'We just fit in perfectly here'

'We just fit in perfectly here'

For Shivam Kumar and Aprajita Mishra, it almost feels like they were destined to come to Bengaluru few years ago. Having lived in different places, they chose to make this city their home, thanks to its vibrant culture, relaxed lifestyle and relatively safe environment.

Aprajita says, “I moved here after marriage while Shivam was already stationed here for work. Over the years, we’ve realised that this is one of the best cities to live in as it has so much to offer. It’s very rare that we get bored here.”

Shivam and Aprajita are both software engineers at Wipro and KPMG respectively. During the weekends, they head out to explore the city and try out some new cuisines. Their all-time favourite restaurants are ‘Punjab Grill’ and ‘Corner House’ where they like indulging in ‘Death by chocolate’. Aprajita says, “There are so many restaurants in the city that sometimes we don’t know where to go. But even with the number of choices available, we miss food from back home. ‘Jalebi’, ‘samosa’ and other street foods may be available here but they don’t have the same taste.”

Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, the two speak about their interesting life back there. Shivam says, “I’m from Mirzapur, close to Varanasi. It’s a small town where everyone likes to stay close to their family — sometimes, even to other people’s family (laughs). There are plenty of restaurants there that I love visiting. Also, there’s enough of both work and leisure time so it’s not too  hectic.”

As for Aprajita’s hometown, Allahabad, she says, “It is a chilled out place which doesn’t have any of the hustle and bustle that we have here. I spent most of my time in academics and sports like basketball and cycling. That was also the time when the mall culture was becoming popular. So when I was in college, we would venture out to these new places and explore things. UP is also known for its vibrant celebration of festivals which I terribly miss. In Bengaluru, it’s very quiet and in close quarters.”

However, the couple keeps themselves busy with activities available in the city. “Apart from hanging out with our friends and visiting new places, when we feel that the traffic is too bad to head out, we indulge in a game of badminton. We also like hosting and attending house parties,” adds Aprajita. They also venture out of the city when they have time. Puducherry, Ooty and Goa are some of their favourite places to visit. They even make frequent visits to Lalbagh during the flower shows and Nandi Hills for early morning drives.

Shivam says, “One of the reasons we decided to not leave Bengaluru is the helping nature of the people, especially towards outsiders. When I first came here, I felt out of place and homesick. My first friend was a Kannadiga and he was really helpful. I also found the other people around me to be caring and they provided me with a loving environment that was reason enough to stay on.”

But he says that this quality is lacking these days. “It’s become a very clique system these days. If you go to a company, you’ll find only North Indians talking to each other and South Indians sticking to their group. I think we should stop discriminating and spend time with everyone without pointing out each other’s shortcomings.” However, with the evolving nature of the city, the couple has found a humble adobe here. Aprajita says, “There have been times when we have spoken about settling elsewhere but somehow we just fit in perfectly here. The traffic is bad and the city is growing at a fast pace, but it gives us everything we need in terms of livelihood. At this stage of our lives, we can’t imagine calling any other place our home.”

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