Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 6 - Hour of Flowers

In preparation for Dad's 54th anniversary luncheon, we ordered some old family favourites from the same places Mum used to buy them when we were children and she was splurging to treat us. So the cake and the mutton samosas came from Fatima's Bakery, of course - the grandson of the man Mum knew is running the operation these days! - and the curry puffs and bread for sandwiches came from Koshy's, the little bakery at the other end of Wellington Street. 

The bakery

I picked up the bread the evening prior to the event, and I was to pick up the dinner rolls and curry puffs at 11 o'clock the next morning. When I went to pay him for the bread, the proprietor told me I could wait until the next day and pay for everything at the same time. 

"You would trust me?" I asked quizzically.

"Of course," he responded immediately. "I knew your Mother ..."

It was all well and good to get the food locally; but for the flowers, Raj said, we had to go to City Market. And he would pick us up at 5:30 a.m. in order to be there when the vendors were just unpacking their wares. "Oh Raj, please, not so early!" I begged.

"OK, 6, but sharp!" he conceded.

And so at 6 sharp the three sisters piled into the vehicle and off we went through the just-stirring Bangalore morning streets. 

We didn't saunter or explore like we had done a couple of years earlier - our time lines for this day were extremely tight - but here is a glimpse of what we saw as we bustled through the streets in search of red roses, white glads and of course the tuberoses. We also picked up vegetables for the veggie tray and sandwiches - fresh, no chemicals, with flavours so sweet and succulent that a person could contemplate moving to India just for the produce! No wonder food always tastes better out here ...

After having visited India, most people mention the smells. I wish - how I wish! - that they could walk with us through this bower of beauty available for anyone who wants to venture out at the loveliest time of the day. The air is clean and perfumed with the promise of joy. Even the people bargaining for their purchases are congenial. The flowers are working their magic ... 

Like the clock striking midnight in fairy tales of yore, the streets and alleys and nooks and crannies in the market that are now filled with colour and an ephemeral patina of grace will very soon be charged with the pulsing energy of the daytime reality: street vendors hawking their wares; butchers with full carcasses hanging from enormous rusty hooks outshouting their neighbouring stall occupants; haggling housewives and pushy touchy men; spitting and yelling and laughter and jostling for and into position.

But for now we have these moment of sweet belief that the world can be like Eden once again, that fairy tales can come true ...

The dried fruits and exotic spices vendor

BA checking out the various grades of saffron

Our own Eliza Doolittle, heading off
for a day of selling flowers ...

A short cut from the fruits to the vegetables

Technology is everywhere!

A regular visitor to the flower market

Close enough to a white steed.
don't you think?!

Trying to calculate how much mint we will need
for the pudina chutney Dad suddenly requested

Loaded up for the day

Our favourite fruit stand

"Peel me a grape" seems so passe when
"Peel me a chikoo" in the shape of an exotic
flower is happening before our eyes ...
Day-old flowers


As in any good fairy tale, there has to be a handsome prince. This one heard Deb's earlier murmured comment that she could do with some chai. He got us back to our vehicle, instructed us to "Stay here!" and in a very few moments was on his way back ...

It's midnight, Cinderella -
time to start up the chariot and rush home
to the kitchen ...


  1. Karyn have captured the real India!

  2. what fun! what glorious colours! it feels like i am right there with you when i see these.

  3. So good to see you having such a good time!!
    As usual, your words draw us into where you are............


I love to hear from you! Please leave me a leaf to read ...