You can never get bored here

You can never get bored here

A chance encounter during an internship programme is what brought Louis Vincent to India. “I am from Crabtree, a small town outside Montreal in the province of Quebec, Canada,” he says.

“After my bachelors in international management, I was looking for jobs and met a guy in connection with an internship programme. Though that didn’t work out, we kept in touch and eventually, I ended up joining his company in India.” That company was NPM Technologies and Louis is currently the marketing consultant there. It has been almost three years and he is more than happy that his job landed him a place in the roller coaster ride called India.

 “I come from a small town and Bengaluru was the first big city in my life. For the first one year, I was constantly amazed — both by the good and the bad things.” While traffic, rash driving and pollution are the cons that he lists out, Louis is more garrulous when it comes to voicing his love for the city. “One of the things that impressed me was the number of small shops one can see on the streets. Back home, we have a Walmart and that’s it. There is no space for smaller shops. So the spirit of entrepreneurship I saw here amazed me.”

Apart from that, Louis likes the younger crowd seen here and the enthusiasm they bring with them. “Whenever I go out and meet new people, we always have so many interesting conversations. I get the impression that the youngsters are genuinely interested in solving the problems that plague India.”

Expressing his belief that Bengaluru was doing quite well for a big city with the resulting associated issues, Louis says that he is also a fan of the vibrant night life and many cultural performances one can experience here. “There is always something to do. You can never get bored here,” he says.  But the lure of the hometown is omnipresent and he makes it a point to spend at least one month at home every year, with his parents and siblings.

“They are what I miss the most about home. All of them are in the same place and get to hang out together,” he says and adds, “I also miss the peace and quiet of my town. It is a small place with few people; I can walk for half an hour without seeing anyone. There is a easy access to nature; something that is lacking in overcrowded India with its constant ruckus in the background.”

But other than that, he doesn’t have any complaints about the time spent here, except for the turbulent few weeks of demonetisation in November last year. “I don’t have a bank account here due to some visa regulations. So my salary gets deposited to my account in Canada and I withdraw large sums at one go,” he says.

“When you take into account factors like bank fee, ATM fee, currency conversion charges and so on, it makes sense to withdraw lump sum amounts. So when that cap of Rs 2000 was imposed, I went without money for a long period of time. My girlfriend was pretty much paying all the bills,” he says with a laugh.

But all that is a matter of the past and now life is back to normal. Weekends are eagerly awaited luxuries that are spent with friends and colleagues.  “I hang out with my two Canadian colleagues. Or I go watch a movie with my girl, grab a drink or simply just take a leisurely stroll in one of the numerous parks in the city,” says Louis, who says his favourite spots in Bengaluru include the microbreweries. “I especially like ‘Windmills Craftworks’ in Whitefield; it is worth the long drive to the place. I also like ‘The Biere Club’ and ‘Arbor Brewing Company’ here.”

Ask him about the food and Louis says he is more than happy with the offerings here. “Bengaluru has all types of food you could possibly want to eat. Never has it happened that there was a specific food craving that I couldn’t fulfil. And there are a variety of options for different budgets as well.”

So were there no teething troubles (pun intended)? “There were. I knew nothing about Indian food before I came here, except for ‘Butter chicken’, but I adjusted to the spice levels and curries very quickly. In fact, the first one year I was here, I went out to eat almost all the time. But that has changed now. My girlfriend (who is from Pune, by the way) cooks at home and I just love that food,” he says with a satisfied laugh.

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