It was with some anxiety that I first contemplated the idea of shifting to India from the US when it was broached about a year back.

The crowds are maddening and the traffic worse, especially in the one-time garden city of the country. Tech palaces built by the likes of Infosys and others rub shoulders with squalor and filth of a kind that is alien to those who knew of the Bangalore of the 1980s and before. An interesting study quoted in the Times of India here a few weeks back stated that Bangalore has perhaps the slowest average traffic speed in the country of about 14 or 16 kmph – the best is Hyderabad at about 24-26 kmph, a singular tribute to the previous Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and his vision for Hyderabad.

Yet Bangalore continues to grow, and grow rapidly. Companies are still expanding here despite an ongoing outcry for civic improvements. Housing prices are soaring sky high, and yet any new development is being lapped up in a hurry. Public transport is non-existent, crime is rising with pollution keeping pace and yet there is no other Indian city I would rather LIVE in than Bangalore.

The weather is still much more moderate than any of the contenders in India – Hyderabad and Pune are much hotter in summer and Chennai (and Mumbai) are both way too sultry. Crime is still lower than any city from the North, the choices of cuisine for eating out are outstanding!

The Bangalore airport must rank as one of the worst I have seen anywhere, period. The domestic departure terminal is bad; the international departure terminal is worse. And international arrivals – all one can do is to hope and pray. They have exactly ONE baggage carousel in international arrivals – and around midnight, there are jets landing from Frankfurt, Paris and Singapore, full of people and their baggage. Retrieving your bags and getting out can take anything from 30 minutes (if you are lucky) to over 2 hours.

And yet I love Bangalore and am thoroughly enjoying the move back. Now that I have been back for just over 9 months, I must confess it has been an exhilarating experience.

and the solitary comment this drew when first published…:

Aruna said…
way to go! thats the beauty of india………despite the numerous flaws its the one place u can call HOME……… someone reading this and getting the message?!!!!!!!! ;-)))

1:27 AM