'I've learnt to make Indian dishes'

'I've learnt to make Indian dishes'

Paula Simpson decided to leave New Zealand after she broke up with her boyfriend. Disturbed, she thought a change of place could be therapeutic for her. It was at this phase in her life that she met a Bengalurean in whom she found love and comfort.

Looking back, Paula, who moved to Bengaluru little more than a year ago, feels that she made the right decision at the right time.

“My boyfriend not only helped me find a job but also stood by me through the toughest phase of my life. Now, I am happy in my new home,” she says.

“There is so much colour, laughter and mystery in every corner of your country. Every city has a different story to tell and has its own charm,” she observes.

She says the change of place has been nothing short of a therapy for her. “There’s really nothing much that I can do to change things in India, so I decided to go with the flow. This approach has helped me avoid getting stressed and handle tough times with patience. I have also found some good friends here who are warm and welcoming,” she adds.

Paula is a freelance writer and enjoys travelling.

“I have used every opportunity to travel and explore the country. Closer home, I have visited Hampi, Gokarna and Tirupati. I have also visited Mumbai, Delhi Agra, Rajasthan, Varanasi and parts of Kashmir. I am a spontaneous traveller and don’t believe in planning my vacations. The best surprises are when you don’t go with a plan,” she says. She wishes to discover more of the country and its people.

She also believes that running is the secret to her good health. She is part of a running club in the city and has managed to make some good friends there as well.

“My day is not complete with running. I usually run 10 to 15 km every morning. It leaves me feeling healthy and sets the tone for the day,” she says.

Does she enjoy running on the city’s roads?

“I find it difficult because of traffic, bad roads, stray cows on the street and pollution. I try to find calmer stretches to run. I’ve also observed that the potholes get deeper and roads get worse whenever it rains. I find it tough to run then,” she adds.

The lady likes working at her pace and reserves weekends for hanging out with friends and devouring the city’s gourmet culture. “I love Indian food and I can’t imagine a meal without spicy Indian dishes as an accompaniment. I have also learnt to make a few Indian dishes such as ‘Kadai paneer’ and a variety of ‘rotis’,” she says.

Paula also has a long list of eating joints that she loves hanging out in.

“I enjoy the food at ‘Fava’ in UB City, ‘Oye Amritsar’ and ‘Hunan’ in Koramangala and ‘Brik Oven’ on Church Street where I have had the best pizza. The food culture in the city is spectacular,” she adds.

She also never gets tired of shopping on Commercial Street.

“I don’t really enjoy shopping in malls. I would rather walk through Commercial Street and shop at the tiny places there. I buy my ‘kurtas’ from a small ‘kurta’ shop on Commercial Street. I am most comfortable in Indian wear,” she says with a smile.

Thanks to a large circle of friends, Paula is part of most Indian festival celebrations.

“I like the lamps that are lit during ‘Deepavali’, the ‘rangoli’ drawn in front of every household during ‘Sankranti’ and the colours during ‘Holi’. I gorge on the ‘biryani’ and visit all the food stalls during Eid,” she adds.

Although Paula didn’t take too long to be one with the city, she hopes to see a few changes here.

“I wish the roads were better maintained and people stop letting the cows out on the road. I also hope that autorickshaw drivers give up their habit of overcharging their customers,” she sums up.

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