'We are here for good now'

'We are here for good now'

Melting pot

'We are here for good now'

I met him for the first time in PESIT, where we both studied. I had lost my diamond earrings and was searching for them in the corridor. He walked up to me and asked what the matter was. When I told him, he said he will help in searching for them. We never found the earrings but we found each other.”

This is how Aarti Agarwal recalls her first meeting with Amit Bhargava and one of her fondest memories of Bengaluru. Now happily married with two young daughters, the couple did a bit of globe-trotting before deciding to settle down in the ‘garden city’ for good.

Hailing from Roorkee in Uttarakhand, Amit, now a manager in Accenture, talks about falling in love with this city the moment he stepped off the train. “I travelled during the summer in a non air-conditioned coach. So I bore the full brunt of the ruthless North Indian heat and was quite miserable by the time I reached here. But when I got down from the train in Bengaluru, it was pouring! A light, cool breeze caressed my face and I felt I had reached heaven.”

He says the city keeps giving him new reasons to fall for it even today. “Apart from the weather, the people here also charmed me. They are so helpful. If you ask someone for directions, they will literally stop their bike or car, get down and help you. That is one of the main reasons why I did not opt to stay in Delhi or some place closer home when we came back from the US; I never really liked the people there.”

But he does miss his family and friends back home. “And the city too. It is a very small yet neat and clean city. Everyone knows everyone else. The cost of living there is also quite cheap which is not the case here.”

However Aarti, who comes from Agra, says she does not miss home at all. “In fact, when we were staying in the US, I missed Bengaluru more. I had a huge circle of college friends here and the good memories we had with them pulled us back.”

The conversation veers to food and Amit is vocal about his appreciation for South Indian cuisine. “It took me a week or so to get adjusted to the food here; we were so used to ‘parathas’ and ‘dal makhni’ with a lot of butter and ‘ghee’. But now the ‘dosa’ at Hotel Chalukya and the delicacies at Vidyarthi Bhavan and Brahmins are our favourites. We also adore MTR ice creams and the street food at V V Puram.”

“I am a pro at cooking South Indian food now,” says Aarti proudly. “We make it at home all the time; even while abroad. MTR packets came to our rescue,” she laughs.

When not indulging in culinary treats, the family prefers to go for walks in parks. “Amit and I have a keen interest in photography,” says Aarti, adding that her favourite subjects are her daughters — Anaisha and Ayansha. Amit chips in, “I am a national level basketball player and I sometimes play during the weekends. There are many sports facilities here.”

“Just like there are educational and creative opportunities for the children. Bengaluru has everything; we are here for good now,” signs off Aarti.

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