More of an Indian

More of an Indian

Expat zone

More of an Indian

comfortable Valerie Rozycki Wagoner DH Photo by M S Manjunath

It took Valerie Rozycki Wagoner close to a year to reconcile that the shops, where animal meats hang outside, were actually India’s version of a butcher shop. It also took her sometime to realise that piping hot filter coffee could be enjoyed in this country better on the roads than in a swanky cafeteria. 

Three and a half years after Valerie relocated to Bangalore from California, she considers herself more of an Indian than a Westerner. She cooks Indian food, shops the way Indians do, speaks two or three South Indian languages in bits and pieces and what’s more she can drape a sari all by herself, thanks to the first lessons from YouTube on draping a sari. “Indian people have changed the way they do business.

I have managed to start my own venture without compromising on my honesty and integrity. It’s hard not to give into bribery or fight against the system but I am willing to take the right path and wait until I get what I want,” observes Valerie. This young lady has learnt the way Bangalore operates as a City. “It’s much easier to get around the City with English. It’s not like Delhi or Mumbai where you have to know Hindi. This cosmopolitan culture has its advantages,” she says.

Valerie travels both on work and at leisure. Her previous job with an NGO took her to the remote villages in Karnataka and several parts of the country. “That’s where I learnt to subsist on bare essentials. The people in remote corners of the villages are so much more tolerant and adjustable that you wonder why the City is so fast-paced,” she points out.

When it comes to food, Valerie’s palate has adjusted to Indian food and now she confesses that she just can’t do without the spice. “I wonder why the food back home is so bland. I always prefer using ingredients that are local. I have experimented a great deal with Indian food and love cooking it as well although my chapatis take longer than usual,” she laughs.

Valerie is also a trained ballet dancer and has dabbled in a bit of jazz, Latin dance and Bollywood moves. Playing just about any sport tennis is another pastime. Talking about how safe or unsafe the City is, she says, “There are just some things that you wouldn’t do as a woman like venturing out alone at night. I wouldn’t do that. There are a few precautions that every woman must take otherwise I don’t feel unsafe in the City,” she says.

Valerie is also the founder and CEO of ZipDial, a mobile marketing platform. Her work takes up most of her time but Valerie is determined to make a mark in her new venture.    
Valerie just got married to Trip Wagoner, a  businessman.