Tag Archives: Bangalore

City Animals and Bangalore Traffic

Have you observed how the animal kingdom adapts to our city life?

I remember reading a story about City Mouse, Country Mouse when I was very young. To the best of the memory, that story was about how the country mouse, initially in awe of city life, finally comes to realize that his country life is much better than the cut-throat pace of the city, where you can be run over by a vehicle before you know it.

Sometimes, when I am on my way home from office (fortunately, a walk-able distance in the crazy Bangalore traffic), I feel trapped like a country mouse. There are days when I wait for minutes before I find a narrow scope to cross the super-busy ITPL Main Road. The incoming traffic never stops, you just have to wait for the right gap between scores of vehicles of all forms and shapes and run for your life when the opportunity opens up. Just like you have to wait as you search for jobs, or when you want to buy that newly-launched mobile phone available exclusively on Flipkart or Amazon. Imagine my frustration when I hear from my friends settled in America how the traffic stops should a pedestrian be spotted on the pavement. In India, pedestrians belong to the least important category in human race, almost at par with the city animals.

Anyways, coming back to the topic, last couple of days, incidentally, I ended up crossing the road with a fellow four-legged pedestrian. I watched closely as the dog kept a watch on the incoming traffic, and at the first signal of thinning traffic, he sped up. And guess what, I ended up following the dog’s lead as I crossed the road!

It’s curious how the structures of human existence impact the animal kingdom. As the city dogs and cats become more adept at crossing roads, perhaps new nerve connections form in their brains, enabling them to get better at surviving this. Which makes me think, should there be a re-enactment of City Mouse, Country Mouse story in real life, would the story still stay intact? What do you guys think? Comment and let me know! 🙂

Bangalore – the city of million dreams

I came to Bangalore on a wintry October morning in 2015. To say that there were dreams in my eyes would be exaggeration. For the most part, I did not know if I wanted to be here. More than a thousand kilometers from home and the people who loved me, Bangalore was only a place to earn money and pay back the loan that I had taken for my education. Of course, I had lived away from home for the four years of college, but living in different cities in the same state and in different states were different things altogether. Besides, we had no friends or family in Bangalore. It was the city of clean slate, a city of beginning of my career life – a new chapter in my life.

There is a beauty in clean slate – it holds the promise of myriad wonderful things that would come. It makes you hopeful and makes you want to be a better version of yourself everyday. It is like going to the origin of a river and feeling that the water should remain thus pure even as it moves through civilization. Of course, it’s a fool’s dream, but it is a dream. It is a possibility. Maybe, if all of us had seen the beautiful origin of a river, we would think twice before dumping dirt into it.

Having lived in this city for about three years now, I look back on the day I arrived. The memories that I have are of a crowded train station, of an auto-driver telling us that he knew the destination that we wanted to go to and dragging our trolley bags out of that crowded station. A misty morning. I remember asking the driver while we passed the Phoenix mall what place it was. I remember being surprised that he charged us three hundred for a mere fifteen minutes ride – from where I came, that price was exorbitant. I remember struggling inside of ITPL tech park to search for the accommodation that my office had provided me, no one knew which building was Daffodil, and the office contact who was supposed to help me with the accommodation insisted the building was inside ITPL. It felt weird, because from first looks, it was a tech park full of office buildings. I couldn’t understand why there would be a residential building in it in the first place.

The first day of work is still fresh in my mind: my parents were to head back home, so I went to visit them at their hotel. We took a picture together, me in a pink formal shirt that I loved and had bought just before coming to Bangalore (the shirt got wasted within the first few weeks as I burned it while ironing). All three of us are smiling in that picture: my father with his booming all-toothed smile, proud that I am about to begin a new journey, my mother with her silent, peaceful smile, albeit a little tired from the train journey and her father’s death just before we boarded the train to Bangalore.

The first few days did not feel like work at all. In fact, even after so many months, it hardly feels like I go to work. Thanks for the major part to Mu Sigma, which took us all into its wings and created a safe haven for fresh college graduates like me, who were clueless about what professional life was really about. Within its meeting rooms, I learnt the meaning of accountability, the feel of working together in a team and standing up for the team. I learned to speak to clients and present the work that we had done. I learned to understand what business goals were and how we should focus on problem solving from a holistic approach, rather than looking at things in silos. Mu Sigma has added a perspective in my life. I am thankful.

Beyond the company, my tryst with Bangalore has been minimal. Bangalore for me is my home – one slice of a room in a three bedroom flat and my work. My work friends are also my outside-of-work friends in Bangalore. But I know countless people in this city now: a bunch of people who have moved on, changed companies, changed cities, and even countries. It is the city where I fell in love with the variety of people who touched my lives, learned to see the unity in diversity. This city made me trust strangers and make them friends. This city made me financially independent. This city helped me fulfill my family’s dreams.

The river has flown, meandering across villages and cities, swallowing up sins of the generation in its wake. I, too, have dealt with my demons in this city – insomnia and depression became two companions. But like the river is ever-flowing, never-stopping, this city taught me to look at every day as that new, clean slate. It made me forget a sad past and taught me to look ahead. It made me dream of a beautiful future and believe that it would become a reality. Bangalore – thank you! 🙂

When people leave…

Today, my roommate of last two years left the flat.

Two years ago, in Oct. 2015, when I had come to see the room and set up things, one of the first questions I asked her was: So what do you like?

It was my attempt at striking a friendship, to understanding the person who I was going to live with in a city where I had never been to, and knew no one. Many days have passed since then, and as with any other relationship, we have had our fair share of agreements and disagreements.

The beautiful thing about people is, they adapt (or at least they try to/in some cases, pretend to). You put two grown people, from completely different backgrounds and upbringings together, and you see the magic happen. At first, we try to exert ourselves, be the people who we are, without paying too much attention to what the other person brings to the table. There come the disagreements, the fights. But then, when you know the situation is not going to change by itself, you learn to see the other’s point of view. It’s a diffusion process.

Over time, I grew used to her methods and processes. I slowly learnt to appreciate the amount of strength she showed by putting down her papers, finding a new job and a flat, all by herself. That’s what life is all about – people inspire you, and then you do impossible things. Subconsciously, I have taken some decisions which were, in many ways, a result of that diffusion process, and I feel proud that I have been able to take those decisions.

I will miss her, more importantly miss the in-depth conversations we used to have about other people. I like how I tried to understand people and the motivations behind their behavior.

Bangalore has made me immune to a lot of things. It has made me used to people leaving and being able to accept it no matter how hard it is. It has also taught me that the people we live with leave something of themselves in us, and that’s what I will cherish forever.

Here’s to a great future for her. And here’s hoping that I can keep the spirit of her alive in me that was the result of the diffusion process.


‘Getting it’

Life hasn’t been particularly nice since I returned to Bangalore two weeks back. Work has been crazy. I got into a couple of fights. The fights I had came from a place where I was trying to make things better, for myself and for other people. But in this universe, it is really difficult to communicate with someone the exact motivations of your actions.

I have started being more accepting about some things, a little defensive about some other things. Feels like I am reaching a point where I am really ‘getting it’. I am getting what all the politics, all the TV shows are about. It is like I am seeing things through a new lens. I am finding it easier to relate to symbolism and metaphors. Even though the last two weeks have not been spectacularly nice, I am gaining a rare clarity in my life.

I am also realizing a braver side to me which I did not know existed. It is interesting how certain losses impact us, make us stronger. I feel like I have shed a self. I am standing up for my beliefs more often now. I am learning to be more straightforward, because the situations are making me do things that I couldn’t possibly have done before. There are still pangs of guilt for when I feel I have been a little to blunt. But sometimes, there is a point of no return. It is not a happy place yet, but I am getting there.

Nothing much is happening on the writing front as of now. I have not even got the time to properly promote my second book. So here goes:

If you have read How I tamed the dragon named fear, please leave a review on Amazon. It helps me see through the flaws in my writing and become better at it. It also allows other readers to decide whether they really want to read the book or not. So exercise your right of expression and let your thoughts be known. Even if you absolutely hated the book! 😀

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“How I Tamed the Dragon Named Fear” is an interactive self-help book with an autobiographical element designed to guide individuals in dealing with fear and anxiety in everyday life. Engaging, encouraging, and easy to follow, this book motivates the reader to live a fuller life by changing their outlook towards fear and the negativity induced by it.



This day last/this/next year

This day last year I boarded the train to Bangalore from Kolkata. Hours before we were to board the train, as we waited in the busy sidewalk of Dharmatala SBSTC bus stand, a fateful phone call informed us of my maternal grandfather’s demise. Minutes before that phone call, my brother and I were struggling to use our first free Ola ride.

That phone call changed things. My mother became fatherless. The first step towards my professional life was forever marked by a black day in the family. The instant thought that came to my mind was this: “What next?” Would we cancel going to Bangalore and head to my maternal uncle’s place? For a few selfish seconds, I wished we did not have to cancel going to Bangalore (even though I dreaded every moment of the forward journey), not thinking what it meant for my mother. The tickets to Bangalore were booked for me, my mother and father. My brother was to see us off to Howrah station and leave.

My mother solved our dilemma. Being the clear-thinking woman that she is, she prioritized her daughter’s future over her dead father. I think aside from giving birth to me, that was the greatest gift she ever gave to me.

October 4th, 2015 ushered in a lot of changes in my life. The next 33 odd hours in the train would put a lot of distance between my home and the life there to what lay ahead.

Days before that fateful train journey, as I prepared for life in Bangalore, I thought to myself, “How many days before life again becomes normal?” Even though I was about to move to a different state, different town, different culture, I knew in the end the novelty of the shift would rub off and life would be the everyday life again, as I would get used to the newness of it all. Bengal or Bangalore does not really matter as long as you go to sleep in a comfortable bed with a full stomach.

Lately, I have wanted to tear myself away from the mundane sameness of everyday life here in Bangalore. But today, I want to appreciate the things I have achieved since October 4th, 2015. I am grateful that I am healthy, that I had a good dinner, that I have a brand new day to look forward to. I am glad for the people around me, my parents, especially my mother, who keeps calling me at every opportunity she gets – which really goes a long way in removing homesickness. I am grateful for the good walk through ITPL to reach my office. I am grateful for the busy-ness that life at Mu Sigma has given me. Today, as I climbed down from the tenth to eighth floor in the morning, I could not but marvel looking at the sheer rapidity with which people were moving from one floor to another, swiping their IDs, getting to their work desk, ready to solve problems. I am grateful I am alive to see such movement. As long as their is motion, there is life.

Today, I  bought a pressure cooker off the money I had received courtesy the spot award in my previous project. Felt so good! This was the first kitchen purchase with my own money.

As I write this, I cannot but wonder, what will 4th October, 2017 show me? Will I be sitting in the same room as I am now, typing another blog post? Will I still have the people I love around me? Will I have been able to buy something really nice for my mother, my first true gift to her since I started working? As I dream of the things that I want to achieve, I can hear my mother saying not to let my dreams run loose – for they may never come true if I put them in words. As per her, there is probably someone who is listening on our dreams, ready to stop whatever we dream from happening the moment we dream it through. Having fed such thoughts since childhood, my heart hesitates.

Yet the mind wanders…


The vortex of boredom

If you thought that the first few months after moving to a new city are the most difficult, you couldn’t be more wrong. Agreed, life is tough in the first few weeks. You are looking for places to stay, you are struggling to make acquaintances. You’d think that after the novelty is worn off, life would become simpler. let me tell you, it is far from that.

It’s been close to a year now that I am in Bangalore. I have had my fair share of travels within the city. I have shopped a bit, made a couple of friends. But the desolation that comes after having experienced basic lifestyle of the new city is more poignant than the first days’ experience.

After you have lived long enough in the new place, you know that you can’t go places every weekend. You can’t read books all your life. You can’t cook new things every other day. The hopelessness that draws you in is powerful. I have spent hours refreshing my Facebook feed, hoping to find something that would engage me for a few hours. That’s it! I am constantly looking for things to engage myself.

When I was in college, time was always short. There was so much to read, so many practical notebooks to fill. I was always struggling to keep up with the load of work. Here, into my first job, I no longer have a goal in my life. I don’t have tests to take (if you discount the tests I have to take to get a promotion). I have turned to a person who watches celebrity gossip on Youtube just to pass time.

In between, I was watching Satyajit Ray movies, trying to understand cinematography. After a few days, that phase left me. Now I find myself fighting an inertia to find a good movie to watch. My bigger difficulty is that once I lose interest in something, I find it hard to go back to it.

How do things come to this? How do you prevent mundaneness of everyday life from engulfing you? I try to do something new or the other once in a while, rotate my routine around to stay away from boredom. Sometimes, I just fall behind.

Anyway, here’s a little something I created yesterday. It is part of a series of micro-stories to be shared as images on my Facebook page and Facebook wall. I hope I will continue to do it from time to time.


Do let me know you thoughts on the first micro-story. Your feedback, among other things, is what keep me going while I wade the thick, muddy waters of boredom.

Morphing into a child at Cubbon Park, Bangalore

From this month, I am adding a Travel section to this blog. I have often spoken about my love about travel, but rarely blogged about my travel adventures here. For now, I plan to publish at least one travel post per month. This month I bring you all the greenery and freshness of Cubbon Park, Bangalore.

Date: 02.06.2016

Place: Office Cafeteria

My colleague-cum-friend, and a wonderful travel partner by now, Pooja, asks me if I want to go to Cubbon Park this weekend. I don’t even think before saying yes. I don’t even know where Cubbon Park is, what is special there. I just say yes, because it’s been a long time since I went somewhere.

So on fourth of June, Saturday, Pooja and I reach Cubbon Park around 2.30 PM. We both are hungry and bubbling with energy. The first thing I observe are the tall trees flanking the roads, and people in black-and-white dresses coming out of a office. Lawyers. “Is there a court here?” I ask Pooja. “Yes,” she replies. I exclaim what a wonderful place it is to work, surrounded by greenery.

There are benches under the trees. We go sit in one. We have brought lunch with us. I made aloo parathes, which unfortunately, got cold. Pooja made some really spicy pasta. Few feet away from us, a family of pigeons and squirrels are also having their lunch. Squirrels are my favourite! I feel privileged to sit by their side and eat my lunch. It is  perhaps the most natural lunch that I ate in my life.


Lunch beside squirrels (though I don’t think they are much visible in this)

After we finish eating, we venture out. “There’s an aquarium somewhere nearby,” Pooja says. “Sure, let’s check it out.”

On the way to the aquarium, we see the wonderful statues they have made from tree trunks.


A tree-house?

The entry fee at in the Goverment Aquarium is a mere five rupees. I am surprised by the fact that you can get to see something for so cheap in Bangalore. There is a good collection of fish in there, in two separate stories. The room is dimly lit, except the fish tanks. It is a psychedelic experience. We meet the parrot fish, whose pouts Pooja admires. We learn that parrot fish, once tamed, will eat food from our hands. We also see snake-head fish, whose heads really do resemble snakes. Some fish are restless, moving across the tank in second’s time. Some are patient and float slowly, especially the lone long-nosed fish.


Parrot Fish at the Aquarium, Cubbon Park

After the aquarium, it is time for the Children’s park. Pooja wants to get on some rides. As a child, I haven’t ridden much. I am the more viewer type. Plus, my mother didn’t appreciate spending bucks on some thrill that lasts few minutes. But today is different. I want to try out something new, with Pooja. Her enthusiasm is catchy. She asks if I will be scared. I say, “Not at all.”

It is not really fear that I am feeling as I sit on the boat-shaped swing, though I watch from time to time at the mechanical joints. What happens if the hinge breaks? Slowly, the boat is filled with little children and a few adults. After some time, it swings into motion. High and high we go, and then whoosh, we come down. I know I hate this coming-down feeling. My stomach feels empty. The air is filled with the screams of the little children. They scream as the boat rises, they scream as the boat comes down. They are giggling, but they are screaming. I am suddenly transported to my childhood days when all my classmates would shout wildly in the few minutes the teachers left us alone. The smile on my face grows wider and wider.

After the swinging, it is time to do some break-dance. It is Pooja’s favourite ride. For the next few moments, I discover what it must feel like to be a piece of cloth in the washing machine, or an onion in the mixer grinder. The accelerations are sharp and erratic. I am hurled into Pooja and vice versa. We laugh non-stop.

By the time I jump down the break-dance, I am bubbling with energy. I hardly feel that we have walked for so long. My childhood is back with me.

After the rides, we roam some more. We take a few pictures. We see Karnataka High Court. I pose beside the lion in front of the High Court gate, determined to look ferocious. I hardly manage to stop smiling.


Who’s the scary one?

After this we see some more wood carvings. I take a panorama picture in front of the Library housed inside Cubbon Park. After two hours of breathing in the freshest air, we leave the Park.

Visiting the Cubbon Park was one of the most exhilarating experience I had since coming to Bangalore. I live near Whitefield, which is hardly as beautiful and decorated as MG Road. It was refreshing to see that part of Bangalore.

If you are travelling from Kadugodi/Hope Farm/ITPL, you can take 335E bus which will directly take you to Corporation. Cubbon Park is a few minutes walk from there. If you do go there, do not forget to also visit the Vidhana Soudha, which is the legislative building of Karnataka. It is a majestic building, imposing in its own right. There are small eateries selling popcorn, corns, juices in many places inside the park in case  you’re hungry.

If you have a kid, Cubbon Park is one of the must-visit places for you.




So it’s been two months since I came to Bangalore. The fear and insecurities that I had before stepping foot in this city were palpable in my blog-posts. Looking back upon those days, reviewing what I had been feeling at the time, I find that so far I have been quite lucky.

My biggest worry was how to find a proper place to stay. I had had enough of staying at paying guest accommodation in college days. But I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to afford a flat here either. Thankfully, the very day I came here I found someone who offered me a room in the flat where she was moving. So, one problem was solved.

Bangalore, I heard, is an expensive city. Coming from West Bengal, it especially feels that way. Having lived here for two months and constantly checking with my mother the grocery bills, I am convinced that Bangalore is not as expensive as people make it out to be. Sure, the transport cost if high. But thankfully, I live near office, so commuting cost is saved.

Speaking of travelling: I had always wanted to see places. But since coming, I haven’t had a chance to see much of where I am. First and foremost reason is I don’t know much people around to go out with yet. Second is, I  work from 9 AM to past 9 PM. But guess I must strive to explore the city in the coming days.

There were days in college and post-college when no day was any different from the other. Each day looked, smelled and felt the same. Having just joined work life, I already learnt to appreciate the importance of weekends, and realized why Friday nights feel like festivals. Not that I have been partying hard, but not having that constraint to wake up at 7 AM in the morning is so relaxing!

The best outcome of being so far from home and working at a place called Mu Sigma is, you are pushed to your most extreme limits. So, in the end, if you do come out unscathed by circumstances, you are stronger, you are better, and you are someone who you’re proud to be. Talking about pride, it’s 10 PM and I must go cook something for myself – whatever little I cook has been appreciated time and again by my flatmates, that is one more thing that excites me about life@Bangalore!

Have you ever lived in a city other than your hometown? How was the first dates with the new city like, when both you and the city were testing each other? Share with me in the Comments.

P.S: My ebook, Bound by Life, is available for free download from 9th December through 13th December on Amazon. So, if you haven’t already downloaded it, do it NOW!