'I was struck by how green the City is'

'I was struck by how green the City is'

'I was struck by how green the City is'
When curiosity gets the better of one, none will wait till the urge is satiated. This is exactly what Oliver Kaye did when he was in his early 20s. He packed his bags and headed to India, which fascinated him no end. “When I first visited India, I found that there was a story in every image around me,” says Oliver, who was born and raised in the United Kingdom and lived there for a better part of his life before he moved to Mumbai, on work a few years ago.    

Oliver moved to Bengaluru recently to take over as the Business Head of GAP. He recollects that the first time he visited India was as a tourist. “I certainly knew that I wanted to visit some of the historic places in India. I was eager to see the places that I had seen and read about. So, armed with my camera and a map, I set out on a journey to unravel a mystery called India. And that journey continues even today,” confesses Oliver who has travelled extensively across the country both on work and as a tourist.

After Mumbai, Oliver feels that Bengaluru is a good City with an easy-going, adaptable way of life and great weather. And now, he and his wife Karen are no strangers to Indian food and culture. They love everything that is Indian. “It was quite easy to adjust to the City, since we had been living in Mumbai before coming here,” says Oliver. 

He and Karen recollect that one of the first things that struck them when they touched down in the City was its greenery. 

“No matter what people say about Bengaluru losing its greenery, I still think it’s green,” says Oliver. Karen pitches in saying, “The first time, I was struck by how green the City is. I loved the quaintness of the tree-lined streets of Indiranagar, including the quirky shops and cafes around the City.”

Like any family that moves to a new city, Oliver and Karen faced some issues in the beginning. Karen says that she had to get used to not having an electrician or internet technician come and help at home almost immediately. “They don't seem to work off appointments and diaries but arrive whenever they want — it could either take 20 minutes or even two hours. Thankfully, I’ve learnt to work around that now,” she says. Oliver says that there were a few things that he wanted to do before coming to India and yoga and learning to cook topped the list.

Oliver says that back home, he would always cooked but in India, he has not really dabbled with it thanks to his Indian cook, who never let him enter the kitchen, “My maid would always tell me that cooking is not meant for men,” he laughs. Oliver and his wife have taken rather well to Indian food. “We eat everything but in moderation but we don’t add sugar in our diet at all,” he says.

Karen moved to Bengaluru when she was three months pregnant and one of the first things that she did after she settled down, was to find other expectant mothers. “Using Facebook and other expat groups, I feel like I've created a new little network of people who are in a similar position. This network will support us through this immensely life changing time ahead,” she says.

The couple have taken a liking to yoga. “I used to practise yoga but I couldn’t sustain,” says Oliver. Karen says that after the baby arrives, one of the first things she intends to do is to arm herself with a yoga teacher training qualification. “I love dancing, so if time permits, I may try my hand at learning Indian classical dance,” she adds.

The couple spends its weekends discovering the different facets of the City. More than the malls, the two confess that they prefer going to open spaces such like parks and going on long walks. For vegetables and fruits, Oliver says that he prefers ordering online or go to KR Market. “Although, people are greeted by a huge garbage dump at the entrance of the market, we love going there. During our last visit, we bought two bags full of fruits and vegetables,” says Oliver.  

The only thing that the couple thoroughly dislike about the City are their rides in autorickshaws. “The first time, I found it insane that the autorickshaw drivers would charge Rs 500 for a one kilometre ride but I manage to talk them out of it with my broken Hindi,” he laughs.


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