The Longest Morning

It’s easy not to be a tourist in Bangalore. It’s easy, alluring even, to stay home and avoid the traffic, to ​be​​ indoors ​rather than​ tour​ing​ this ​bustling, ​dichotomous city. But, this past Sunday, a 5:45am wake-up call stripped me of ​all excuses​​​ and set me off on​ the ‘longest ​morning​’. I’m not a morning person. I’m the person who needs a full eight hours to maintain anything resembling composure and a positive attitude. But, sometimes I do or witness things that super​s​ede my need for sleep, giving me energy that rivals Cafe Coffee Day’s strongest cup;​ this time, it was a visit to the ​​​Krishna Rajendra​ (KR) Market​.​

O​ne​ ​of Bangalore’s oldest​ and largest commercial centers, the KR Market is undoubtedly the place to be on Sundays. With a regular 4:00am start time​ (or so I hear)​, my 6:30am arrival was considered late. Slightly calmer than the opening hour or two, the market ​was​ ​still ​surg​​ing​ with people by the time I got there​​. Flowers are the​​ main attraction.

Lotuses, roses, daisies, ​marigolds, ​and many, many more varieties line the structure’s  narrow walkways. Petals cover the​ wet​ floor and vendors,
mostly men, ​weigh and sell blossoms in bulk.

In this flower-lover’s haven, impressively intricate garlands are designed for ​florists, people’s homes, weddings of all shapes and sizes, and the​ city’s temples​.

Smells shift with every step; perfumes of chilies, incense, lavender, and coriander flood the senses.

Fruitwholesalers line the outside stalls, peddling pineapples and papayas, pomegranates and pa​a​n — which explains where my friendly neighborhood retailers get their stock.

It was overwhelming and beautiful to witness the pulse of the city at dawn. As soon as I left, I immediately wanted to go back for more. Only a near-perfect masala dosa​,​ at Bangalore’s famed Mavalli Tiffin Rooms,​ could quell my market high. Emulating, via carbohydrates, what it ​​felt like to be engulfed by the ​Krishna Rajendra​ Market, I capped off the ‘longest morning’… around 9am.

Taylor joins AIF from the University of Oxford, where she studied inclusive and special education policy in Sub-Saharan Africa as part of her Masters degree. Her research drew upon her experiences studying abroad at the University of Cape Town as an undergraduate, where her interest in education and international development was solidified. Taylor previously served as the communications lead and project manager for Grameen Foundation's skilled volunteerism unit, Bankers without Borders. There, she was able to combine her passion for women's rights and economic empowerment, with her dedication to service, as she connected companies and individuals to technical assistance projects with microfinance institutions and NGOs around the world. Prior to leaving Washington DC, Taylor also served as a board member for the United Nations Association-National Capital Area chapter. Supported by Wadhwani Operating Foundation

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