BENGALURU : My heart beats faster every time someone mentions the name of my city. Bengaluru has a certain kind of energy I’ve felt in only a few places around the world. I feel this energy in the trees I hug, or in the urban wildlife I look after. My affinity towards the city is also because I was born and brought up here. The food my mother ate and the water she drank made me, and it all came from this city.
I love that Bengaluru is a peaceful city; negativity and violence don’t last too long here. During the World Wars, our city was a sanctuary to people all over the world. Whenever people want to relax or retire, this is where they head. There’s an unwritten ‘rule’ here that one should not bring their enmity with them.
India started to develop after the World War-II and that’s when the Germans and the Swiss came to Bengaluru as well. So, we have always been a melting pot of different cultures, and still remain one. Many great thinkers, like M Visvesvaraya and Raja Ramanna, have lived here and I think it is because we have always been futuristic and at the cutting edge of many sectors. For example, we have the Indian Institute of Science here, and the first light bulb in India was lit here in the early 1900s.
We have been at the epicentre of art and culture too – be it the revolutionary rock movement of the ’60s and ’70s, or theatre from abroad – France, Germany, England and USA – coming here. Our food and beverage scene has evolved too. We are adventurous and open to any cuisine, which shows how food from every continent is available here.
I did stay away from Bengaluru for 10 years, in my pursuit to see if the grass is greener on the other side. But what I learned is that the grass is the greenest and the most lush in my town. I have lived in other cities and always found that after three days, either the weather or the attitude of the people gets to me. I have never found more welcoming people than Bengalureans.
Our city is truly a beautiful one but, of course, there are two sides to every coin. If you focus on the better side of the experience, even the worst situations can be a learning experience.Solution: I would like to see the farming community come back so that we are self-sufficient. All of us must have our own vegetable gardens and rainwater harvesting systems. Besides that, simple changes like turning off light bulbs when not in use, preserving water, and looking after where our garbage goes is also important.