Crossing borders for love

Crossing borders for love

Expat zone

Crossing borders for love

Ever watched a movie where a person moves to a different country to be with their partner? Trailing away from fantasy, Sebastián Jiménez made this common plotline his reality when he moved to India to be with his college sweetheart, Tannaz Daruwalla. They met and fell in love when they were studying together in France. When the big question of ‘what’s next’ (after graduation) arrived, they had a choice to make — either move to India (where Tannaz is from) or to Bogota, Colombia (Sebastián’s hometown). When they both found a job in Bengaluru, they decided upon India.

Sebastián is the manager at ‘Chinita’, a Mexican restaurant in Indiranagar, and he’s happy that everything is falling in place. He says, “I came to India last year for a friend’s wedding, but we got to spend only a week in the country — in Delhi and Bengaluru to be more specific. When we had to make a decision on what to do next, Bengaluru was a place we were both comfortable in. Now, I’m glad everything is working out.”

Being in the F&B industry, having a weekend off is out of the question. When he catches a break, he likes to spend time with Tannaz and head back to work. “It’s hard for us to have that time together because she’s off during the weekends and I’m not. Since my weekly offs are Mondays, she usually works from home, allowing us to spend time,” he explains.

Food being one of his passions, Sebastián is happy that Bengaluru has an array of restaurants, with different cuisines and flavours. He enjoys going to ‘Fatty Bao’ for good Asian food and ‘Airlines’ to enjoy hot ‘dosas’. He says he loves Indian food but has never tried to make any yet. They enjoy preparing Parsi food at home and love experimenting with the flavours. He says, “I’m someone who enjoys Indian food, but I like it when it’s home cooked rather than from a restaurant. I’d love a great serving of ‘daal’ and ‘lassi’ any time of the day!”

In the three months that he has lived here, he has realised that there is more to India than just yoga and the calm that is associated with it; that it is actually a country filled with a lot of stressed out people. He also says that the culture in Latin America and India are very similar. “When it comes to food, we are also used to having rice, grains and lentils, which made it easier for me to get used to the place. I think the facial features are also similar,” he explains. However, he is hesitant about driving in the City as “it’s a chaotic mess”.

He says, “In Colombia, when there’s traffic, you are actually stuck. In India, the drivers somehow swirl through the roads and make way to get to their destinations, sometimes causing more of a jam!” He is comfortable travelling via metros, autos and cabs to get to where he wants. When he has a longer vacation period, he hopes to visit Hampi and other places around Karanataka. He has visited Goa a couple of times already and says that he has had a blast each time.

When asked what he would change about the City, he says, “I wish we had more footpaths. I enjoy walking, but with a lot of road work and traffic, it becomes difficult.” Sebastián hopes to visit his family soon and bring them here for a visit. “I’m still settling in, but so far the City has been great to me.”

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