A home away from home

A home away from home

Melting pot

A home away from home

One can gauge a sense of contentment and joy when Tuhin Roy talks about Bengaluru and his experiences here. A Bengali, who was born and brought up in Rourkela, Odisha, the budding entrepreneur moved to Hyderabad to study fashion designing at the National Institute of Fashion Technology and later to Bengaluru for a job.

Coming down South was his choice as he felt that cities here were much more evolved in terms of thought and had better opportunities in the field of fashion. So after his graduation, he moved to Bengaluru and worked in a couple of companies here before starting his design agency, ‘Jumping Goose’. There has been no looking back since then as he finds Bengaluru the best city to live and work in.

He says, “The people are extremely warm and the aura of the place strikes anyone who has just moved in here. I find the crowd education oriented, unlike that in the North where people are more into business. Bengalureans are also very peace-loving and softspoken.”

As cities differ culturally and geographically, Tuhin says that the first thing that struck him when he moved here was the sheer magnitude of the place. He points out that Rourkela is a well-planned steel town like Bhilai or Tatanagar. “You don’t find swanky showrooms or huge malls in Rourkela. The fast-paced life is something that I wasn’t used to initially. Rourkela is also cosmopolitan because it’s a steel city but the IT and corporate culture hasn’t hit the place completely. Also, nobody thinks of becoming an entrepreneur back home and fashion designing, especially, is hardly heard of. Many either try for government jobs or get into engineering.”

His wife, Smitha Saha, considers herself more of a Bengalurean than a Bengali. Born and brought up in Patna, Smitha has been here for a decade and moved to Bengaluru to pursue fashion designing. “I felt people in Bengaluru are very open-minded and progressive as compared to Patna, where people are conservative. It is much safer for a woman to travel around the city here, even at 11 pm. I did have problems getting used to South Indian food initially as my staples were ‘sattu paratha’, ‘chapati’ and ‘dal’ but once I settled down and started to cook, I can’t do without my daily dose of ‘dosa’.”

Another aspect that Tuhin discovered in Bengaluru is the sheer humility of the people. He adds, “In many places, people concentrate on external appearances and it’s more about money or show but I didn’t find that here. People value small things; they are very grounded culturally and thrive in a progressive political system.”

Tuhin loves hanging out in the bustling restaurants of Indiranagar, Koramangala and Kalyan Nagar. ‘Om Made Cafe’, ‘Bistro Claytopia’, ‘Samarkhand’, ‘Umerkot’, ‘A Cafe’ and ‘The Local’ are some of the couple’s favourite places to go to. Though the staple food he used to eat back home was rice and fish, Tuhin is now used to the white coconut ‘chutney’ and says that he can eat it with anything – be it noodles or ‘chapati’.

 He also describes Bengaluru as a blessing for startups since it has the necessary and supportive mechanisms to aid the startup space and make it grow. As major companies aid one another, he says that there is a “domino effect or chain reaction that is created to nourish the startup system.” He adds that the talent pool is also large which adds value to the startup ecosystem. “People here are very supportive towards budding entrepreneurs and help them get through the initial struggles. I also found a sheer will within people to work hard and the urge to learn as much as they can.”

And as much as he loves Bengaluru, he feels that the city has embraced him back equally. He happily says that he has never had any bad experiences here and though he did receive opportunities to move abroad, he never took them as he felt that Bengaluru is the only place which he can safely call ‘home’. “I don’t miss anything. I believe that people make places and the people here have been very kind to me. I don’t want to go away from Bengaluru anytime soon.”