Laila-Majnu, the plant, a bestseller at Bihar fair

November 12th, 2009 - 10:55 am ICT by IANS  

By Imran Khan
Patna, Nov 12 (IANS) A plant named after legendary lovers Laila and Majnu, who could only unite in death, is selling like hot cakes at a Bihar fair as a symbol of luck and prosperity for couples and newlyweds.

“People, particularly newly married couples and lovers, are purchasing this plant with a belief that it will bring them good luck and strengthen their relationship,” Ram Briksha Chourasia, who sells the plant at Sonepur cattle fair, told IANS by phone.

Chourasia, who has set up a stall at the agriculture exhibition organised by the state government, claims that he developed the plant named after the fictional couple.

“The Laila-Majnu plant was developed after months of hard labour in my nursery. It is a result of a botanical combination that makes it different,” he said.

The leaves of the plants are red on one side and green on the other. It is priced at Rs.35 per sapling.

“Married couples are buying the rare plant with a belief that it will bring them good luck and prosperity,” said Chourasia, who claims to have sold hundreds of these plants in the past few days.

“People can keep it in their bedroom, garden, balconies or elsewhere,” he said.

The nearly month-long Sonepur cattle fair, spread across 500 acres near the confluence of two rivers - the Ganga and the Gandak - has been held every year for centuries.

The fair, which begins on the auspicious Kartik Purnima day, is perhaps the only one of its kind in the entire sub-continent where many birds and animals - including parrots, eagles, elephants, horses, sheep, goats and buffaloes - are bought and sold.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

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