Friday, April 16, 2010

I love Bangalore

Sunday, 15th June 2008, Bangalore (Home)

I finally got the job that I wanted so badly and they gave me the location of my preference- Gurgaon. Everyone was happy- my parents, in laws and all others who mattered to me. They always wanted me to move closer to home but were kind enough not to force me. Tanu, the ever giving soul that she is, was happy for me and agreed to apply for a transfer in her organization. I was to join next day and had an early morning flight. But in all this something somewhere didn’t feel right. Didn’t know what was troubling me because everything was happening as per plan- I even had a farewell party last evening.

Tanu broke my chain of thoughts- “come on get up and start packing. You have an early morning flight so finish it fast” I kept lying on the couch surfing the channels aimlessly, I mumbled- “I don’t feel like going” not taking me seriously she said “shut up and start packing. Don’t expect me to do it for you”.

I switched off the TV and asked her to sit with me, now she knew I was serious (switching off TV really means something big) Trying to look as innocent as possible I said “I don’t want to go. I don’t want to relocate to Gurgaon. I want to stay in Bangalore. I love this city” That was the first time I confessed my love for Bangalore. She lost her cool “don’t talk nonsense, we have already booked an apartment in Gurgaon, appointed the movers and packers, and more importantly you have to join tomorrow, what will you tell them- that sorry I love Bangalore I can’t come…and…and …if you realize you will be jobless if you do that” I knew she was right, but had a plan already “all of that can be taken care of. I will call them and apologize and if they don’t understand my situation- frankly, I don’t care. As far as the job is concerned, I had an offer in Bangalore that I refused last month, I will speak to them…If they haven’t hired anyone, may be they would be kind enough to reconsider me” Tanu was perplexed “Where was your love for Bnagalore all this while, why are you doing this at last minute”

“I guess it was always there…just that I didn’t realize it till I had to part my way” I replied. That was probably the most irrational decision I had ever taken in my life- but now when I look back I only feel happy about it.

Some time in 2004, Ahmedabad (MICA)

“If you get this job, you are going to be posted in Bangalore. Is that OK with you? Given that your family is settled in north” asked the interviewer. I was honest in my reply “Bangalore is of the reasons why I am keen on this job. I am an Andhrite who grew up mostly in UP. I always wanted to reestablish my connection with south and this job will give me an opportunity to do that” She smiled at my rather lame explanation, but thankfully gave me the job.

It was long journey for me from Agra to Bangalore and my train reached the Bangalore station at midnight. While the auto was zipping fast on the deserted roads, I could feel a strange sense of familiarity with the city. It is difficult to put it in words and almost impossible to explain, it was my first visit to the city but I already felt like I belonged to this place- may be it was the overriding optimism of the first job which made me feel that way. I have stayed in many cities and extensively traveled across the country but never felt anything similar anywhere.

Bangalore was all that I imagined and more- cosmopolitan minus the madness and pretence of a big city. I can’t say anything about the weather that hasn’t been said before- it is to die for and compensates all other shortcomings of the city. And yes, the beer never tastes as good anywhere.

I am very fond of movies and particularly those where the place plays an important role in the story – sometimes the backdrop is so important and adds so many layers to the story

Similarly, Bangalore has been the backdrop of some of my happiest memories- this is the place I got my first job, where I fell in love and together we built a place that we call our home. Yes, that is the word- Bangalore feels like home.

In last six years I met and made friends with some of the most amazing people and as I discovered Bangalore- I discovered myself.

Thursday, 18th March 2010, Bangalore (Airport)

The immigration officer carefully looks at my passport and still gazing into it asks “How long have you been in Bangalore?” “Six years sir”- I replied. “I am sure you still can’t speak Kannada” he said. “Not much” I said validating his assumption. To make me uncomfortable, he asked “Ninna hesaru yenu?” taking my passport back much to his disappointment I replied “Nanna hesaru Gurudev saar and I love namma Bengalaru”