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A Bud That Never Blossomed


The story of a couple and their quadriplegic child who lived to be 14 before succumbing to her disabilities. The parents, stoic to the point of personifying the true meaning of the word, perhaps inherently so or maybe fashioned by necessity, did everything possible within their means to give their child a comfortable life. Their son too contributed immensely in emotional terms being very protective of his crippled elder sister, a commendable trait in a boy of his age. To keep themselves from being consumed by their agony, the father immersed himself in his profession while the mother self-taught her way to eminence in sugar and porcelain craft. Pictures of her creations are featured in this presentation.


The picture above is that of Poornima Subramanian, the Sugar and Porcelain craft exponent featured in this presentation. Cold Porcelain flowers have gained a lot of popularity in the last 15 years, but the medium that is generally used in their creation, is corn starch cooked with school glue in a Teflon pan that gives a translucent gooey paste to which a whitening agent is added to make it into flowers. Her medium has other ingredients and is uncooked, a formula that she accidentally stumbled upon 27 years ago and now perfected by trial and error. It is pure white and looks natural.

Remembering a bud that never blossomed


The preponderant notion of duality employed

to recognize even a mundane happening;

An eternal, infinite series of causes and effects

strung up, offer an acceptable reasoning;

Satisfactory, it has been so far, to establish a

persuasive pedestal of correspondence;

Commensurate with the evolutionary state of

thought and its material equivalence.

The process of consequence-tracing aside, to

portray even a time-stagnant situation;

Requires the inevitable use of contrasts; with

singularity there can be no description;

The picture above viewed in the explicated

context is a paradigmatic representation;

Of gloriousness unwound, of joy unbound,

in the background of certain annihilation.

Essence it is, of the saga too, of the growth and

triumphs of the porcelain-craft exponent;

She took to it as a palliative to endure the pain

that providence imposed and did not relent.


The Shakespearean paradox on the state of being

is perhaps a special case of an eternal question;

Considered by cosmologists, studied by psychologists,

always dominated philosophers' attention;

The bizarre circumstance where a developed

faculty doubts the undertaking it has to address;

When something apparently real interrogates

evident reality about its seeming unreal-ness;

The occurrence of such thoughts is certainly not

the monopoly of a few with overbearing epithets;

This observation is indubitably not intended

to belittle the contributions of renowned adepts;

Born of the same constituents, at least all humans

confront these notions sometimes in their lives;

On the absurdity of selection, the futility of intro-

spection, the farce upon which existence thrives;

Such thinking was perhaps the unconscious cause

of the exponent passionately embracing this art;

It dubiously expressed what it wasn't, elicited every

emotion in the bin, yet imperiously stood apart.


Inflorescence has always been a symbol of femininity,

in its natural function, appearance, and structure;

Perhaps, it is so only in the human plane; arthropodal

exigencies may impose an altered logical stricture;

Enlivening softness of touch, invigorating freshness of

fragrance, and captivating shades of colors aside,

Enduring serenity and subdued solace the effeminate

manifest organa endow, that for long abide;

Imitation ware despite its explicit limitations, do put on a

gallant act to invoke the vibes of their alter-selves;

If the stimulation of anamneses is to be leveraged,

they take on the role of hardy, handy helves;

Were I asked what represents a flower in the human

scheme of things, my answer would be: a little girl;

Assuming uniformity in homo-sapien reflection, our lady

exponent maybe had a like thought-process-unfurl;

With a child dependent on her for everything, to be of

service, though a pleasure, was also heart-rending;

Knowing that her daughter was a flower that would

never bloom must have been an anguish unending.


The rational observational grounds set so far may

fit a host of situations causing an overrun;

Specificity is the need of the moment and we

hark back to the month of June in 1981;

A dainty little bud did they spawn, a couple of

gentle folk, at normal living as they prevailed;

With adorable baby antics and toddling romantics,

the little one kept the happy family regaled;

Soon the worried parents took notice of the child's

utter inability to exercise its auditory faculty;

Diagnosis declared the child with a debility; her

normal body function, the impending casualty;

The distressed couple desperately pursued to

no avail, every suggested act of amelioration;

From medication of every order, to surgery, and

even to incantations, and spiritual meditation;

Events however, led inexorably to its conclusion

a situation no parent would ever want;

Of watching a bud they lovingly nurtured, slowly

wither away, leaving mixed memories to haunt.


About two decades past their daughter's macrocosmic

reversion, a new light burned bright in their hearts;

The child's abnormal life appeared to be a test of

their resilience, a new meaning to life it now imparts;

Severe emotional adversity having wiped away

all destructive sheen of their ego and personality;

Find joy in simple things, they could; in abandon

did they strive to grasp the essence of universality;

Every moment, every situation, every incident seemed

linked to an unimaginably intricate network;

For each sunrise, a sunset, for each joy was a sorrow;

who got paired with what and when was destiny's quirk;

Virtue and sin stood out as impressions of personal

prejudices, employed for meaningless justifications;

From dust did all originate; in to dust did all go;

everything in between were perceptional flirtations;

There were no two things that could not be matched, or

unmatched; nothing could ever be un-chronological;

Even sugar or porcelain flower craft could convincingly

proven to be an exercise quite philosophical.

1/12th scale cold porcelain flower stall

1/12th scale cold porcelain flower stall

Edible sugar crafted embellishments

Edible sugar crafted embellishments

The picture below is that of her first attempt at the world fresh flower arranging show held in Dublin in 2014 by the World Association of Flower Artists(WAFA). It was adjudged to be the 4th best in the category.

Her entries have also won in seven categories of cake decorating competitions held by the British Sugar Craft Guild, including a best entry of the show commendation.



Suchitra on December 11, 2017:

Poornima, what a courageous journey! Your creations are marvellous.

Ram, you have expressed so poetically the pain of the parents

Poornima Subramanian on December 03, 2017:

Thanks Ram for giving such a poetic expression to my creations. Thank you all for such warm words.i must admit I was never into craft which needs lot of patience.was into music and theatre .But my daughter’s presence in my life made me understand the essence of patience,perseverance and persistence.

Initially I did enjoy the sympathetic attention I got ,as attention in any form was welcome when we’re feeling so low and listless . But very soon I realized i was caving in my own pit and sympathetic attention was helping me in it.

That’s when I decided to divert my mind into doing something different and started my creative journey.

I owe this to my daughter as she came into my life to enrich my life with so many experiences that I learned to value life

Jaishree Subramani on December 02, 2017:

What a wonderful tribute to a parents unconditional love and the celebration of the human spirit!

Kudos to your creativity inspired by Purnima’s artistic journey.

Very touching and soulful!

S Shankar on December 02, 2017:

I have known them for years - and was close to them at Muscat during those difficult days . I always found them cheerful and adjusting their schedules without compromising on social interaction - yet ,meeting all the demands to make their daughter comfortable at all times . Kudos to them...great role models for parents with children needing special attention.

This is an amazing compilation beautifully illustrated with what Poornima does best -

Great poetic effort Ram!

Ram Ramakrishnan (author) on December 01, 2017:

Thank you, Mary, for visiting the page and for the nice comment too.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on December 01, 2017:

I like the way you wrote this. It's poetry. Am happy with the positive and inspiring end.

Ram Ramakrishnan (author) on November 30, 2017:

Thank you Linda, for your comment. Truly appreciate it.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 30, 2017:

The art and the photos are beautiful and the poem is impressive. It includes both beauty and sadness.

Sundari Subramanian on November 30, 2017:

Poornima has immortalized her daughter through her beautiful porcelain flowers and you have

further embellished this by your poetic skill.

Great soulful creation.

Ram Ramakrishnan (author) on November 29, 2017:

Thank you for your comments, my friend. Poornima is my sister-in-law, my elder cousin's wife.

manatita44 from london on November 29, 2017:

Deep and woven well. Your wife, Bro? Great art amidst this seeming tragedy. Who knows the ways of the Lord. Exquisite poetry

R Krishnan on November 29, 2017:

Wonderful tribute.

Poornima's creations are really captivating in their beauty, not only in their individual parts, but also in their overall artistic arrangements, adding further to their impact on the viewer. Her creations made me feel that she was seeing her lost child as she painstakingly and gently took care of her floral arrangements as if each petal, each flower, each vine were actually her daughter. Lovingly showering her gentle care and everlasting affection on her lost child.

radha sundaram on November 29, 2017:

truly heart rending! a lesson to be learnt from a couple who made their life worth living by braving all odds

K Sitaraman from New Delhi India on November 29, 2017:

Amazing narrative. My eyes welled up reading about the child, and my chest swelled reading about the mother. Poornima, there are many who dream to achieve something, but only a few remain awake and achieve it. You are one of them.

Geetha Sunil on November 28, 2017:

Heart-warming and Heart-wrenching juxtaposed beautifully as only you can.

C.R.Ramesh on November 28, 2017:

I don't know which is more beautiful - Poornima's porcelain flowers or your poetic story telling. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia Smaletz from East Coast on November 28, 2017:

The loss of a child is agony. Although their child did not bloom in the obvious sense, her beautiful soul bloomed in the hands of Poornima. Every time Poornima created a beautiful sugar porcelain flower, she held her daughter's spirit in her hands. Spirits always bloom with love whether they are trapped in a crippled body or not. Thank you for this story and for reminding us what is important. May the parents and brother find peace.

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