In love with the diversity

In love with the diversity

For some, it’s the greenery and for others, it’s the cosmopolitan culture that brought them to Bengaluru. But for Manish Pathak and Shreyashi Ganguly, the city brought them together and it was their bond that led them to settle here.

Manish, who is vice-president (technology) at Goldman Sachs, is from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, and Shreyashi, who is doing her MD in internal medicine, is from Kolkata. Despite their varied backgrounds, they love the city for the mixed culture it has.

The couple met here a few years back, after which they got married and settled down. Manish has visited Bengaluru earlier and says that the city infused life in him. “Though I have been here many times, it was in 2013 that I made it my home. Apart from family, I do miss my hometown, but Bengaluru makes up for that in its own ways,” he says.

Manish adds that his hometown is a beautiful, hilly area that houses scenic places like the Jubilee Park and Dimna Lake. “I remember going on bike trips with friends to all these places. Durga Puja is a busy part of the year,” he recollects.

From the ‘samosas’ and ‘kachoris’ to the ‘chapati’ and ‘dal’, Manish misses traditional food from back home. “I also miss festivals like ‘Chhath’ and ‘Siruwa’ which have their own rituals attached to them,” he says.

The couple feels that Bengaluru is unique because of its cosmopolitan and modern streak. “There is so much to this city that makes us what we are now. The people, the variety of music and the many places to hang out at make it different,” says Manish.

“I have always been charmed by the ‘99 varieties of dosa’ carts here. These carts explain the diversity one can see here,” he adds.

The two also love the dynamic nature of the city, explaining which, Shreyashi says, “By dynamic, we not only mean the activity around but also how the city evolves around you. If you are someone who loves books, music or art, there are places which nurture that passion in you. For the party-goers, there are many pubs and for those who want to begin their morning with a lovely breakfast, there is MTR and other places,” says Shreyashi.

She adds that there is a lot to do and learn here. “With every passing day, I understand a new facet of the city. There is more to Bengaluru than meets the eye.”

Shreyashi came to the city to study medicine and also worked for a while with the cardiac critical care of a city-based hospital, before she took up further studies.

 “I came a while back and realised that the city has a beautiful culture that embraces anyone who comes to its folds. Though I came from Kolkata, I never felt out of place. Kolkata is a vast city and any Bengali will vouch that we hold our traditions, including the language, very close to us,” she explains.

Though Bengaluru has a lot of cuisines to offer, Shreyashi misses the fish-based dishes from back home. “Though there are so many options in food here, it’s still not the same. I miss the ‘aloo dum’ and ‘egg rolls’ from home. Also the very fact that one can find food anytime of the day, or night, makes Kolkata special to me,” says Shreyashi.

However, the couple has embraced South Indian cuisine and they love it. “Our Sunday mornings always start with a traditional breakfast at a ‘darshini’, which usually includes ‘dosa’ and ‘idli’. I love ‘kesari bath’ and would have had it more often if there was no fear of diabetes,” she says with a smile.

The couple loves spending their time at new places every weekend. “Sometimes, we chill together at a restaurant or a pub like ‘Toit’, or go for plays at Ranga Shankara. It also depends on who we are with,” she says.

They even like spending time at ‘Blossom Book House’ and interacting with new people.

Manish says, “This is the best part about the city. It is very easy to strike a conversation with people. I have randomly spoken to many about books and ended up making new friends.”

After Kolkata, Bengaluru is the only place where Shreyashi feels at home. “This is what keeps me here. It would have been a shock had I moved to any other city which my friends had gone to. People here went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I always felt like I belonged here,” she says.

The couple has never felt like outsiders here. “If one makes the effort to learn and respect the culture, it is the perfect place to be in. This is unlike any other city,” says Shreyashi adding, “Bengaluru is home for me. I always feel like I am visiting family when I’m back in Kolkata. We love Bengaluru because it is our ‘ooru’.”

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