I was planning to write something on this subject for a very long time so I was naturally quite ecstatic to come across today’s daily prompt. I guess this post would serve as a golden opportunity to assert my undying and ever-expanding fondness towards this city I have called home for the last 7 odd years.
I was born and brought up in Delhi, the capital of India. Education and employment drove me out of my happy childhood abode more than a decade ago, but it will inevitably and eternally remain home for me. I moved to Dehradun in the hilly state of Uttarakhand in 2006 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. The 4 years I spent there in college were truly amazing. Not only did I have a wonderful time with friends in one of the most charming parts of the country, but I also met and fell in love with the most amazing person who is now my partner for life.
We went our separate ways after college because both of us got job offers in different cities. Nevertheless, our long distance association continued and the foundation of our relationship became stronger than ever before. We finally got married 2 years back and are now happily settled in the South Indian city of Bengaluru or Bangalore. I have been here since 2010 and dearly adore this home away from home.
Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka and is the so-called IT hub of India. It is also the oldest and the most important center for the Indian aerospace industry and hence, given our profession, was the most obvious choice of settlement, for both me and my husband.
Listed here are some of the things that I love about Bangalore.
- Bangalore’s USP has to to be its wonderful weather. It definitely tops the list of things that invite, attract and hold migrants (including myself). Bangalore is undoubtedly the undisputed champion among all Indian metros when it comes to good weather. It remains pleasant almost all year round and does not pose the wrath of extreme weather. My hometown Delhi on the other hand is the epitome of contrasting climate and sees temperatures from 0 degrees in winters to 50 degrees in summers.
- I find people in Bangalore very polite and friendly. I have been here for almost 7 years and have harmoniously lived with the locals. I have never personally faced any rude or unwelcome behavior which a few of my migrant friends complain about.
- Bangalore is exceptionally safe for women unlike Delhi which is notoriously called the rape capital of India. In all these years, I have never felt insecure walking home in evenings or even at night without a male chaperone.
- Bangalore boasts of a variety of cafes and restaurants and one can easily find food from different corners of the world, let alone the country. Since decades, it has always maintained its reputation as a hip and happening destination with one of the best party scenes across all Indian cities.
- Bangalore’s unbeatable location provides easy access to wonderful hill stations and pristine beaches in the home state as well as in its picturesque neighbors like Kerala and Goa. In fact there are countless nearby drivable options for weekend trips and I still have a long list to explore.
- It is the city of gardens and lakes. It ranks highest compared to the other major Indian metros in terms of tree cover. Although, I don’t know when this point would be forcibly wiped off my list because I’m tired and scared of frequently hearing stories about hazardous froth flying around foaming lakes and incessant chopping of heritage trees to make way for wider roads.
So yes, I do find Bangalore exceptionally amiable but, obviously, there are negatives too. Hate is too strong a word, so I cannot justify using it here, but there are plenty of things that I vehemently dislike about Bangalore.
Next I list some of the things I
hate strongly dislike about Bangalore.
- The traffic situation in Bangalore is beyond repair. The internal city roads suffer from sub-standard planning and there are too many one way streets to keep track of. People are often stuck in 2 to 3 hours long traffic jams, even on the so-called signal-free corridors and the situation is only getting worse with each passing day. The metro rail brings some relief to the clogged and failing transportation system of Bangalore but the number of train compartments is alarmingly disproportionate to the ocean of people using the service.
- The airport in Bangalore is so far away that it literally seems to be in another world. It is close to 50 km from the city and in peak hours it can take up to 3 hours to reach the airport. In fact its a popular joke in Bangalore that people flying to cities nearby often waste more time on the road to the airport as compared to the actual flying time spent in the skies.
- Bangalore is an extremely expensive city to live in. Apartment rents are way higher as compared to other metros and the security deposits charged by landlords are outrageously unreasonable sums that are seldom returned in totality. Buying your own apartment also seems like a distant irredeemable dream as the exorbitant rates are inversely proportional to proximity from the city.
So there are things that I love, and there are things that I hope would change but I am happy that I have now accepted Bangalore as my city and my home.
It is the first city where I have prevailed as a totally independent person. To me Bangalore is not just another city. It has been a friend, philosopher and guide that has taught me valuable life lessons, given me remarkable strength when I needed it the most and conferred me with new-found confidence and belief in myself.
Someone has rightly said,
Home is not a place, it’s a feeling !