Whipping up sweet memories

Expat zone

Whipping up sweet memories

His tryst with Bengaluru started four years ago when he came here as a confectionery chef. It was to make ‘Baklawa’, the Arabic sweet, that Waji Houshe from Damascus, Syria joined a Lebanese restaurant here.

However, after working there for about two years as a contract chef, he found greener pastures in the city. “Now I own a confectionery outlet called ‘Baklawa Sham’,” he says. His idea was to let everyone in the city get a taste of this healthy sweet.

“Bengaluru is a beautiful place to live. The number of parks and gardens here make it a relaxed space. I love spending time in the lap of nature. Over the years of my stay here, I have made many Indian friends and spend most of my leisure time with them. Thanks to my friends, I have already visited all the sightseeing locations in the city and that includes Cubbon Park and Lal Bagh. I have also got a glimpse of the nightlife here,” says Waji.

Waji also loves watching movies and often spends his holidays catching up on the ones he missed.

He is a fan of Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif and looks forward to watching their films. However, his favourite movie is ‘PK’, which, he has already watched more than 15 times.

Ask him what he misses about home and he quickly says, “Family! I haven’t seen them in the last two years.”

However, being in Bengaluru for a few years has only nourished his love for the city.

Waji says, “I love Bengaluru as my second home. It has given me a lot of good memories and great opportunities. One thing that attracts me to this place is, unlike in my country, people here respect each other a lot. That’s not all, the helpful nature of everyone you tend to meet instantly makes you fall in love with this city. I have also picked up a few words in Hindi like ‘bhaiya’ and ‘jaldi’. I can understand Kannada but it is difficult for me to reply. So I am working on that now. Knowing the local language is important for my work too,” says Waji.

His love for travelling has made him journey outside the city too. On most of the weekend, one will find him travelling to either Mysuru, Goa or Nandi Hills.

And while on the move, he loves to try out the different cuisines. He says, “I like the food here, though initially, it was a bit difficult for me to adjust to the spicy food, now I can’t do without it. I enjoy having ‘mushroom manchurian’, ‘chicken 65’ and ‘masala dosa’. I try to prepare them as well but I still have to master the tricks.”

“It has been four wonderful years of my stay in the city and I don’t have anything to complain about. I am looking forward to staying here longer and if I get an Indian citizenship, I am definitely going to bring my family here,” he sums up.

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