At home in the bustling city

At home in the bustling city
It was an exploration of culture and many new things that awaited Manoj Mehta and Vandana Singh, who hail from Uttar Pradesh, when they moved to Bengaluru. Manoj, who did a stint in the city in 2010, wanted to come back as he was in love with the place. Working as a software engineer with CommScope Networks, Manoj lives here with his wife and says that he would love to be a part of the city for as long as possible.

He hails from Robertsganj, Sonbhadra and Vandana hails from Chunar, Mirzapur. “I did my engineering in Uttar Pradesh and got campus placement in 2010, which brought me to Bengaluru. After that I moved to Gurugram  in 2012. But the city’s calling was such that I came back in 2015,” he says with a smile. “I got multiple job offers, from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. I immediately chose this city as I was familiar with the place,” he says.

Despite strong cultural differences, Manoj says that Bengaluru is home. “I hail from a small town, where agriculture plays a big role and irrigation is very stable,” he says. Manoj says that Sonbhadra is known for coal mining and its industrial fold. “There are also many thermal power plants around. I hail from a village though and the most happening time of the year is during the festivals of ‘Holi’ and ‘Deepavali’. All our families gather together then and celebrate as one,” says Manoj.

Many in the city aren’t aware about the places Manoj and Vandana hail from. “We tell them that our hometowns are close to Varanasi, which leaves them fascinated. Then they ask interesting questions. People are aware about the religious places,” he says.

Though the main reason to come back was better opportunities, prod Manoj further and he lists out many other reasons. “The weather is phenomenal. We have the same weather here through the year. This is amazing, its neither too hot nor too cold,” says Manoj. The people of a place determine its character and Vandana says that people here are charming. “They mind their own business and go on with their own things. People here are non-interfering, which is very nice!” Vandana says.

Manoj adds that people at work are more professional, compared to other places. “One can go about doing their projects the way they want to, without being pulled up every few minutes. As long as results are delivered on time, there are no issues. The fun part is that one gets to meet diverse people in the working space in a city like this,” details Manoj.

He vouches that he made his journey back to the city only due to his past experiences. “The people here make one feel at home. I have friends from my earlier job and even my college days here, which is a healthy mix,” he adds. The city’s proximity to beautiful and enticing places like Mysuru, Nandi Hills, Hogenakkal Falls, Savandurga among many, makes it a perfect place to be, says Manoj. “When you feel tired of the city, just pack your bags and escape from the humdrum life,” he says.

When the couple have some time to spare, they love a stroll in the Iblur Park nearby. “Its the only place to relax when we don’t want to go too far and want to enjoy some greenery. We love visiting the different temples in the city including ISKCON and also love going to parks like Lalbagh. Another good thing about the city is that it has good and reasonable cab services which one can avail to go anywhere,” adds Manoj. The duo also like spending their time at Central Mall and having a bite at ‘Mast Kalandar’.

The dietary patterns the couple were used to is very different from what they indulge in now. “I love South Indian food — especially the ‘idlis’ and the ‘dosa’ with coconut ‘chutney’ and ‘sambhar’. I also make them at home,” says Vandana with a smile. Manoj says that back home they indulge in spicy food and usually have ‘chapati and green vegetables’. “Our food also has a Bihari influence so we eat ‘sattu puri’ and ‘sattu paratha’,” says Manoj.

Whatever the differences may be, the couple feel at home here. “We’ve never had any issue here; its a very safe place to live in. We wish for our journey to continue on,” adds Vandana.

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