'The City has been the best'

'The City has been the best'

EXPAT ZONE

'The City has been the best'

cool Fahad Ahmed Ali Bamehriz dh photo by anand bakshi

India is a mix of cultures, according to Fahad Ahmed Ali Bamehriz, who hails from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Having recently finished his MBA in the City, Fahad has been in Bangalore for over four years now. Ask him about his favourite aspect of Bangalore and pat comes the reply — “The weather”. That’s not an unusual answer considering everyone is all praises for namma ooru’s air-conditioned weather. Probe him a bit further and he says, “The City is a mix of different cultures, many religions — it’s something that you don’t see in Saudi Arabia.”

He learnt about the City from his cousin, who had come here in the late 90s to study. “Many of my cousins have studied here actually,” he reveals. As someone who loves travelling, Fahad has explored a lot of places in India — Kerala, Pondicherry, Goa, Ooty, New Delhi and even Kashmir. “My favourite place so far has been Gulmarg in Kashmir. It is just so beautiful,” he exclaims. Even in the City, his favourite places are not the malls or the shopping areas, but Nandi Hills! But he does enjoy hanging out at a few places like UB City and Sunny’s restaurant on Lavelle Road.

As aspect that shocked him about the City was its old airport. “It was small and in the middle of the City!” he smiles. “However, the new airport is really good,” he adds. Ask him about the problems he has faced here and he says, “None! Bangalore has been the best.” He has faced no trouble even as far as language is concerned. “Yes, the traffic is a little heavy so I prefer riding a bike,” he says. When he was studying, he used to travel everyday from Fraser Town to Yelahanka. “But it mostly used to be during early mornings when there would be no traffic.”

One thing in which he finds the two countries similar is the food. “There is not much of a difference between Indian and Arabic cuisines. You get really good chicken ‘shawarma’ roll in Bangalore, which is originally an Arabic dish,” he notes. “I like the chicken biryani you get in the City too. Even the masala dosas are nice.’”

He has many Indian friends. “Whenever I want to watch a Hindi movie, I watch it with them so that they can translate the dialogues in English for me. Or else, I get a DVD with English subtitles,” he smiles. “My favourite Hindi film was Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam,” he adds.

 On comparing India to Saudi Arabia, he says, “Every country has its own culture. So there are certain things one has to adjust to when he or she is in a different country.” He does miss his family. “There is no social life for me here as my family is over there,” he laments. But he does plan to go back home for good soon. “I will surely miss Bangalore and the life that I led here. I will miss the weather most of all,” he says.

Living in India, especially Bangalore, has been a great experience for him. It has not just been an enlightening experience but also given him many memories to cherish for life. “I remember going for the Aero Show in Yelahanka. It was the first aero show I had ever seen so it was a lot of fun.” Over all, he says, “India has taught me how to be patient.”

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