Growing up, I moved around a bit. Born in Bangalore, I attended nursery (playschool) in Mumbai, kindergarten in Chennai, grades 1 to 3 in Hyderabad and grades 4 to 7 in Dubai. Then it was Bangalore again till grade 12, Mumbai again for my Bachelor’s degree, Dubai again for my Master’s degree and the start of my career and finally, I was/am back to square one – Bangalore, where I continue to work.
So when people asked me where I’m from, I was always at a slight loss. My mother was born in Kerala but raised in Bangalore and lived there all her life till she met my wayfaring father. My father, on the other hand, was born and raised in Hyderabad until he started working, and that’s when all the moving began. And we’re Tamilians, but we’re not really from Tamil Nadu. Yes, we have some ancestral connection to the state but nothing too recent that I can relate to.
However, when we would take our annual vacation to Dubai (the first time there), it would always be to Bangalore. Eventually, my parents bought an apartment here and we’ve called it home ever since. My family friends including my oldest friend live here, most of our relatives live here and I made my first set of best friends here. Bangalore is also the only place I’ve lived the longest. Every where else has been four years or less.
Now, when people ask me where I’m from, I don’t bat an eyelid before I say, Bangalore.
Unfortunately, and like with almost all the cities I’ve lived in, I don’t know my hometown too well. I don’t know its history or culture like the back of my hand, I’m unaware of its hidden haunts and I’ve only heard of its famous spots. Sure, I know my way around most of the city and if you ask me what the newest restaurant in town is, I’ll probably know. But I’d be lying if I said I really know my hometown? Except for a few words here and there, I can’t even speak the language.
As you can tell, I’m quite the disappointment as a resident. I wouldn’t dare to call myself a local. Not yet, anyway.
Which is why I’m going on a mission, starting a journey, setting off on a path – whatever you would like to call it – to explore Bangalore and learn about it as much as I can. Because while there is a whole world (Happy Earth Day, by the way) out there for me to discover, there’s also my city, to which I happily return at the end of all my travels.
So if you’re a proud Bangalorean, a veteran of the city, a historian, a foodie, a culture buff, a social butterfly, a lover of random explorations or just another curious mind, then please grace me with your suggestions, recommendations or sagely words of advice. Simply comment below or hit that Say Hello tab up there and send me an email right away.
You are also most welcome to join me.
If nothing else, there’s always good wishes and prayers – be sure to send some my way.
Featured image: Karnataka Golf Course Association (KGA)