A person needs to think twice before taking up the profession of teaching these days. Gone are the days of glory when a person would stand under a tree and impart knowledge to his/her disciples under the scorching heat and yet feel glad at the end of the day. In today’s world, if there is one profession which requires a truckload of patience; it’s teaching. Teaching is no longer a profession where the biggest factor lies on the university and students. The place where you are practicing the profession has become one of the biggest deciding factor. And for me, as a professor, Bangalore is a preferred destination than any other place.
Due to the emergence of the IT, the city has become a hub for software professionals and a great attraction for the youths. But what we often fail to notice is the rise of this city in the educational sector and how it has been contributing towards it which makes us academicians have our eyes stuck on this happening city.
We have the top professional Universities in Undergraduate and Postgraduate level; be it NLSIU, IIM, Christ, etc. harbouring hundreds of talented students and professors. Due to the global interaction, this place has become a medium for us academicians to widen our horizons in terms of prospects. Being a professor myself, I get the opportunity to speak and interact with faculties outside India which would not be exactly possible in Kerala, my home town as the global exposure has not reached there as much.
The academic strength of Kerala is really good, no doubt, but the X factor would still go to Bangalore in my opinion. If we take Christ University as an example, it has supported me in attaining my career growth due to which later on I was able to author about 55 commerce related text books, many newspaper articles, research articles and has given a lot of people assistance with their higher studies. The cosmopolitan nature of the place keeps in mind to give respect to people coming from all backgrounds.
To cite a small example, my church membership with St. Gregorios Cathedral church, Hosur road has provided me the faculty to go to the church, be an active member and do social services with orphanages and old age homes under the church management which is part of the church culture. This unbiased attitude is often not found in cities other than the metros. The best part about the city is the positive and enthusiastic attitude people have towards life which enhances and gives a kick-start to our careers.
The life apart from education is not something which people are not aware of. The city for a young professional offers abundant entertainment with respect to shopping malls, world class hospitals, eateries and market areas. One experiences all the flavours of life without having to worry about the mindset of the people which is a matter of concern in other conservative areas of the South.
The mindset is not that broad either in a metro like Chennai as much as it is in Bangalore. Two most important determinants are the weather and transportation - truly one of the best factors of Bangalore. Unlike the humid, hot or cold weather in various places, Bangalore still proves to be a 'cool and moderate' experience which doesn’t make life tiring. The 'hill stationish' climate of the place is what drives people to work even more. Transportation wise also, in spite of Bangalore auto fares being quite expensive, the bus system becomes the perfect compensation which is excellently connected throughout the city.
Every beautiful city comes with its own set of complications and Bangalore too has its own. Language proves to be quite a barrier at times as I am not fluent with Kannada and the attitude of autowallas is not always a good experience especially when they tend to gang up on you if by mistake there happens to be an argument.
The traffic does act as a foil to all the plans which is well a problem faced by any other big city. Bangalore is infamous for its high prices which becomes difficult when a person has to look for an accommodation or buy something they desire. Over all the standard of living is quite different and high for people coming from small towns.
But staying in Bangalore has helped me explore my potential to the fullest which might not have been possible in my hometown. Just like every coin has two sides, in spite of all the pros and cons, Bangalore remains to be a beautiful experience for me.
(The writer is professor and major research project fellow, Dept. of Commerce, Christ University)