50 Years Worth Of Stories With The Self-Made Women Of Dadar's Flower Market

Homegrown Staff

The streets that make up the Dadar phool gully— once occupied by stables, potters and street dwellers — have figuratively and in some instances quite literally grown and evolved around Kalabai Vaghmare.

The street that seemed to be occupied by half of the city’s population during the day, only has a handful of vendors wrapping up for the day.

Apart from being a familiar face to all those who frequent this flower market that is one of the biggest in Mumbai, Kalabai is one of the many self-made women of Dadar phool gully who have, for generations, single-handedly supported their families.

Amidst the orange of the marigold garlands suspended from makeshift stands, buds of pink lotuses and red bulbs of roses, the sheer beauty of the independence and hard work that Kalabai and her daughters exude puts all that surrounds them to shame.

After getting an idea of what Sundarbai’s day looks like, I ask her why she doesn’t move back to the village where living costs are considerably lower. “It is cheaper, but there is no scope to earn for a woman. I have gotten used to this life. We visit our village on and off, but this is home now,” she responds.