'Every corner has a different ethos'

'Every corner has a different ethos'

The opportunity to work in India and  understand the culture is what prompted Elena Gil from Malaga, Spain to move to Bengaluru four years ago. She first  came to Anantapur in 2013 and worked with an NGO which does  Spanish translation of Telugu literature. Her stint in Anantapur  gave her a chance to travel and explore the Southern part of the  country. The moment she reached Bengaluru, she fell in love with the place.

 

Soon after she returned to Malaga, she applied for a job  here. Fortunately, she managed to find what she was  looking for at the Centre for Global Languages at Bangalore University.  
Looking back now, Elena feels that she couldn't have made a  better decision. Her work involves teaching Spanish to students  and working professionals here.

 

"There are a lot of IT companies  which prefer to hire people who are fluent in foreign languages. Many youngsters come to learn to speak foreign languages. Spanish is one of  them,"  she says.  "The students here are very eager to learn. I don't find this kind of openness and warmth with the students back in  Spain,"  adds Elena.

She says that she adjusted to the city sooner than she thought she  would. "Settling down here was not difficult at all because I had  stayed here many times before I decided to make this  my home. Also, thanks to the large circle of friends, I managed to  make myself at home very soon," she says.

She also found the  perfect partner in Upal Basu, an architect by profession. "Upal  and I were introduced to each other through common friends. We  began as friends but we were so comfortable in each other's  company that we decided to add more meaning to our friendship,"  she says. Elena and Upal hope to tie the knot soon.

"The two  families have met and our parents are happy for us. We haven't  fixed a wedding date as of now," she says. Elena is also impressed with the city's gourmet culture.  "I have  tasted every possible cuisine here. Be it the local dishes, Bengali  or Kerala cuisine, I love them all and I have my favourites. I have also learnt how to make  'palak paneer' and 'rotis'. I want to first learn how to  make the smaller and less complicated Indian items and later  learn the tougher ones," she laughs.

She also says that she has  adjusted to the spicy food here.  "After eating Indian food, I  wonder why the food back home is so bland. I have experimented  a great deal with Indian dishes and love cooking it as well  although my 'rotis' take longer than usual," she says.

Travelling is another favourite pastime of hers. She travels  alone and with a large group of friends.  "I have  visited Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Uttarakhand. I also  visited Uttarkashi where I underwent training to become a yoga teacher.  I used to practise yoga back home and I wanted to get a deeper  understanding of it here," she says.

 

"Every corner of the  country has a different ethos and character. I enjoyed my stay in
Kerala and relished the local dishes there. The fish fry and the red  fish curry being my favourites," she adds.

 

 

Her other hobbies include reading and gardening. "I am not a  party person. I would rather 
settle down with a book or do a bit of  gardening whenever I am free. I also have a large collection of  books based on Indian mythology," adds Elena.  

 

She also recently developed an interest in Bharatanatyam and has been learning from one of them.  "I have always wanted to learn an Indian classical dance form. I  found an opportunity when I discovered that one of my students is  a trained classical dancer. I teach her Spanish and she, in turn,  teaches me Bharatanatyam. I find it a very beautiful and  sophisticated dance form," she says.

As far as travelling in the city is concerned she says, "I travel by auto and  refuse to pay a rupee more than what is shown on the meter. I  don't give in to the auto driver's demand to pay excess fare," she  signs off.

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