'I will take back some good memories'

'I will take back some good memories'

Expatriates love Bangalore for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, salubrious environment, food and people. Hasintha Dharshani Siriwardana, an expat from Sri Lanka, shares her experiences here

Hasintha She could easily be mistaken for an Indian. Her looks, body language and mannerisms are typical of an Indian woman. Once she begins to talk then you quickly realise that she may not be an Indian after all.

Hasintha Dharshani Siriwardana, born and bred in Sri Lanka moved to India three years ago to pursue undergraduate studies. Academically oriented, Hasintha was keen on specialising in science and she saw the right opportunity in Bangalore.

 She moved to the City and got herself enrolled at the Indian Academy in BSc, microbiology. Hasintha had never stayed away from her parents or gone out of her home in Colombo, so Bangalore seemed like a strange city with strange people at first. It took her quite sometime to blend in with the culture and setting of the City. And now, after three years, she says, “I have made a lot of friends and now I feel a little sad that I have to return in a few months, leaving behind my friends and a few people who were almost like family here in Bangalore. But I will be taking back some good memories,” she tells Metrolife and adds, “the City has taught me how to live and made me a stronger individual.”

Not all expats living in the City have rosy tales to tell; most of them have horror stories to narrate about their experience with the auto drivers, who don’t think twice before fleecing them and about how unsafe it is to stray out in the night.

But Hasintha says that she will take back only pleasant thoughts about the City. It may be because of her warm and friendly nature that she has been able to adapt to the City and its people rather well. Hasintha confesses that she took time off to explore Bangalore, its shopping spaces, green patches, entertainment spots – she loves it all.
“There’s so much life in the City. It’s a lot like my city Colombo — the busy streets, lots of eating corners and shopping too. Every weekend, my friends and I would make it a point to hop into popular eateries, malls and we never lost a chance to hang out together,” says Hasintha. And it’s not just Indian friends, Hasintha has managed to pick her circle of friends in the international student community studying in her college. “That’s the best part about studying in India, you get to meet so many people from across the world,” she adds.

Hasintha points out that the food here is quite similar to what she gets back home. Her favourite dish when she’s at home is milk rice and curry and she seems to have found a similarity in the locally cooked coconut rice. “I am a foodie and I’ve never had a problem with food. I have got used to the local food and have begun to try out some of the locally cooked dishes as well,” she adds.

Hasintha celebrates almost every Indian festival. “I never played Holi, until I came to India. I had only watched it in the movies and had always wanted to get drenched in colour,” she reasons.

 Hasintha speaks fluent Hindi and has managed to pick up Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam in bits and pieces. “I find my way around the City by speaking in Hindi,” she says.
She confesses that there are a few more places that she would like to travel to before she heads back home in May.

“I don’t know what I want to study further but I will definitely pack my bags and head out into the wild before I settle down academically,” she signs off.

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