A Love Letter to My City: Bengaluru

And a taste of its best-kept secrets

By Aparna Prasad

I’ve lived here for 10 years, and the romance still hasn’t faded—the city of Bengaluru continues to enchant me with its perfect weather, cosmopolitan crowd, scenic lakes and colourful city lights.

I live in HSR, somewhere on the outskirts of Bengaluru. It’s nice and buzzy with street vendors, little shops and groups of students walking to and back from school. Mind the puddles at night! If you are not careful, the vehicles on street will splash muddy water on you and the roads are narrow so it’s quite challenging to walk as it is.

It’s not just my part of town that is crowded. After all, my city is the third most populous in India, at 13,193,000 and counting. They say people who come to Bengaluru never wish to leave. The city takes up permanent residence in their hearts. I feel the same.

Bengaluru traffic has indeed been rated as one of the most congested in the world, thanks to all the people that can’t get enough of this city! In my own experience, the traffic is rather moderate. People mostly keep to themselves and road rage is not common, which is remarkable for a city that runs on a time meter. I love watching the wide variety of trees as I drive past them—regular old mango trees to exotics like the Pink Tabebuia and the Gulmohar grace the city with greenery.

Local parks in Bangalore

My mornings are no less than a fairy tale. I do wake up to peace and quiet. There are often pigeons on my windowsill and if you are mindful enough, you can hear little chatters and clanking of utensils from your neighbour’s house. The chilly mornings of Bengaluru are quite refreshing.

I know how lucky I am to be surrounded by trees in the area I live in. The gratitude pours in when I walk down to my college, just five minutes from home. By the time I reach college around 9:30 am, there is a busy road for me to cross as everyone is going about their day.

A typical breakfast to start a Bengaluru day would be hot vadas and soft idlis on your plate. My personal favourite is crispy masala dosa with coconut chutney and sambar. This breakfast combo is both readily available and quite affordable. In Bengaluru , your taste buds are in for a daily treat!

Typical breakfast in Bangalore

The people of my city are worker bees for sure, but leisure is as much a priority for them as work. We enjoy small social gatherings and love our indoorsy lifestyle. We tend to be early risers and, might I add, early sleepers—I say this with a tinge of disappointment at the lack of nightlife in Bengaluru .

Most of the shops shut down early and the nightclubs close down by 3 am. Even though the timings don’t always work, the nightclubs here are fantastic. Check out Toca in Koramangala if you wish to enjoy the true essence of Bengaluru nightlife. Plus free drinks for the ladies!

If I had to take anyone new to my city for a day out, we’d go to my favourite cafe near my college (NIFT) known as Cafe Casa De Amor. They serve one of the best creamy cold coffee I’ve ever had. Then we banter on having crispy dosa and strong 10-rupee coffee from Udupi Mane Thindi or a non-vegetarian feast at Meghana Biriyani for lunch.

Conversations over food are my way of greeting anyone new to the city so don’t blame me if I wish to now have a conversation over drinks in a fancy and dimly lit bar like at the Hangover Brewery. It happens to be a great hang-out spot as well.

The little things that we enjoy about the place we live in are, of course, subjective. In the evening, when shadows lengthen, the smell of coffee beckons and I go enjoy a cuppa at a cafe, casting all my worries aside. My city looks most beautiful at night while we’re waiting in traffic. The hues of red and yellow lights from the vehicles look like swarms of synchronous fireflies.

During the day, I do what most college students do. I shop! Your high-end purchases can be made at the malls but there’s nothing like the feeling of getting an item at half its price because you know how to up your bargain game. If you are looking for such a bargain shopping spot then go to one of the most popular and busiest streets of Bengaluru : Commercial street. Chickpet is yet another famous market for good quality wholesale dress materials and beautiful accessories.

Commercial Street in Bangalore

For those evenings when I’m tired and want to sleep early, I often dish up a Bengaluru -style instant MTR ragi dosa mix for dinner.

In general, my weekends consist of thrift shopping at Venkatesh in HSR where I live. Otherwise, I enjoy going to the lovely MG Church Street. Its cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture are so charming! As much as I love visiting new places, sometimes I simply take a stroll in the park near my house. I catch up with old friends from school or with family over call.

A city is incomplete without its people. All in all, I love my city because of the people here. It is home, and it has my heart.

Team TS says : To round it off, here’s one of our favourite retreats in Bengaluru you should check out!

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