Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bangalore at face value

Since the time my colleagues (at UGS) came to know about my offer at Sun, they weren’t very encouraging about the whole idea of shifting to Bangalore. I had other offers in hand at Pune and they earnestly wanted to opt one of them if at all I was serious about leaving UGS. They had their reasons. Most of them had stayed or were closely associated with Bangalore before. “dogs city” and “beautiful city turned an ugly blot”, were some of the epithets thrown for Bangalore. “Bangalore’s cost of living is exorbitantly expensive”, “traffic woes are only gonna worsen with time” were opinions that were thrusted upon me. These views were beginning to set self doubt on my decision. Sometimes they say too many opinions actually lead you no nowhere. And this was one of those cases. I nevertheless followed my heart, with earnest respect to everyone's opinions.. I had my reasons and I wanted to stick to them. I might be wrong tomorrow. Who knows!

Biggest pulling factor for me was the brand Sun. I have all these days learnt Java from them and so, had a soft corner for this company. Also Bangalore being a metropolitan, a melting pot for different societies, cultures and people across the country, helped me decide for it. A city that has the infrastructure and the wherewithal that one needs for an enriching living experience. It’s definitely a developed city in Indian standards. If Thomas Friedman could find a reason to mention Bangalore in the opening paragraph of the first chapter of his magnum opus “World is Flat”, then definitely it has got something to offer. I wanted to experience what was that which made the world take notice of India. I packed my bags and joined Sun, Bangalore on 19th .

With my faith stirred a bit, and certain doubts still in mind, I was naturally putting everything that I was coming across here under minute scrutiny. A couple of days here, and I started observing heartening facts about Bangalore.

English speaking tribe:
The driver who picked me from the airport spoke English. Not just him I found people in general around me speaking in English and very fluent in that. I heard children chirping fast in English. The autorickshaw walla to whom I asked for directions gave me a perfect reply in English. “Welcome to Bangalore”, I heard myself say with a smile playing on my face. I wonder what makes them so comfortable and if does have some historical significance. Did this play its part any way in the IT success story here. Need to do some homework on this!.

Empowered women:
This is the first city where I saw women as conductors in city busses. I traveled in the buses a couple of times in the city and I could sense the power in the women here. Women in the buses are more vocal and straightforward in dealing with men. An unintentional brush with a female traveler can invite strong words from them. I say this with my experience in one bus route where within a span of 1 hour, three instances of woman shouting at men who were standing “too close” to them.

I have stayed most of my post college days in north India and Pune. But I found people here too modest and too simple in their demeanour, dress sense, and attitude.

Books, pirated though ;)
For the kind of a book lover that I am, finding so many book stalls scattered across the city almost at every street corner got me excited. I can’t afford buying original copies of the latest bestsellers. So, I can find solace staking claim at books here.

Well these are superficial observations accounted at face value. I am sure there is lot more than meets the eye. Watch out for this space for more.


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