiness to all.
The poem starts as the speaker of the poem mentions Spring. Spring has arrived, says the bougainvillea. Bougainvillea is a vine plant that blooms in Spring and is evidently seen across the streets due to the freshness of Spring. The plant grows several small flowers of colours like crimson red, orange, cream, and yellow.
These vines take over the street walls, making it a flower wall which is also a tourist attraction. The colourful blossoms bring happiness to all and the bougainvillea in this poem, takes pride in its work of the beautiful flower wall that makes numerous people happy. The speaker speaks from the plant’s perspective.
Lines 9- 18
Wait, said the little flower on the edge of the kerb I, too, blossom though I am small Every now and then a little child walks past, sees me at her height And happily smiles.
Upon hearing what bougainvillea had to say, the little flower on the edge of the kerb claims that it also blossoms in spring and is noticed by children because of its small stature. But nonetheless, the small flower still makes the children happy as they smile.
In these next lines, the speaker now talks from the perspective of a little flower that grows on the edge of the road. The flower is small and cannot be noticed or identified by most people but that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant.
The little flower says that it, too, blossoms in the springtime despite its small size. Although many people may not notice, oftentimes when a little child passes by the road, they notice the flower since it’s at their height and seeing the flower makes the child happy. The flower is proud that its existence can bring a smile on one’s face, especially that of a child.
Doesn’t that make us comrades on the road!
Both the plants realise that they are comrades of the road as their duty is to make people happy just by blooming to their fullest.
The last two lines of the poem suggest that both the plants are talking to each other and they have arrived at a conclusion that they are both comrades on the road. They are proud to make people happy by their existence and therefore they are happy to bloom on the wall or on the pavement like true comrades, they together will bring happiness in this world by blooming in Spring.