Bangalore…a city I migrated to a decade back. With 2 pieces of luggage and a music system, I found myself in a guesthouse sponsored from work. It looked like a growing neighborhood with charming houses and a lot of construction underway. BUT what struck me, literally physically, was that I was shivering, in the middle of June!
The rest of the country was facing sweltering heat, peak summer days with temperatures in the early to mid 40 degrees and here it seemed like the seasons had overturned. Continuous days of overcast skies, light and heavy drizzle in intervals and a chill that at times seemed to touch the bones. I was pleasantly confused and in a fix as I was geared up with light summer wear without a stitch of warm clothing, to be shipped end of the year from my hometown, when the country naturally experiences the winter season. I had to pinch myself to remember, I was very much in India and my flight hadn’t flown me to a different country!
Plans were changed, my parents were instructed to hasten their trip and come to the city as soon as I had indentified a place to stay. Along with warmer clothes, I wanted them to experience what seemed to be a slice of cool heaven on hot earth.
I found my home around a huge tree, over a hundred years old with branches that took me back to my childhood and the memories of the magic faraway tree. That rooted me to the city and like the tree, overtime my roots grew deep.
Over a decade there has been a remarkable change with the pangs of growth from a sleepy city-town to becoming India’s Silicon Valley, seasons are more defined with a few summer months, the city has expanded with multiple communities, traffic is a problem, but what has kept me back as I reflect is the people and the culture.
The migrant culture has shaped its society with a rich tapestry of experiences, meritocratic lives, great conversations, diverse connections, world music and cuisine.
It is a city where I met my life partner, and professionally grew wings.
For me, living in Bangalore has been a journey that encompasses both the spirit of diversity and of inclusion – a term that is not just a fancy phrase, but a way of life, experienced every moment – in energy, purpose and growth.
From a migrant, I never realized when I became a citizen and a passionate advocate of what this city stands for intellectually, culturally, socially. Little wonder that we have emerged as India’s number 1 city for ‘startups’