The spell of southern charm

The spell of southern charm

The spell of southern charm
Coming from the cosy district of Golaghat in Assam, Sudhir Jain, who also has roots in Rajasthan, was bowled over by the cosmopolitan nature of Bengaluru. Working with a multi-national company here, Sudhir recollects how he came to the City almost a decade back for his studies and decided to stay on. Sudhir, who lives here with wife Surbhi and son Aarav, says that the City is indeed home for them.

“Though I have family in Rajasthan, I grew up and did my schooling in Golaghat. I visit Rajasthan once in few years but Assam is where we had settled as a family,” he says. His hometown, he describes, is a calm and peaceful town with a community that is closely-knit. “Take a walk on the roads and you realise that people know each other so well there.”

“My memories of there include long trips and the time we spent as a family. Also, there are hot water springs called ‘Garampani’ nearby, which is a natural attraction,” he says.

“Compared to Bengaluru, the day starts much earlier back home. Our day begins at 6.30 am and all shops would be open then. We also tend to wind up work sooner, which means that by 6.30 or 7 pm, everything will be shut.” Though he is used to this routine, things have changed since he moved to Bengaluru. Looking back, he describes the difference in lifestyle there. “People are very down-to-earth back home. Life was much simpler,” says Sudhir.

In spite of all its flaws, he feels that Bengaluru has many positive elements that one can be proud of. “It has accepted us as we are and helped us immerse in its culture. I have adapted so well that I now crave for the hot ‘idlis’, crispy ‘vadas’ and tangy ‘rasam rice’. For us, South Indian food is now more than a once-a-month thing, it has become a regular affair.” He also describes how he enjoys taking a walk around the Lalbagh Lake. “It helps ease tension.”

“I also love going to Nandi Hills once in a while, just to enjoy the ride there. I’ve done it earlier with friends and now, with my wife and son. It makes me excited, even after all these years,” he adds.

Now that ‘Deepavali’ is at the doorstep, he compares the festivities back home to those here. “Here, one can see the streets lit up with streamer lights, but there people make a special setup with bamboo and banana plants, where actual ‘diyas’ are placed. And that is how it is throughout the festival. The entire town would be lit up with these and it is a great sight.”

“But Bengaluru has a lot of immigrants from the North  now and the people are enjoying the northern flavours too,” he adds. That reminds him of the food back home. “The specialities of Assam include ‘pitha’ and those sweets which are made for ‘Bihu’.”

Life is a big mix of people here — that’s how Surbhi describes this city. “The number of people who are here from across the country and elsewhere have significantly increased. That adds to the character of this place,” he adds.

Like many, they are relishing the cosmopolitan flavour of Bengaluru. “People are very chilled out and that adds to the experience. Moreover, they are forever ready to help. Even if someone isn’t fluent in Hindi or English, they would still try to help you with directions or whatever you want,” says Surbhi. “When I was working earlier, there was a lot of travelling involved and I found out that people here treat everyone with utmost respect. I have always felt safe here,” she adds.

Apart from the pleasant weather, the open-hearted nature of the City is what convinced Sudhir to stay on. “When people ask me where I would like to settle down —  Rajasthan, Golaghat or Bengaluru — I immediately say it’s Bengaluru. The City has something to it that keeps one happy. It’s amazing to see how the deep-rooted culture of the City is intact in spite of its changing nature,” adds Sudhir.

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