'Bangalore is home to me'

'Bangalore is home to me'

'Bangalore is home to me'

To come to a new country and adjust to a new culture for a while may
be easy. But to get married into a new culture is definitely tougher. Jennifer Sait, an expatriate from Ohio, USA, who’s married to Bangalorean Saad Sait, has much to tell about her stay in Bangalore and in the country.

While Jennifer is a grade coordinator of an international school in the City, Saad is the director of Legacy School. “When people hear that we work in schools, they assume that we work at the same place. But we are strongly against that,” says Jennifer.

This young couple met at a university in Pennsylvania in October 2004, and got married in October 2010 in Bangalore.

   Ask Jennifer how hard it was to adjust to India and Bangalore, and she says, “There are lots of things that I love about this place. Also, there are many things that leave me baffled.”

Jennifer’s first experience with India was when she came for Saad’s cousin’s wedding, where she was left surprised by the number of people present at the occasion.”

   Jennifer and Saad’s wedding was held at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the City. “We had told the families that we wouldn’t be up for show, and thus, there should be no stage. We wanted to have fun at our wedding and we did,” they say in unison. 

Ask the couple about the reactions when they announced their wedding to their parents and Jennifer smiles and says, “My family was shocked to hear that I was going to get married to an Indian.”

   Jennifer thinks for a second and recalls, “I think they didn’t even know where India was. And the thought of their daughter being taken away to some distant part of the world worried them.”

Talk about the Indian experience and Jennifer says, “One thing I find very odd here is that the people are too bothered about what others think. Many of them even plan their lives around these people, and that is something incomprehensible for me.”

   She strongly feels that she was always a very independent person, but she had to depend on a lot on people once she came to India.

The notions about dressing in the City confuse Jennifer. “If I’m wearing a dress which is well below my knee, I get numerous stares. But if I’m wearing a sari, with my midriff showing, there’s no issue about the same,” comments Jennifer.

For Jennifer, it has always been very difficult to find her way through the City and locate an address here.

   “Things like the difference between a ‘stage’ and a ‘main’ perplex me. In the US, we always have GPS, but here it’s not always reliable. Finding my way through has been an issue,” opines Jennifer.

Jennifer also cannot understand the constant honking on the streets. “Often it is just not needed. The rules vary so much from the US, but that is just how it is here,” she says.
Bangalore’s increasing pollution level is a concern for everyone here.

“I don’t think I can ever get used to the pollution levels here,” says Jennifer.

She’s had her own share of quarrels with the auto-wallahs too.

   She strongly says, “It’s not all about money, is it? There should be a system to educate and moderate these guys too and keep a watch.”

With different languages spoken in the Sait family, Jennifer hasn’t got a chance to soak into one specific language.

“A mix of Kannada, Gujarati and Tamil is spoken in the family. When the whole family is together, it isn’t easy to pick up one particular language and absorb it fully,” says Saad supportively.

About the food culture, Jennifer says that she is adjusting to the spice levels.
   “I love dosas and idlis and North Indian items like dal makhani, naan and paneer dishes. I’ve never tried my hand at cooking any of
these though,” she says.

Jennifer and Saad have travelled to Goa, Pondicherry, Mumbai, Delhi among other places.
   Jennifer feels that Mumbai has the craziest monsoons, Delhi doesn’t feel safe and Goa is too laid back.

   Praising Bangalore, she says, “Bangalore has the perfect weather. It’s the
city with a lot of gardens.

The people here are very friendly,” opines Jennifer.Having lived in Spain and South Korea, Jennifer compares the experience to India, and says, “People are easier to mingle with here, and they are more willing to interact. It’s the easiest place to adjust to,” vouches

And she concludes with a smile, “Whatever I may say, Bangalore is home to me. This is where I am.”

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