'It's like a big family here'

Melting pot

'It's like a big  family here'

For couple Aritra Debnath and Manisha S, who grew up in Ranchi, Jharkhand, and have roots in West Bengal, moving to Bengaluru was a different experience. Having completed their primary education in their hometown, they found the varied cultural flavours here interesting. While Aritra works as a manager with HSBC, Manisha is a homemaker.

Having graduated from Vellore Institute of Technology, Aritra already had a brief stint in the South, before he moved to Bengaluru. “It was work that brought me here. I worked in Chennai for some time. It was hot and humid there which made me appreciate Bengaluru even more,” he says. He was deeply impressed by the greenery and loved the fact that it had a calming effect. “There were a lot of trees where I stayed and it was soothing. Though the number of trees has reduced now, I still love the city for its greenery.” He says that JP Nagar, Jayanagar, Indiranagar and Koramangala are some of the places he likes to spend time at.

Bengaluru is similar to Ranchi, says Aritra. “It was very cool back home too. The weather is close to what we  are used to,” he says. “Ranchi is known for its geographical beauty. There are so many waterfalls, some of which we have explored and others which are less frequented.” “There are also forests there, which have the best teakwood,” adds Manisha.
Manisha moved to the city after marriage and says that her hometown in Ranchi is also changing, thanks to commercialisation. “Ranchi includes a lot of tribal areas and has a lot of greenery. But the effects of modernisation can be slowly seen in our lovely city too,” she says. She expresses that it saddens her to see the effects of development here and hopes that Bengaluru will continue to retain its charm.

Though the couple were used to having ‘litti chokha’ and Bengali dishes like ‘aloo poshto’ and fish curry in their hometown, they love exploring varied cuisines here. “I love ‘idli’, ‘dosa’ and ‘appam’ as I used to crave for South Indian dishes while in Ranchi. Bengaluru can proudly boast of different cuisines at restaurants — ranging from Continental and Spanish to Japanese and Vietnamese, and from all other parts of the country,” says Manisha.

Aritra loves coastal food and adds that Manisha and him are true foodies. “We love experimenting at new places and restaurant hop a lot. We tried ‘NH8’ in Indiranagar and ‘Tiffin Room’ recently and loved it a lot. We also frequent Chinese restaurants and other places as and when possible,” says Manisha.

The variety of festivals and the culture here has impressed the couple. “When we moved here, we saw how grand the ‘Ganesha Chaturthi’ celebrations are and heard of other special days like ‘Basava Jayanthi’. We feel proud and closer to the varied traditions of our country,” says Aritra.

Like anyone who moves away from family, Manisha felt lonely in the beginning but soon made friends. “The city has a certain charm to it. The people here are welcoming. Just like back home, people are open to new individuals settling in and Bengalureans take them under their wing. It’s like a big family here. When I used to work, I used to exchange recipes with my friends from different places and it used to be exciting,” she says. Manisha adds that she finds this endearing as Bengalureans are concerned about others. “They are warm-hearted and genuinely care for others,” she adds with a smile. The couple cannot imagine moving to another place, as the city is home for them now. “We even bought a house here as we intend to stay. Bengaluru has loved us unconditionally,” says Aritra.

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