'There is more to do here'

'There is more to do here'

Bangalore has always embraced people from other States who come here in pursuit of a better life. Those from diverse linguistic backgrounds, who are settled here, share their unique culture and talk about their experiences in this city.

It was the quality of education in Bangalore that motivated Sangeeta and her husband Praveen Kalia to move here along with their children Vrinda and Varun Kalia. The Punjabi family hails from Hoshiarpur and has lived in various places like Fiji, Baroda and Dubai.

“While I was in Pilani as a child and moved to Baroda post marriage, Vrinda was born in Delhi and Varun in Gujarat. So you can’t exactly say which place we belong to,” says Sangeeta. It has been ten years since they moved here. In between, they had shifted to Dubai as well. While Pradeep still works in Dubai, Sangeeta and the children are based in the City.

“Bangalore pampers you on a different level altogether. The weather here is so good,” says Vrinda while Sangeeta adds, “The options for food here are diverse and we love South Indian food.” Varun terms the City as “cosmopolitan” and had no problems shifting base even though he was very young when the shift from Baroda to Bangalore happened. “In a bigger City, there is more to do,” he says.

While Sangeeta says she and her husband were excited at the thought of giving good education to the children. “The exposure to different fields is more here too. While Varun picked up music, Vrinda became better in dance,” she notes.


 However, Vrinda found it “super difficult” initially. “I was constantly crying for six months. And my class teacher from Baroda used to keep calling me back,” she laughs. “But in a period of six months, we melted into the City,” notes Sangeeta.

“The first time we landed, I remember seeing Anju Bobby George and I was so excited. I also remember my principal’s speech at Frank Anthony Public School which defined Bangalore well. He said to stop using ‘da’s and ‘di’s,” says Vrinda.

“I remember that my skin wasn’t burning though we landed here in the middle of May,” recalls Sangeeta. But the traffic was awful, they recollect. “In Baroda, every place was within walking distance. But here, the traffic is bad and the roads are narrow,” she says. “Many a time, the day starts on a wrong note all because of traffic,” she says.

Sangeeta feels that though the City is extremely welcoming, at times there are certain differences between the North and South Indians here and that the outsiders must be given a chance. “After all, they uproot their families and start from scratch. Even the government should be able to handle the influx of people,” she says.
In between, the family moved to Dubai and then, Sangeeta came back with the children.

Today, Vrinda studies at Columbia University, New York and Varun is a student of law at Christ University. “A thing I miss the most about Bangalore is riding on the streets and stopping at signal here,” smiles Vrinda. “You get so much time and there is nothing you can do when you are at a signal,” she adds.

Varun says, “Language is a barrier though. We haven’t picked up Kannada yet. However, dealing with the people is okay but not the authorities.”

Another problem, they feel, that exists in the City is people’s attitude towards women. “Though the girls don’t get started at as much here as in other cities, the mentality still exists,” says Vrinda to which Sangeeta adds, “As women, we tend to sense it all more. The mindset needs to change.”

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