I first landed in Bangalore in late 1999 from Delhi, all excited and tense, in search of a new beginning. A decade and more later, those memories are as bright and vivid as though it was yesterday. Coffee in the morning with French toast at the United Coffee House on MG Road, walking down the Brigade Road on a warm, cozy weekend afternoon, jogging down Sena Vihar in the mornings, the cool breeze wafting through my hair, or biking down the beautiful, sun-kissed villages around Kammanahalli with my husband. Just staring at the green rain drenched vistas from my apartment on a chilly, hazy morning and sipping my coffee as its aroma wafted, warmed my senses. So blessed and blissful, the way Bangalore was.
So much has changed in the past 13 years. It's as if the city has grown from a pre-teen to a septuagenarian in a matter of a few years.
Prolific skylines have replaced the verdant greenery that was once such a joy to behold. Kammanahalli is unmotorable and heaven forbid, if I try to jog in the mornings, escaping unscathed would be unimaginable.
The warmth and smile of my neighbours, the banter and the chatter during the evenings, the fun and the frolic, the hugs and the mid -week lunches... those little things that made life so joyous. Today, I barely know my neighbour next door and the only social networking I do is while in the elevator.
A city once so laid back is rushing on a never ending journey. Winds of changes race through its lanes, coursing every atom. And like everyone, I am also part of that change.
To drive through Bangalore today is a frightening episode - of the deeply physical kind.
Potholes, the size of craters twist my spine and contort my neck whenever I drive to work. Everyone seems to be hurrying towards a nameless destination.
The dust and grime suffocate. The traffic jams make me pop a vein every day.
Despite all the rantings though, every time I return from long journeys and hit Bangalore, I know I am home. Because the city still holds a quintessential warmth and charm. I enjoy the vibe of UB city and all the quaint shops around it. The amazing gamut of good eateries we have in Bangalore makes dining out with my husband such a pleasurable experience.
The flower show at Lal Bagh, and the breakfast at MTR are simply divine.
Home is where the heart is. And to put it simply, Bangalore will be home for me. Now and always.
(The writer is a resident of Kammanahalli)