Bubble

Its Sunday night and we are back after a long day driving around Bangalore. It has been overcast all day, and I am sitting in my study, a steady drizzle in the background overlaying the OST of Interstellar on my computer.

We are nearing the one month mark in Bangalore and feel like we are settling in very comfortably. Work is awesome, people are friendly, food is incredible, weather is glorious. There is nothing really to complain about. Bangalore has a lot of things going for it, but its beauty has been fading for a long time now. Sometimes if you look hard enough, the years fall apart and old Bangalore reveals itself. You can see past the wrinkles to see the beauty of past. But you have to know where to go, and what to look for. One such place is Taj West End in Central Bangalore.

This has quickly become my favorite spot in the city (perhaps driven by the fact that I have not really seen much of the city yet). This is a huge swathe of land in the middle of city full of lush tropical foliage and birds. Feels like someone parted a veil and we are in colonial Bangalore. The air feels cooler, there are wisps of cloud around snaking creepers hanging from large century old trees. Its peaceful; the silence hangs from the trees and permeates everything. But then I realize that just walking around here is a privilege. That so many will never get to see this part of Bangalore.

Living in India is an exercise in contradiction. On one hand, I am keen to land safely, ensure my family lives a very comfortable, relaxed life and can transition to a new country (and yes, it is a new country after two decades out of it). On the other hand, I know I want to experience India like it is. This is not really India. The Truman show like gate communities, the 5 star hotels, the swanky clubs. They may look like the new India, but its not it.

There is an acute sense of living in a bubble. And I never felt that back in US. Maybe it was the same there, but it was never so obvious. Don’t get me wrong. Its a very comfortable and interesting bubble. But I know a bubble when I see one.

While I write all this, a streak of ants are carrying a dead spider across the room towards the balcony in some weird parody of the opening shot of an over-intellectualized art film. I guess try what we may, the tropics will outlast us and our antiseptic existence.

It will be ok after all. We will get there.