ten years in bangalore.

i was too busy for any fanfare, but at the end of august i celebrated 10 years since i first came to bangalore. i originally came to the city to volunteer with peace child india, and i spent 6 awesome months teaching english in three government schools and traipsing around the city with the devaraj cousins and friends.

enjoying a view of the city center from the terrace garden at st marks hotel. bangalore, india. march 2015.
enjoying a view of the city center from the terrace garden at st marks hotel. bangalore, india. march 2015.
sleepy streets on a saturday morning. bangalore, india. march 2015.
sleepy streets on a saturday morning. bangalore, india. march 2015.

from that point, bangalore became home for me. it’s the city i kept returning to, and it’s where i have found myself settled for the time being. i wrote an ode to bangalore when i left for grad school in 2011, and it still rings true. today i would like to share a few reasons why i love this adopted city of mine so very much.

discovering hidden gems while house hunting. bangalore, india. march 2015.
discovering hidden gems while house hunting. bangalore, india. march 2015.
the wall of classic rock cassettes at pecos. bangalore, india. march 2015.
the wall of classic rock cassettes at pecos. bangalore, india. march 2015.

i have made some wonderful friends during my days living in bangalore. between the devaraj family, all the interns i worked with during my peace child days, and random friends i made along the way, i have built a wonderful community in the city. these friends have supported me and encouraged me through a lot of big decisions over the years, and it is because of them that i have found my comfort zone here.

enjoying a roll at fanoo's. bangalore, india. march 2015.
enjoying a roll at fanoo’s. bangalore, india. march 2015.
bangalore airport by night. bangalore, india. march 2015.
bangalore airport by night. bangalore, india. march 2015.

bangalore is a great mix of traditional india with the modern world. although there are not as many tourist attractions as you will find in rajasthan or delhi, there is no end to the number of restaurants, pubs, tours, and other fun adventures in which you can partake. in addition, there is always a celebration happening at the temple around the corner or a cow hanging out at the nearest intersection.

the entrance to my beautiful new house. bangalore, india. march 2015.
the entrance to my beautiful new house. bangalore, india. march 2015.
chasing the sunset on a friday evening. bangalore, india. march 2015.
chasing the sunset on a friday evening. bangalore, india. march 2015.

because bangalore has become such a melting pot in recent years, the food scene in the city has really taken off. from street food and roadside darshinis to high-end restaurants with six-course meals, from south indian to italian to burgers, there is no limit to the range and variety of food you get in bangalore. i am trying valiantly to eat my way around the city, and there are new places opening up every day that i swear i will eventually try.

roadside flower stall. bangalore, india. april 2015.
roadside flower stall. bangalore, india. april 2015.
just your average tuesday afternoon workspace in a brewpub. bangalore, india. february 2015.
just your average tuesday afternoon workspace in a brewpub. bangalore, india. february 2015.

i have lived in a few different cities in india, but i keep coming back to bangalore because of its affordability. i am able to afford a spacious 2-bedroom apartment close to the city center, making it easy to get to wherever i need to go. public transportation has gone up in recent years but is still reasonable. i can go out for a nice dinner without using up a quarter of my month’s salary. i am able to live well while also saving my money for other travels, which makes me very happy indeed.

seriously cool night market in new thippasandra. bangalore, india. april 2015.
seriously cool night market in new thippasandra. bangalore, india. april 2015.
my favourite chinnaswamy stadium. bangalore, india. may 2015.
my favourite chinnaswamy stadium. bangalore, india. may 2015.

i love living in a city with easy-to-use public transportation. i keep saying that bangalore has the best bus system in india, and i will continue repeating the same. you are never too far from a bus stop, and once you get the hang of which buses go where, it’s a great way to get around the city. the traffic can be a nightmare at times, but i would much rather read my book on the bus and let someone else deal with the traffic than try to ride or drive in it on my own. i am still waiting for the metro to be completed, but until then i will be sticking with my beloved bmtc.

i love taking pictures with sneha because we somehow always make each other look amazing. bangalore, india. may 2015.
i love taking pictures with sneha because we somehow always make each other look amazing. bangalore, india. may 2015.
these girls were on cheering-up duty on tuesday evening, and they performed their roles beautifully. bangalore, india. june 2015.
these girls were on cheering-up duty on tuesday evening, and they performed their roles beautifully. bangalore, india. june 2015.
at the boss' birthday party. bangalore, india. june 2015.
at the boss’ birthday party. bangalore, india. june 2015.
so much love for these adopted mothers of mine. bangalore, india. july 2015.
so much love for these adopted mothers of mine. bangalore, india. july 2015.

when i get an itch to travel – which is often – it is so easy to get to places from bangalore. there are daily buses and trains to all corners of the south, and there are flights if you’re heading off to destinations farther away. i can take a bus and be in the hills of coorg in 6 hours, or i can take an overnight bus or train to goa and wake up on the beach. there are direct flights to many cities around india and in asia and europe as well, so it’s easy to get just about anywhere from here. and although the airport is super far away, it’s a pretty great airport — my entire family likes it, and that does not happen very often.

great mural in indiranagar. bangalore, india. june 2015.
great mural in indiranagar. bangalore, india. june 2015.
interior of the black rabbit. bangalore, india. june 2015.
interior of the black rabbit. bangalore, india. june 2015.

and finally, i would be remiss if i didn’t mention the climate. although overall temperatures have gone up in recent years as the planet continues to heat up and the city’s population continues to rise, bangalore still has the best climate of any metropolitan city in india. it’s cooler than hyderabad or delhi, it’s not humid like bombay or chennai, and when it rains in bangalore, there is no other place i would rather be. monsoon has been disappointing this year, but i am still holding out hope that the weather gods are going to surprise us soon.

finally found proper mexican food in india! bangalore, india. july 2015.
finally found proper mexican food in india! bangalore, india. july 2015.
discovered this beauty while cutting through some back lanes the other day. bangalore, india. july 2015.
discovered this beauty while cutting through some back lanes the other day. bangalore, india. july 2015.

sometimes it’s difficult to believe it’s already been 10 years since i first arrived in bangalore, and other times it feels live i’ve known the city my entire life. it’s got a great atmosphere, and even if i don’t settle here for the rest of my life, i know it will always be a home for me.

one of my favourite spots in all of bangalore: the farm. bangalore, india. july 2015.
one of my favourite spots in all of bangalore: the farm. bangalore, india. july 2015.
inside blossom, my favourite bookshop in all the land. bangalore, india. july 2015.
inside blossom, my favourite bookshop in all the land. bangalore, india. july 2015.
just another day on the bus. bangalore, india. july 2015.
just another day on the bus. bangalore, india. july 2015.
exploring the pretty back lanes on my way home one evening. bangalore, india. july 2015.
exploring the pretty back lanes on my way home one evening. bangalore, india. july 2015.
church street social, my favourite place for a breakfast meeting. bangalore, india. july 2015.
church street social, my favourite place for a breakfast meeting. bangalore, india. july 2015.
commercial street on a saturday evening. bangalore, india. august 2015.
commercial street on a saturday evening. bangalore, india. august 2015.
the view from the moodalpalya center. bangalore, india. august 2015.
the view from the moodalpalya center. bangalore, india. august 2015.
delicious ragi mudde lunch. bangalore, india. august 2015.
delicious ragi mudde lunch. bangalore, india. august 2015.
i dream about having more of these rainy days. bangalore, india. august 2015.
i dream about having more of these rainy days. bangalore, india. august 2015.
amazing stationery shop on commercial street. bangalore, india. august 2015.
amazing stationery shop on commercial street. bangalore, india. august 2015.
coming in for a landing over my garden city. bangalore, india. august 2015.
coming in for a landing over my garden city. bangalore, india. august 2015.
sunrise at majestic. bangalore, india. february 2015.
sunrise at majestic. bangalore, india. february 2015.
evening commuters. bangalore, india. august 2015.
evening commuters. bangalore, india. august 2015.
the awesome security guy at nagarjuna. bangalore, india. september 2015.
the awesome security guy at nagarjuna. bangalore, india. september 2015.
street art in front of max mueller bhavan. bangalore, india. september 2015.
street art in front of max mueller bhavan. bangalore, india. september 2015.

xx

10 thoughts on “ten years in bangalore.

  1. vikramrangaswami1204 says:

    Congrats Veen! Wow, I can’t believe it has been that long since we dropped you at the airport in Memphis the first time. I am so happy and proud of you for making your dreams come true and for never being afraid of taking chances to pursue those dreams, no matter how scary they may have seemed at first. You are a bright shining light in this often dark world, but as Bangalore has experienced for the past 10 years, as long as you are in it, there is always hope for a new day filled with happiness and laughter and beauty and sunshine. Keep shining Veen, we all are grateful for the light you bring into our lives, and as your big brother, I am the most proud. Love you. And here’s a toast to the next 10 years. Cheers!

    Like

  2. Aarthi says:

    Veena after reading your post i feel like packing my bags right away and coming to stay with you in Bangalore :)) You are doing such amazing work out there! and all my best wishes for you to continue doing the same!! Cheers !!

    Like

  3. josephja229 says:

    God – that made me feel very homesick.

    It’s wonderful to see someone write such a positive article on my beloved city – you only normally hear such negativity

    Thanks Veen! And good luck

    Jag bhaiyya

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s