Where friends are family

Melting pot

Where friends are family

Every year, Bengaluru sees a lot of people coming here to pursue their education or for employment. The warmth of the City is such that most people end up settling here for good.

   Suman Howlader from Kolkata and Shantashree Kar from Guwahati are one of those couples who have made this city their home. Both Suman and Shantashree were here for sometime before they met and got married in 2015.

    Now staying in JP Nagar,  they have much to talk about. “We got married last year on Republic Day and it’s been a year of our togetherness. I love this city.”

   Suman adds, “In Bengaluru, if one wants to start something new, one can easily go ahead with it, but it is not the same in Kolkata. Kolkata is more traditional  which makes it a little difficult to start something new.”   

    “On the other hand, I miss the socialising and discussions that happen over a cup of tea back in my hometown. Bengaluru is more about professional interactions and their socialisation is also shallow and limited,” says Suman, who is the owner of ‘CarZippi’.

When he landed in the City for his education a few years ago, life was different with a much more pleasant climate  and fewer people.

Reminiscing his childhood days in Kolkata, he says, “I had a normal childhood with school and tuitions taking up most of my time. But this never kept me away from  extracurricular activities. I traveled 20 km everyday and used to start from home at seven in the morning. Playing football was a part of my daily routine. In fact, back in Kolkata, football is considered as a part of life.”

About what made her come to the City, Shantashree says, “I was born and brought up in Guwahati and my father was in the government service. Like everyone else who look for brighter educational opportunities, I came to Bengaluru in 2006 to complete my graduation and then MBA, I currently work with Kotak Mahindra Bank and stay with my husband and his brother.”

On what they like about the City, the couple says, “Pretty much everything, that is why we consider Bengaluru our second home. We bought a house and are planning to settle down here. Life is very comfortable in the City in terms of work. There is huge manpower, good resources and interactions, which will be of help to our future generation.”  Shantashree adds, “I didn’t have any problem adjusting to the culture of the City as it is pretty similar to the culture of Guwahati. I gelled up quite easily. Apart from that, I am also fond of the night life of Bengaluru.”

The couple being foodies, like to hangout in different restaurants and explore varied cuisines. They also love going for movies and long drives. Some of their favourite places are Coorg, Mysuru, Cochin and Wayanad.

Suman says, “I generally don’t have a long weekend as I have a startup that is quite new, so I am concentrating on that. However, when I have the time, we make sure to go out for  dinner, lunch, movie or a long drive.”

  On the other hand, Shantashree says, “Driving to Nandi Hills and stopping by ‘Cafe Coffee Day’ is something I love doing. Before I got married, my friends and I used to visit these small ‘dhabas’ in the outskirts of the City or have roadside food. Being a Bengali  food is in my genes. ‘Chulha Chauki Da Dhaba’, ‘Bhojohori Manna’ and ‘Chokhi Dhani’ are some of my favourite restaurants. Our favourite cuisine is of course Bengali. We also like Punjabi and lately, we have started loving the Andhra meals. It’s spicy and so nice.”

When it comes to festivals, especially ‘Durga Puja’, they turn nostalgic. Suman points out that the celebration in both the cities are  different. He shares, “Back home we have ‘puja pandals’ in large scale. However, in Bengaluru, since the community is not that big, you will see that most of the ‘pandals’ are set up in  wedding halls or small community halls. There is no comparison between the two. Here the festival is a bit restricted in terms of the space and the crowd.”

Shantashree says, “Kolkata is also known for its street food, people hardly go to a five star hotel or a restaurant to relish  wholesome food.

Roadside ‘dhabas’ that serves egg roll and ‘mughlai parathas’ are great.”“When it comes to our favourite restaurants here, we like to pick ‘Southern Spice’ and ‘Oh Calcutta. We also relish the food at Shanti Sagar,” he adds.

“Both of us being foodies, regions doesn’t matter, what matters is good food (laughs). We are great fans of South Indian food, so there was no problem in adjusting with food. The different types of ‘dosas’, and rice  items like ‘Puliyogare’ and ‘Chitranna’ are something that we cannot miss at any cost.”

The couple says that although people here are busy and lead hectic lives, they have made some good friends here. “Our friends have become our family now,” wraps up Suman on a positive note.


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