How Bangalore Changed My Life

When I first came to Bangalore, I fell in love with the winding lanes shaded by huge trees with their branches forming a green canopy overhead, which is almost a landmark of the Hebbal area. Victorian buildings, extensive libraries, colourful bazaars and opulent malls, all left an indelible imprint of a magical city in my mind. So, after a short stint in Dubai when we decided to shift back to India, it is not to be wondered that the first city that sprang to my mind was Bangalore.

By the time I returned to the Garden City in 2015, it had been renamed as Bengaluru. Much of its tree cover had also been lost due to urbanization, but the city still had its old charm which put my mind at ease. I put down temporary roots at Electronic City, the centre of software life in Bangalore. Being an IT Engineer myself, I longed to be part of the thriving work force of the city; but truth to tell, I was not really enamoured of the IT sector. With my husband’s encouragement, I started exploring other fields. I found my calling as a Content Developer with InfoCognitio. I was over the moon with happiness and felt that this city had hand-crafted me a job from my dreams. At a time when I had long said goodbye to the creative/literature field, here was an opportunity to indulge the writer (a novice one for sure) in me. There followed days of glorious fun, filled with laughter, whacky ideas (side effects of indulging your creative side), impromptu treats (thanks to our silver-tongued boss) and general melee. I still wonder how anything creative ever got written in all that chaos, but it seemed to work somehow.

Bangalore gave me a second family, people to rely on whether I get sick, sad or mad. This bunch of writers introduced me to a side of Bangalore that I knew existed but had heretofore never come in contact with. I got introduced to almost every type of cuisine available in India, and then some. Mouth-watering momos, authentic Kolkata-style biryani, English chicken stew, Bangalorean chutney, Kerala-style beef fry and Bengali sweets were all tasted in our lunch hour. They also introduced me to a bunch of novel and modern ideas and viewpoints. Coming from Kerala, I grew up hearing that cigarette smoking in women is taboo; but here, I came to accept that women have as much of a right to indulge in a smoke or a pint of beer as men. A vibrant nightlife and a lively dating scene (those love-struck colleagues!) all managed to find a way into my life, further broadening my horizons.

Now, having settled permanently (for the foreseeable future) near my favourite area of Bangalore, Hebbal, I examine with wonder all the changes that this city has brought to me and my ways of thinking. And it seems that the city is set on giving me new gifts and surprises around every corner; I am finally able to study for a degree in literature, a dream of mine since childhood. Bengaluru will always remain my favourite city and a land of opportunities where your every dream will come true; all you need is the courage to follow it.

– Meera Meriyn Joy

PC: Wikimedia Commons

How Bangalore Changed My Life

On the other side of a classroom…

Throughout our student life, we come across different situations and scenarios – some explainable and some not. Numerous times, we are faced with situations when we don’t agree with our teachers; presumptuous that things can be managed in a better way or maybe by following a different approach. With every person being different from the other, every student is different too. So, how can different students be dealt in the same way? Well, be it right or wrong, this is what is done in most cases – a set of rules, a book of guidelines, and you are good to go with the act of teaching. How do you think the students develop when they are taught in this manner? Like the herd maybe, where one starts and the rest follow?

Few of us are not quite close or comfortable with our teachers, as opposed to the many who are, accounting to several reasons. However, in most situations, it becomes the responsibility of the teaching community to contribute to the openness of the tiny timid ones. Why not bring about that level of comfort and confidence, so that the students feel no hesitation in expressing their own thoughts and ideas? The question arises – how can this be done? The answer is… well, why don’t you go ahead and speculate? Maybe some possible answers flash by, in your inward eye.

Now imagine, you are on the other side of the classroom. The same you with the same opinions, blocks and outlook; however, this time with a different role. You find yourself at a subtle junction; you look back to see your teachers standing and ahead of you lies an entire classroom…

Teacher, Mentor, Guru, Trainer – the title changes with time, but, the pattern of sharing knowledge is retained. Teaching is an immense responsibility; not only to convey bookish education but also to impart knowledge, so that one develops wisdom. It is easy to scold and criticise, instead, how about making one understand about the faults and mistakes patiently? A more sensible approach? What say?

I wonder, why the educational institutions become home-like for a few and not for the others? Why is the classroom a comfort zone for some and a nightmare for the rest? Did we ever try to figure out answers to these? What if the dictionary of discipline, rules, regulations and marks changes to morality, ethics, understanding and talent innovation respectively?

Perhaps, the correct inference would be – the teachers should take some inspiration from the greatest of all mentors, ‘Life’. The extent to which things would differ from what they are today is indescribable. With such a degree of understanding and warmth, impartiality and friendship, guidance and firmness, one will definitely achieve the unachievable. Now the question lies, Who?

– Surabhi Sharma and Aditi Banerjee

PC: www.publicdomainpictures.net

On the other side of a classroom…