'We never thought of going back'

'We never thought of going back'

Melting Pot

'We never thought of going back'

It has been many years since Mukesh Sarma and his wife, Papori, moved to the City from Assam. The two have planted roots here and rebuilt a life for themselves.

The couple say that while the city they moved into is no more, they still love Bangalore. “When we first moved in, people were more peaceful and calm and it was easier for us to settle down. And the City was not so crowded, especially since the Ring Road didn’t exist. But I still love Bangalore and this has become our home because this is where we moved soon after our marriage and we made a life for ourselves here. Even our children were born here,” says Papori, whose name means ‘flower petals’ in Assamese. Mukesh agrees, “After coming to Bangalore, we have grown in terms of assets and our children were born and brought up here. We never thought of going back.”

It was work that brought the two here, but now they have grown fond of the City. “It’s really nice here and when I moved here from Assam, I saw that the City was far more superior. The general quality of life is better, and so are the infrastructure and weather. I have gone to many cities around the country and I can say that this is the best,” says Mukesh. Papori adds, “The people are really friendly and the weather is nice. It was a nice place to settle down in.”

The couple have two children, Nimisha and Girisha, who go to 11th and 7th standard respectively. Mukesh says that his children are Bangaloreans through-and-through. “Since they were born and brought up here, they don’t know as much about the Assamese culture as I would like them to. So when there are Assamese cultural programmes, I make sure they attend them. I believe a person should know about their own culture as well as the culture of the place they are living in. But these days, people are too influenced by the West, which isn’t good,” he adds.

It is this thirst to know about a regional culture that drives him to learn Kannada. “Over the years, I have tried hard to learn Kannada but I can never get it. I have used books, gone online and for classes but have failed. Now I have taken on the challenge to learn Kannada in the next six months!” he says. He adds, “Knowing the regional language enriches your experience further and I feel like I’m missing out.”

Talking about whether they have a problem adjusting to the food, Mukesh says, “I used to live in a hostel when I was in school and college so I have gotten used to eating different kinds of food. I don’t mind local cuisines. And I get a taste of Assamese food at home, so it has never been a problem.” He adds, “We mostly eat North Indian and Chinese cuisine but orders from home because of the increasing traffic.” The family usually hangs out in Indiranagar and enjoys watching movies,
shopping and going to malls. Mukesh says the only downside is that he doesn’t get to go back to his hometown in Assam as often as he would like. “We try to go back as often as possible because staying in touch with one’s culture is important.”