On a busy Saturday evening, I made my way to Foxtrot - House of SubCulture, the newest cultural venue in Bengaluru for Jhelum Bose's debut book 'Phool Proof' along with a 'Flower Therapy' workshop. An ex-beauty editor at Harper's Bazaar and brand head for a beauty giant Bose has always been a dreamer and observer. After she took a career break, she looked up to flowers for healing and solace from her chronic breathing problem. Over the year she learnt the art of respecting and recognising the soft energies with the help of Bach flower healing therapy and aromatherapy. She tells us more in this exclusive conversation.
Excerpts from an interview
What inspired you to write on an unusual topic?
Last year in May, it all started with a casual conversation with Gurveen Chadha from Penguin Random House. We discussed writing a book on beauty and healing. I thought over several themes and finally realised that in all the healing therapies that I follow, the underlying thread is of flowers - Bach Flower Remedies, Indian Flower Essences, Floral Essential Oils, Chakra Healing. Chakras are often symbolised as lotus flowers, so that is when I decided to write a book on flowers and their significance in our daily lives.
How did flowers help you overcome your chronic breathing issues?
Bach flower remedies played a major role in healing my asthma. I realised that my ailment had an emotional root. I was not happy doing the work that I was doing, though there was nothing to not like about it. It is just that I felt it was not my calling. Bach flower therapy helped me identify my issue and the remedies helped me make my decision to leave the job. Slowly with the help of yoga and aromatherapy, I was able to overcome my illness.
Bach flower remedies help heal emotions. The founder of this system of healing, Dr Edward Bach believed that all ailments have an emotional root. When you address the emotion the physical manifestation also gets removed. Aromatherapy works through the smell of the oils as well as application. For instance, lavender oil can heal cuts, burns, bruises and can also relieve menstrual aches when applied on the stomach.
'Phool Proof' is all about growing and learning in the mysteries of the floral family. Please tell us how you decoded some of these mysteries?
Flowers are very generous and welcoming, literally when you stop and smell them, give them attention, they open up their world for you.
What kind of research went into the book?
My research involved discussing in-depth about various flowers with experts around the world, learning about the Ayurveda traditions and understanding the cross-cultural values and myths about flowers and their healing process.
How has the initial response to the book been?
The initial response has been good. I have had several readers message saying that they will keep going back to the book and believe that the book is going to be a companion of sorts.
What kind of challenges did you face when writing the book?
The most challenging part when writing this book was battling my depression and anxiety. I embraced the situation and turned the poison into medicine. The book was more like a healing process in itself that helped me emerge from the darkest phases of life.
What are your future plans?
I am toying with a couple of ideas. I have both fiction and non-fiction in mind. I would love to explore and dabble with poems.