Friday, October 24, 2008

Elephant Flower

Sam Lal, a Hindu man living in Queens, was shocked to discover that the vaguely elephant-shaped amaranth flower growing between cracks in his pavement seems to have healed him of pain. He believes the flower is a physical symbol of the Hindu god Ganesh, the Remover of Obstacles, who could sometimes fly with the aid of a magical feather. Or something like that. Anyway, Lal suffered terrible pain from a bone spur near his spine and bulging discs in his neck until the flower began growing near a garage he's converted into a prayer space. I'm a little skeptical, and it's not only because I don't believe in any elephant god not named Babar. For one thing, pain is subjective. If the flower had really healed Lal, he wouldn't have that bone spur or those bulging discs anymore. And for another, the amaranth isn't native to the U.S., so it probably didn't just start growing in Queens spontaneously. Lal denies having sculpted the flower himself. Still, the chill of autumn will most likely kill the plant. If this happens and Lal's pain suddenly returns in full force, then we'll all know for sure that Ganesh, while a Remover of Obstacles, is also kind of a dick. More details here.

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