As I pack my bags and leave the city of Bangalore and reflect on the two years that I spent here, I couldn’t be more grateful to these two years for showing me the India that I was so little aware of. I was so ignorant that I couldn’t easily distinguish between scripts and speech of Tamil and Malayalam or Kannada and Telugu.
Two years later, my ring tone is Kanmani Anbodu, my favorite actor is R. Madhavan and my favorite vacation place is Vagamon in Kerala. It was here in the South of India that I discovered the world of millets in its full glory.
Not a single day has passed by in the last so many months when I did not eat Ragi Roti. My kitchen would be stocked up with 15 varieties of lentils, half of which I had never seen before. I would source my soap and spices from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
It was here that I could experience the Indian festivals that went beyond Holi and Diwali. One Onam in Palakkad and I was sold! I was converted to a token Mallu. The big sadhya that was offered to me by a granny in Palakkad made me indebted to her for life.
Even Holi and Diwali changed for me. For my nephew and niece, I bought silk clothes from Chennai and turned them into little Madrasi boy and girl!
New friendships happened. Some of the closest friends I made ranged from the lengths and breadths of the South. Even without the conventional presence of domestication through marriage, I was fairly domesticated. Starting the day by a leisurely walk in my mundu through the thin canopy of trees to go fetch milk – was something I looked forward to every day.
My love for green only grew after living in South India. Even in cities here, everybody tries to grow something.
How could I be left behind.
I think these stories will come with me wherever I go. Anytime I will hear Suprabhatam, it will bring me back into the temple towns of South India. Coconuts will be more than just a fruit. It would be reminiscent of everything that is beautiful about here.
So, Bangalore, I will miss you!