'Home is where the heart is'. I had heard this cliché so many times that I always thought it was overused. As I stepped out of the airport, a big wave of nostalgia took over. I don’t remember how long I was in a trance and how I reached the arrival zone before my mother’s excited voice made me realize I was finally here. There is something about airports. I think the cosmic energy tries very hard to delicately balance the joy of meeting a loved one and tearful goodbyes. Even then it sometimes fails when people like me cannot control their emotions and it becomes a very complicated, vigorous emotion of joy and separation all at the same time.
Driving home with my Father behind the wheels and mother still fussing over me, I couldn’t help but notice how much Bangalore had changed. I closely follow how the government is trying to attract the foreign investors to bring in more business that will help the city grow. It was a surprise that we were driving on a well-lit highway with no potholes. As we entered the city I could see new flyovers which ran very long, maybe 50 miles long. The restaurants with flashy billboards stood on either side draped with lights as if it was Christmas. Maybe I had been out for a very long time.
The earliest that I can recollect of my visits to ‘The Green city’ was, it was my Grandparents’ home; the place where I was born, where I spoke my first words and took my first steps. I think I learnt the art of story-telling from my Grandfather. He had a knack of keeping us cousins extremely busy with his stories. Today, my mother fondly recollects that it helped her and the other women in the house prepare meals for an army of hungry goons in our house. When I listened to those stories I felt like I had stepped into the world of Kings, Queens and adventure. Legend has it that a king who had wandered off into the jungles landed in this place and was given shelter and a humble dinner of some boiled beans to eat by a poor woman. To commemorate this noble deed he called the place "Bendakalooru" (The place of boiled beans) which was later name Bangalore for the ease of pronunciation.
I was all excited to explore and find out what else had changed here. I hired an auto, a three- wheeler that an Indian uses to get to a place provided he lives through that ride. I don’t really know his name. Never needed it I guess. The conversation with him happens because we are in a 12 cubic feet of space and will be so for the next hour and a half. I sometimes wonder if he just needed an ear, somebody who would not judge him or even if they did, it would not affect him. Or, if was just a boring day and he thought he would get a response from me. I guess I will never know. He asked me if I had broken my Ramzan fast and I told him that I belonged to another faith. He apologized and the moment got a little awkward. I wanted to ease the discomfort and asked him what his day was like. That is when I saw a completely different side of my city which I...