Where hope floats

Melting pot

Where hope floats
I have decided to retire in Bengaluru as this is my home now,” says Hariprakash Agarwal, who moved to the City in 2000. The owner of two startups ‘RideAlly’ and ‘OpCord Consultancy Services’, he feels more like a Bengalurean than a Rajasthani.

Completing his MTech in Rajasthan, he was offered a job in one of the noted IT companies in Bengaluru. After serving in the company for two years, he moved back to his native place Sri Ganganagar (in Rajasthan) to marry Richa.

 The newly weds moved to Noida after marriage and were there for two years after which Hariprakash said, “Bengaluru should be our home. We can have a better life there with better career options,” to which Richa replied affirmatively.

The married couple moved to the City in 2003 and after working in different companies for a couple of years, they decided to take on the role of entrepreneurs. While RideAlly is a successfully running carpooling app, OpCord is a consultancy service app. Hariprakash goes back in time and explains how the City welcomed him and soon made him feel at home.

“Since I was here for two years before marriage, I had made a few friends. While the weather lured me back to make the City my home, it is also the people and job opportunities that made me want to start my married life here.” 

Richa adds to this saying, “From the day I came here, I never felt like a migrant. While I did face the challenge of not being able to communicate in Kannada, it wasn’t much of an issue as the Kannadigas, even the ones who did not know English (like my domestic help), were very kind and helpful. I learnt all I needed to know about the City in a few days and became a Bengalurean within no time.”

The couple’s two children, 10-year-old Saatwik is studying in Delhi Public School and three-year-old Saanvi goes to a playschool in Sarjapur.  “They both are Bengalureans and Saatwik is learning Kannada as his second language in school,” says Richa.

Ask Hariprakash what he misses about Rajasthan and he says, “The ‘dhoom dhamaka’ of weddings!” He adds, “The wedding celebrations are quieter here. There is not much socialising and people lack the openness to mingle with each other.”

However, this, he feels, is a minor difference and can be ignored as there is much more that the City has offered them.  Fans of South Indian cuisine, they love the meals on plantain leaves, more precisely the Andhra and Kerala meals. The dry powders and ‘chutneys’ served with these meals delight them.

“I love the Kannadiga ‘sambar’ too,” adds Richa, while Hariprakash says, “I love the different ‘baths’. There is so much variety —‘vangi bath’, ‘bisi bele bath’, ‘kesari bath’, ‘khara bath’ — I relish them all to the fullest.”

While initially Hariprakash observed that festivities like ‘Janamashtami’, ‘Saraswati Pooja’ and many others were not a grand affair here, he quickly says, “Now there is cross-cultural exchange, compared to 10 years before. There is a mix of the North and South cultures in Bengaluru and people are adapting to it with fervour.”

When you ask Saatwik about the City, he does not think for a second to say that it is Bengaluru which he likes better than Rajasthan. He adds, “My favourite hangout is my house.”

Like every other resident of Bengaluru, the family does have an issue with the increasing traffic. But they are trying to curb it as much as they can through their startup and feel satisfied to be able to give back to the City that has offered them great opportunities.

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