Shashikala has been sewing up flowers for the Ramakrishna Math for 45 years
In Vyasanagar in the city, near Karnataka Polytechnic (KPT), she is known as “flower aunty” or “hoovina aunty” as the garlands she makes are particularly attractive. B. Shashikala makes garlands for the love of it — she has never accepted money for them. She started sewing in 1968.
She has been giving garlands to Ramakrishna Math near Mangaladevi Temple twice a week for the past 45 years as her gesture of gratitude.
She also makes garlands for others, free of cost, whenever someone makes a request for religious ceremonies or to take it to the temple.
Ms. Shashikala picked up the habit of giving garlands to the math as a girl in 1968 . Since then she has been giving the garlands to the math on Wednesdays and Sundays.
On Wednesdays, she collects the flowers grown at her house and sometimes from neighbours and sews them together. On Sundays, some children from the math bring her some green leaves to convert into garlands.
She said that it takes about two hours to make a plain 4-ft-long garland of Ratnagandhi flowers. It takes more time to create a garland mixed with Ratnagandhi and Nanjibattalu flowers with some green leaves.
Her neighbour Leelavathi said that the garlands looked very attractive with set of two varieties of flowers and green leaves in between.
The math’s functionaries who have been receiving the flowers for over four decades said that Ms. Shashikala sewed the flowers closely unlike flowers on the garlands available in the market.
Swami Chidambarananda of the math said that many old devotees of the math knew about Ms. Shashikala’s garlands.
Many newcomers looking at the neatness and beauty of garlands had sought details about the “artist behind them”, he said.