I love South Indian food. I was very excited when I moved to Bengaluru," says Esha with a giggle, when asked about her bond with the city.
Esha Savla is one of the latest entrants to 'namma ooru'. Having moved here quite recently after her marriage to Ankit Chitalia, the two are slowly settling down in a city quite different from the one they were born and brought up in.
"Our families have been based in Mumbai for multiple generations," says Ankit, who works in KisanKraft. "I had always heard nice things about this city so after finishing my engineering, I came here to join my father's friend's company."
It's been seven years now and Ankit is no more an outsider. "The initial few months were difficult because my entire social circle was in Mumbai. But now I have many friends here. I have covered most of the city's 'must-see' spots; an occasional walk in Lalbagh is my favourite pastime. Apart from that, I have been to places like Mysuru and Coorg," he says.
The weather charmed him to no end ("It is so beautiful it's unnatural") but the work culture was a pleasant surprise too. "Even though the city is much more laid back as compared to Mumbai, work gets done at a much faster pace than I expected, especially in government departments where I frequently have to go as part of my job. Also, language was never a barrier for me. There was nobody who didn't give me an answer just because I didn't ask in Kannada," he says.
Esha too is well-acquainted with the city, having come here numerous times for work purposes earlier. "What I like is that there are not too many high-rises here. There are too many tall yellow, pink and green buildings in Mumbai. I also love the good number of parks you see in Bengaluru. My only grouse is that autos don't go by the meter and Uber is too expensive," she says.
Their weekends are spent indulging their tastebuds at some of the most happening places in the city. "We go to restaurants or pubs or catch a gig. 'TOIT' was the first place I took her to. Apart from that, we also like 'Loft 38' and 'Three Dots and a Dash' in Indiranagar. Koramangala is also a great place to hang out at," says Ankit.
"There is a good variety of food one can get here but sometimes I miss the 'chaats' found on Mumbai roadsides. Also, in Mumbai you can get different varieties and quality of food in different price ranges; the variety is slightly lesser here for a North Indian like me," he adds.
He confesses that it was something of a culture shock to see roads going empty by 11 pm when he first came here years ago. "That was the time when people usually step out of their homes in Mumbai. Life, in general, was fast-paced there, people would always keep rushing. But I have adjusted to, and even started loving, Bengaluru's chilled out vibe."
On her part, Esha, who works in 'Saavn', has taken to walking around on the streets in her free time, to understand the city better. "I like craft and painting and I try to do that during Saturday mornings when Ankit goes for work. I plan to go for some workshops soon."