From clouds to plains

Melting pot

From clouds to plains
It is said that people give a place its character. Priyanka Bhattacharjee Nandy agrees whole-heartedly. “I fell in love with Bengaluru because of the kind of experiences I had with the people here,” she says.

Born in Assam and brought up in Meghalaya, Priyanka’s tryst with the city started when she joined Christ College for higher education. The solo sojourn transformed into a two-ticket journey after she married Pritam Nandy in October 2013 and settled down here for good.

“I fell in love with the city because of the weather as well as the people,” says Pritam, who hails from Assam. “We have met only friendly and supportive persons here.”

Certain incidents have only reaffirmed this belief of theirs. Priyanka recounts a particular episode rather fondly. “I have stayed in quite a few rented houses across the city. At one such house, the other tenants warned me about the house owner, saying that he was a cranky person. I never spoke to him directly though. His wife was very sweet. When I met with an accident and broke my leg, my parents couldn’t come down and she used to take care of me like her own daughter. From the morning tea to a late night glass of milk — she would do everything for me.”

She goes on to add, “But what really surprised me was the way the owner spoke to me when I was vacating. He said that he had come to see me as a daughter and asked me to take good care of myself. It was among the sweetest things I had heard in my life.”

Comparisons with their home towns are inevitable of course. “The lifestyle is a major point of difference among the two places. The standard of living is quite high in Bengaluru which is not the case in Meghalaya. But the plus point of this is that it makes people strive harder,” says Priyanka.

Pritam strikes a more nostalgic note. “I miss the time people had for each other in Assam. Friends here are always busy and don’t have much time for each other.”

What about the food? “Oh yes, the food is completely different,” exclaims Priyanka. “The people in Meghalaya are more into boiled, not very cooked stuff, somewhat similar to the Chinese cuisine. Here there is a lot of spice and masala. Certain types of food, like ‘Sambhar’, is quite alien in our hometown,” she smiles.

She goes on to specify her favourite food. “In a particular shop in N R Colony, you get something called ‘Paddu’ which is served with boiled potatoes and lot of ghee. That is my favourite.” But while she is still open to trial and error, Pritam does not budge from his preferences.  “He loves idli and his favourite is ‘Rava idli’. Whenever we go out, even if I experiment with some variety of cuisine, he always sticks to ‘Idli vada’,” Priyanka says with a laugh.

The differences in culinary options do not spill over to interests.  “Weekends are for going out. We love travelling and we have seen a lot of places in and around the city,” she says to which Pritam adds, “In South India, we have been to Coorg, Wayanad, Rames­waram, Madurai, Hyderabad...You name it and we most probably would have gone there.”

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