'India is a cricket crazy country'

Expat zone

Happy: Abdullah and Abdulrahman Omar Alkaff.

While Abdulrahman Omar Alkaff, a Saudi Arabian student studying in Dayananada Sagar School of Information Technology, is of a jovial nature, his brother Abdullah Omar Alkaff, a BCA student studying at the same institution, is a little shy and reserved. Coming from one of the driest countries, these brothers find Bangalore a very pleasant place to live in.

Abdulrahman and Abdullah are from Madina, a historic city in Saudi Arabia. Since Madina is a tourist place visited by people from all over the world, these two brothers know a lot about India and Indian people. “A lot of people of Indian origin have settled in Madina.

We had many such Indian friends and used to frequent their houses. So Indians are not strangers to us. Actually Abdulrahman likes Indian food a lot. Here also, he likes having all kinds of Indian cuisine. But it is too spicy for me,” says Abdullah.

When they decided to take a course in Computer Application, the first City which came to their mind was Bangalore. And they sent applications to various City colleges without any second thought.  “Many of our relatives had studied here. Getting visa is also not difficult and the fees structure is affordable. Whoever visited India from Madina had good things to say about Bangalore. So our parents were also very relieved to send us to Bangalore,” they say.

Initially, they had problems with the language. “Not everyone speaks English here. So it was difficult to communicate with vendors and auto drivers. Those who knew English could not understand our pronunciation. So we both started learning Hindi, which later came to our rescue. Abdulrahman adjusted very well to the City. But coming from a land of dry and harsh weather, I could not adapt to the comparatively cold weather of Bangalore. I fell sick often and suffered from throat infection over and over again and took time to adjust to the City,” says Abdullah.

When they feel like eating Arabian food, they usually head to Kammanahalli or Frazer Town which have quite a few Arabian restaurants. “We get Arabian cuisine in Kumaraswamy Layout as well. But Frazer Town serves authentic Arab flavours. In Madina also, we used to consume rice which was imported from India. Our daily diet would include a lot of vegetable and fruit salads. As we get all types fruits and vegetables in Bangalore, I don’t face any problems. But Abdullah misses home food badly,” reveals Abdulrahman.

Watching Hindi movies is their favourite pastime. They also play football and basketball at their college playground. “India is a cricket crazy country. But we don’t follow cricket and our knowledge about that game is very limited. We watch Hindi movies, especially the recent ones. There are plenty of recreational opportunities in the City. So spending time is not a problem here. And we visit our home every six months. Moreover, people here are friendly and cooperative. Our neighbours also help us a lot. However, none of us want to stay in India after our education. We may go back home or continue our studies in a different country like Malaysia or Indonesia. We would love to explore as many countries and cultures as possible,” say the two.

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