I had not anticipated the move from Gurgaon to Bangalore (officially Bengaluru) to
be that consequential. But the stark contrast hits you in the face just like
the cool breeze of Bangalore after the sweltering heat in Gurgaon.
The ride from the
Bangalore airport makes you want to turn around and move back to Gurgaon. It
feels like a long road trip after a short haul flight.
|Gopuram Temples: A mark of Bangalore's Traditionalism|
The sights of the shiny
exterior facades in Gurgaon are replaced by the sights of rustic layouts
surrounded by green meadows, (polluted) lakes, and Gopuram temples. You may have traversed and well-versed in the planned
sectors and phases of Gurgaon, but here you better get used to the labyrinth of
main streets, cross streets and more importantly, unpaved bystreets. To top it off, you’ll find yourself in an
obscurely named halli (each progressively harder to pronounce than the last
one) every 10 minutes. (This I believe is, bangaloreans way to shield off their
territories from non-local influences.
If you can’t pronounce it, how can you live in it?)
The taxi driver
doesn’t make it any easier for you. He will claim to know Hindi (or English for
that matter) but you will not understand his accent and neither will he. He’ll nod at everything you say, but still
take the shortcuts of his choice, instantly creating an element of angst in the
mind of an ever-suspecting, direct-from-Delhi female.
The only respite from
the cacophony of the Bangalore commute is the close confine of your own gated
community. You may think that Gurgaon living is characterized by gated
communities. But Bangalore takes community living to another level. You shop, play, exercise, recreate, socialize,
celebrate, and politic within your residential community. And if that’s not enough, you share every
possible resource at your disposal, from your maid, to your kitchen, and even
your dinner. This is such a change, coming from a place where neighbours don’t
exchange smiles (well, not until they are perceived to be of the same uberness
But then again, Gurgaon
seems to be created so that uber Delhiites(especially the foreign returned and
the professional types) could distinguish themselves by the virtue of their address.
Bangalore, on the other hand, is a melting pot of different cultures,
religions, mindsets with the like-mindedness of either their high-tech
background or their staunch beliefs thrown in.
Even the successful (setting aside the acres of land they own) will only
show-off their simplicity and modesty.
Gurgaon, the ostentatious
Kingdom of Dreams, symbolizes the notion of “stand out” in every respect. Whereas Bangalore, with its mellow and
communistic attitude, prompts you to “fit in”. Just like the original art adorning the custom
living spaces of Gurgaon, as opposed to the display of the same tanjore
paintings in every south indian home.
While Gurgaon is all
about modern and new, Bangalore’s broad-mindedness goes beyond skin deep. I
find the populace progressive, not in the way they party or dress but in the
way they entertain and adopt new-age ideas, whether it be waste segregation, organic-farming,
spot-cleaning, or such social innovations.
I personally have a
load of learning and unlearning from the move:
I don’t wear make-up every time I step out. But I travel one hour for a facial. I remove
my footwear before entering someone’s house. I do pot-lucks instead of pool
parties. I segregate my waste, not just talk about it. I shop at BigBasket
instead of BigBazaar. Do Whatsapp more than Facebook. I learn Kannada from my
driver. I trust more. And I breathe more
And thus signing off, a Banglored “Preethi”! (The
extra h comes with the territory. It’s like the Karnataka Road Tax on your non-karnataka
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