I have been living in Bangalore for about six years now. The first time I came here was in 2007 to complete my higher studies. Then it was a different city. At the outset, I wasn’t very comfortable being in a brand new place as I came from a quieter town in Kerala. The weather here, dry and cold, compared to the hot and humid climate of my hometown, didn’t bode well for my health either. From skin related issues to wheezing, I got them all. It was quite difficult to adapt, but adapt I did and slowly.
We didn’t have lot of money. So we found ways to enjoy simple things like playing football at Madhavan Park in Jayanagar, and then heading off to get fresh Badam milk or lime soda at the juice shop nearby. The playgrounds weren’t too crowded back then. There was always room to play, and lots of kids would join us, as well. Nowadays, these grounds are used for various public functions and there’s no space left for kids to play. Unfortunately, even the playgrounds are disappearing.
Since the late night party scene was never really a big thing here, we had to make up with small house parties. Bangalore used to always mean a place where I could chill and relax. Places like Kalmane or Coffee House are my haven, where I can drink endless cups of coffee while reading a book or simply catching up with friends.
There are some small pockets in Bangalore where you can still find these quiet spaces, but you need to look for them. The city has been quickly changing with migrating population and the constant rush. There are too many malls and all of them are crowded too. But the trick is to keep an eye out for some places in the outskirts of the city. Bangalore is ideal if you like exploring. There are several places where one can go trekking or sight seeing, even if one travels for a couple of hours outside the city limits.
One thing I can never get used to are the auto fares here and the autorickshaw drivers who make commuting hell for people. I know every city goes through its share of inflation, but the auto fares here are just ridiculous when you compare it to a metropolis like Mumbai. However, public transport has improved in some ways. There are a lot buses now. I used to depend on auto rickshaws before, but now I can travel anywhere with the efficient network of buses in this city. The Volvo service is particularly good.
The weather’s taking a turn for the worse, here. In our first year of college, we didn’t have fans in any of the class rooms, because we didn’t need them. By third year, they had to be installed because the weather had changed drastically by then. Summers are unbearably hot, but still better than other cities, I suppose.
What I like best about Bangalore is how culturally active this city is. Stand up comedy seems to be gaining new grounds here these days and there are great music concerts happening almost every day. There’s something for everyone in this city.
(The writer is a resident of JP Nagar)