Beginning in Bangalore

Hi there! My name is Siddharth Mehra and I will be interning at Shahi Exports in Bangalore this summer. I am a rising senior who is majoring in History and minoring in Music and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. I was born in Bombay, grew up in Delhi, but I have never been to Bangalore before. I am incredibly excited to explore this new part of my country.

Here are a few of my first impressions of the city:

The people:  People in Bangalore are unbelievably sweet. One morning, I woke up with a sprained neck and my head was temporarily skewed to one side. My neighbor, who I had never spoken to before, saw my neck, ran to his room, grabbed a muscle relaxant cream and gave me an amazing neck massage. I have never experienced something like this before, where a complete stranger would go out of his way to give some random person with a tilted head, a massage just because he looked like he was in a bit of pain. Similarly, our co-workers are so welcoming and supportive. They always help us if anything is needed at all and even gave us some great restaurant recommendations. We are held in such high regard that sometimes I even wonder what could we have possibly done to deserve this fantastic treatment.

40681530_2291891194375744_577869230993571840_nOur co-workers throwing Angela a birthday party!

The weather: Never in my life have I experienced weather as phenomenal as that of Bangalore. Its sunny, but not too hot.  It can get windy, but never cold. Even the rain is pleasant. (When it does pour its hardly for 15-20 minutes.) The weather is so ideal that you didn’t even need to use the fan or AC while you sleep at night. This is such a refreshing change from the Philly’s  generally chilly weather and Delhi’s intense heat.

IMG_3099Great weather at work!

The traffic: According to me, Bangalore is the hardest city to get around because of its immense traffic congestion. The population of Bangalore has almost doubled in the last decade, however the roads and civic infrastructure has not expanded the way the population has. This has caused dreadful vehicular traffic. I was warned of this horrible situation before arriving, but I did not fully comprehend how bad it would be. I always thought that there was no way it would be worse traffic than Delhi. It only took a couple of days for me to realize how mistaken I was. Where we stayed was 7km (4.3 miles) away from work. Sometimes it would take us up to an hour and a half to get back home from work, which is less than how long it would take to walk the same distance!

Image result for bangalore traffic toiTraffic in Bangalore, (image courtesy Times of India)

The food: The food in Bangalore has been divine. From fluffy but crispy dosas to idlis that melt in your mouth, there is no shortage of food options in the city. I was pleasantly surprised by the numerous different kinds of biryani that was here too. Not only do you have food from every corner of India, but also from all around the world. You can easily get Italian, Thai, Chinese, Burmese and Tibetan food, amongst others. Within each place also there is so much to order from. The menus themselves are so extensive that I have written research papers shorter than them. I can’t wait to take full advantage of the plethora of food options.

dosDosas with chutney

All in all, the positives of the people, food and weather far outweigh the disastrous traffic. Bangalore has been a great experience so far and I eagerly await to see what it has in store for me.

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About siddharthm2412

Penn Class of 2019 - majoring in History. Intern at Shahi Exports, Bangalore, in Summer 2018