A tale of two cities

A tale of two cities
Lalana Zaveri and Manish Sharma settled in Bengaluru almost a decade ago as they found it the ideal place to start their retail business.  Born and brought up in Mumbai, they have now accustomed themselves to the culture and lifestyle here.

“I was in Mumbai for 27 years, and my husband lived in Mumbai for 30 years. We shifted to the City to start our retail business – Printo. The reason why we didn’t start our business in Mumbai was because Bengaluru has a better market for any new business and the real estate prices here were lower compared to Mumbai,” recollects Lalana. She adds, “My husband still runs the business, however, I am now a corporate trainer.”

Lalana, her husband and their cat — Kai — completes the family picture. “Kai is about 7-months-old and loves to play hide and seek. He is a perfect stress buster,” she informs. Going for walks, exploring new places, meeting people and eating good food are what she loves to do.

She says, “I love going for walks in the parks here and there are so many of them. Bengaluru has a nice and vibrant culture of meet-ups, where one can explore different interests like art, theatre, fitness, and plenty of good food.” 

“There are three big differences that I see in Bengaluru that wasn’t there, say 10 years back. On the negative side, garbage problem has increased and so has traffic. The roads have become much worse. However, on the positive side, there are more things that people can do now then one could when we landed here — it was more of a sleepy town then but now it is more energetic. Bengaluru has been a hub of opportunities.

She says, “Since there are a lot of people from outside the City, it is a big cultural mix here. What I find nice about this place is people from all religious background are able to live and work together. There is no distrust between communities, and Bengaluru is still a city where there is a lot of acceptance in terms of eating different kinds of food, believing in different beliefs and practices without any of it becoming a problem for the society. It is more accepting when it comes to embracing different cultures from around the world.”

She says that she misses the public transport system back in Mumbai. But, she exclaims, “I love a lot of things about Bengaluru especially the weather. There are a lot of hangout places and we are usually seen hanging around in cafes and parks. We love going to ‘Plan B’, ‘Cafe Thulp’, ‘Monkey Bar’, ‘The Fatty Bao’, ‘Toit’ and ‘The Hole in the Wall’ where we usually end up having breakfast. And when it comes to the restaurants it’s a lot of meat we eat. We love visiting Koshy’s on Sundays and have the stew and ‘appam’.

During the weekends I mostly meet my friends. I go for a lot of classes— ‘do it yourself classes’, wood work workshops and psycho-therapy classes.”

She says there are a lot of places around Bengaluru to travel for the weekend, “We mostly head to Shoolagiri or Krishnagiri and Rayakottai. We climb the hills there and since we enjoy trekking, these are some of the places we cannot miss. However, if we have more time, we drive down to Goa or Wayanad. I also enjoy kayaking, so if get a chance I would love to do it.”

“I would love to help in solving some of the problems that the City is facing now like the garbage and traffic issues. Bengaluru is a great city and if every citizen becomes a bit more responsible, this City can really be better than any other metropolis in the country.”


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