'I take care of my dress code'

Expat Zone

Happy: Elena Bannerjee  DH Photo by Dinesh SK

Though she is a Russian, ask her about Bollywood films and she names quite a few — Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, ‘Black’ and Taare Zameen Par! Elena Bannerjee, who hails from Siberia in Russia, is married to an Indian and has been living in Bangalore for four years now. The pretty lady and her husband, Ashish Bannerjee, run a restaurant called ‘Rolls United’ in Kormangala, which serves rolls from different parts of the world. “We met in the United States, where we studied together,” says Elena. “We got married in Bangalore and went to Africa for a while.” The two now stay on Sarjapur Road with their four-year-old son Marcus.

Elena, who has travelled the world with her husband, is mesmerised by the South Indian culture and tries exploring as much of South India as possible. “I love travelling and Goa is my favourite place in India,” she smiles. So where does she like hanging out in the City? “I am not much of a shopaholic so in my free time, I either go out with friends or prefer to have them over. I also like cooking Indian food.” Speaking of food, Elena loves Asian, Thai and Vietnamese food. “My husband and I go to Harima for Japanese food and Aroy for Thai food,” she answers. She is quite fond of Kaati Rolls and South Indian food too, specially appam and stew. “My mother-in-law makes really good appams,” she smiles. Elena is pretty familiar with the routes of Bangalore too. “I have been driving in the City regularly so I am comfortable with some of the areas.” Like a true blue
Indian, Elena follows cricket as her husband is a huge fan of the game. “I prefer the Twenty20 format though,” she quips.

She finds Bangalore to be an extremely friendly City. “The people here are very warm and friendly. In fact, they are more hospitable than the Russians,” she smiles. But every City comes with its own limitations and so does Bangalore. “I know it’s an open-minded City with a lot of expatriates living here but I do take care of my dress code over here because some people are traditional,” she informs. And she speaks of the traffic of course, which every Bangalorean complains of. “There is a lot of traffic here,” she notes.

Even the language is a challenge at times. “Especially in the restaurant when I have to communicate with my staff,” she adds. “Though I understand a bit of Hindi now, I am yet to learn Kannada. However, there are more English-speaking people here as compared to the other States,” she feels. All in all, she simply loves Bangalore and even her family is impressed by the City. “They love coming here as the weather is so nice,” she sums up.

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