After being hung on to Bombay like an obsessive lover, I think I am finally coming to terms with the fact that Bangalore is home. For now. I don’t know where home will be in 10 years time, or whether home will be just a bend in the road or the real destination. But for now I am glad I love Bangalore. Yes, I do!
When I moved here last year, I fell in love immediately. But soon the realities of life struck. And the heat (apart from other things)… The only good thing in the Bangalore I knew was its weather, and come February, that too was done and over with! The city had no history, no culture – only tech parks, engineers, and all things frivolous… Or so I thought! Why did I care so much about that? I think because I didn’t want to let go of Bombay. And also because Bangalore was too hot and I had too much time to start with and suddenly work was snowballing!
But I have been reading this book called Multiple City the last couple of days… A completely well timed gift I bought for myself last Saturday. And I know now Bangalore has more than just tech parks. It’s really been around. From the Victorian times to when the cantonments got set up, to call centres and the booming outsourcing business. I have extremely strong views against outsourcing, always have. First it was a matter of principle (life does seem that much simpler when you are 21!). And then it became something I hated because I was stuck in a sad situation where outsourcing was a nice sounding, nice looking garb for laziness and intellectual masturbation, and they called it “having international clients”. But it was only a situation I was stuck in. When you put some thought and perspective to it, outsourcing may not be for me. But it sure has done a great deal for the economy, and consequently, for mavericks like me. A History teacher in school used to always say that when something happens in one country, the rest of the world can’t stay isolated from the aftermath. Starting from battles of power to technological advancement. And somehow this made a lot of sense to me as I flipped through the book.
I still don’t know how much the book made me love Bangalore again – my first reaction on reading about Ranga Shankara was that if Bangalore has really been a breeding ground for some of India’s best theatre talent, why is it that Ms Nag had to draw her inspiration from Prithvi Theatre? But I think I say such things only because Bombay was such a welcome change from Pune and my student days. And I was lucky I met some really awesome people in Bombay. But do I want to go back and live there? I don’t know, really! But I do know that I like Bangalore for what it is, in spite of tech parks and rude auto drivers (ya OK so I can’t get over them, kill me!), and IT folks, and not too many opportunities for people who define career as something that pays money and is fun, and isn’t necessarily going one step ahead in the same direction year after year after year. You win some, you lose some! The idea of local trains can only be romanticized when you look at it in hindsight. I love Bangalore. There. I said it! And this time around, it’s a decision I have thought through :D
P.S. – My newfound love for Bangalore might just have happened because this weather that I am so madly in love with, is back. And right now, in this little colourful place that’s completely mine, I can hear the sound of the rain (and the generator :P) and I can feel the kind of emotions that only this city and its “cool wind in my hair” (and this shivers it sends down my spine on rainy nights) can evoke. I am madly in love. In spite and because.