'We can be ourselves here'

Melting pot

'We can be ourselves here'

For most people, it is strenuous to adjust to a new place, but for Vikas Bisht, who came to the city eight years back, the city is his second home. Vikas, who hails from Ajmer, says that the city has helped him grow on both personal and professional fronts. He works as an administrator at DreamWorks Animation and lives in the city with wife Alka Rathore, who hails from Bikaner.

After his schooling in Ajmer and BE in Alwar, Vikas moved to Delhi for a year, before he started his journey in Bengaluru. “I was working with an IT company and was excited to get placed here. Bengaluru was always known as the IT hub and the land of opportunities. I was looking forward to coming here,” says Vikas.

He adds that when he arrived in 2008, the city was very different to what he was used to culturally. “There were many things here that I fell in love with almost instantly. The weather caught my attention and also the whole city had a certain vibrance to it, which was just perfect.” He was impressed by the civic sense of the people, compared to Delhi.

“Compared to other places, if an accident happened, I found people ready to cooperate and figure out a solution together than just picking up arguments,” he adds.

Recollecting his time in Ajmer, Vikas says that, of the many places of interest there, the Pushkar Temple is the highlight. “The culture and the people are very different up in the north. But I strongly believe in ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’. It was my choice to be here and I love it this place. We have adjusted in well,” says Vikas.

The culinary experience was a different journey for the duo. “Our diet is more spicy. It includes items like ‘kadi kachori’, ‘puri sabji’ etc. We would have ‘kachori/samosa’ for breakfast and ‘dal baati, lahsun ki chutney and churma’ for lunch. The South Indian platter constitutes a varied taste. While I took time to adjust, I love the ‘ídli’ and ‘dosa’ now,” says Vikas. He adds that he likes having rice too, though it isn’t a part of his ethnicity. Alka says that of some of the things she misses from home, specialties like ‘bhujia’ and ‘rasgullas’ top the list.

The duo like indulging their taste buds by visiting varied restaurants across the city, especially in Koramangala. “There are so many options to indulge in, including vegetarian delights from Rajasthan. We love going to ‘Loveshack’ too,” says Vikas.

Visiting parks like Lalbagh, Bannerghatta National Park and Nandi Hills is something else the couple love doing. They feel that there is a lot to do in the city.

 “There is a lot of lung space in the city, compared to other places. One can connect to other beautiful spots like Ooty or Kodaikanal easily from Bengaluru,” says Alka. Vikas adds that they also go on long drives on the NICE Road and head out of the city, whenever possible.

Vikas vouches that his stay in Bengaluru has helped him grow on a personal and professional level. “From being more patient and kind to people, to be more broad-minded, I have learnt a lot from ‘namma Bengaluru’,” he says.

The couple agree that Bengalureans are the friendliest of all people they have met. “This could also be because the place is a mix of cultures. Everyone here is exposed to many cultures that makes the people more tolerant,” says Alka. She adds that people
are more genuine here. “There is no pressure to fit in or show-off. We can be
ourselves here and that is the magic of the city,” Alka sums up.

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