I visited Bangalore for the first time when I was in primary school. My mother had some training there and we all decided to join her. I have no idea which area of Bangalore we stayed in and which all places we visited. I remember I used an elevator for the first time in my life then and that we bought Snake and Ladders, which I still treasure with me.
Second time was a brief visit years later and I absolutely hated the place. It was crowded everywhere. Third time I had to go there for my college project during a winter and on the 5th day, I caught a bad flu and had to return. My hatred remained. I swore to myself I will never stay in Bangalore ever again.
When I got my first job, I was posted in Bangalore. I freaked out thinking of how I will survive there, I hardly knew the place and I hated the crowd and traffic. After a couple of weeks, I settled down. I made some friends at work who were locals of the city. We used to roam around a lot and soon I figured my way around the place. I actually started enjoying the long bus rides and all the lights in the night. My friends helped me discover places to hangout and chill. By the time our final posting was about to be announced, three months later, I was praying I get posted in Bangalore. But no, I was posted in Chennai.
After around 2.5 years in different places, getting married, etc I was back in Bangalore and excited. However within a few months I had to shift back to Kerala. I could hardly get to know the place. But it was decided we will work and live in Bangalore for a long term and hence bought our first house here.
Last April, I finally moved to Bangalore for good and couldn’t wait to shift to our new home, ride to work and explore the tens and thousands of things this city has to offer.
It has been a year and I have to say it went too quickly. I still have so many places in Bangalore to check out but yes, it is home. I have settled in the new house and making it a home with one thing at a time. I know Bangalore enough to roam around on my own. I can ride or take a bus or just walk to the CCD nearby for long coffee with my book. I go for morning walks around my colony and many faces have become familiar now. I have neighbours who are friends and I chit chat with them whenever I get the time. I am no more scared of the crowd or frustrated by the traffic. It has become a part of life now. I am home in Bangalore, whether it’s hot or cold, whether the WiFi works or not and whether I go to any of the 100 events or not.
It is my home and we are settled. Nothing can make me happier right now that just being here and living here. I miss Bangalore if I am out for more than a day or two, even if I am with family. I am happier alone in my house in Bangalore than with the whole family somewhere else. I cannot say if this feeling will last forever because a few years back I was a person who advised everyone not to settle in Bangalore. But the city has its charm and well, it has worked wonders on me. And for now, this is enough.