Actually I should have written this post 3 months back, but it’s never late to share the thoughts. It was in the month of February, when I was attending lots of job interviews. And it was the same month that I got confirmed for job from couple of companies and I planned to visit my “Homeland”. It had been nearly 2.5 years since I left my home in India to pursue my Studies in Germany. So, I was totally excited to meet my parents, brother, friends and enjoy all tasty Indian food. The other thing I missed apart from family and friends would be food ;). And the best part of visiting home was that I had my Master’s degree and a job in my hand. The only thing that was missing at that point of time was money :D.
Anyway, I will skip all the minute details and take you guys directly to my experience in India after such a long time. Let me start with my journey from Bangalore International Airport to my home. My parents and a close friend of mine were there at the airport to pick me up. We went to the vehicle and decided that we will straight away go to a restaurant, as I desperately wanted to eat a Masala Dosa (one of my favorite Indian food).
It took us 30 mins to come out of airport parking lot. I thought to myself… “Welcome to India!” After that we hit the road. The last thing I remembered was my travel to the airport from my home and trust me it was good when compared to the normal city traffic. And I was shocked to see how they had dug the entire road for some reconstruction. The first question I asked my friend was “why people are driving like this?” (LOL!) This was completely unexpected of me. My friend just replied back asking “you went from here to Germany right…?” What I actually meant from my question was why don’t people follow traffic rules and lane discipline. People drive really reckless in India. And when I say it includes me too but before coming to Germany.
Continuing with the same topic, I once had had to drop my mom and aunt in the car. I had been long time since I drove especially in India. I also got my license done in Germany (by the way its not as simple as in US and I had to shell out nearly 1000 Euros for it… sounds crazy right?) and had driven on couple of occasions. So, I start from my house, at the end of the road it connects to a main road. I stop there for the traffic to clear so that I can cross the road. After 2-3 mins my aunt from back tells me “maga.. idu Germany alla. Ninage yaaru nilsalla illi.. nugtairbeku” (Son… this is not Germany, no one gonna wait for you.. keep driving :D). After she said I was like how shall I do that? Suddenly it felt like I don’t belong here any more. While we are on this topic, another day, I wanted to cross a road. First, I searched for the traffic lights to check for green signal for pedestrians, which I didn’t find. Anyway, I am standing there along with few other people who also wanted to cross the road. The only difference was that I’m still standing there after 5 mins, whereas others didn’t even bother to wait. What I want to point out here is not the mentality of other people, rather how my mentality was changed after being away from home so long. I was actually afraid to cross the road. I was thinking if I may feel like this, then what would the foreign visitors might feel? And no matter how hard you try its next to impossible to drive in lane in India. I, myself tried and failed miserably. If you want to reach the destination safely in time, then you have to follow the Indian traffic. There is absolutely no escape from that :P. Never the less, I was back to normal in couple of days ;).
Another incidence was kind of funny which was in RTO office. I wanted to get a duplicate license, so I went to RTO office. There is this “Help Desk” at the entrance, so I went there to ask for the information. As I saw a person already in conversation with the officer, I waited for my turn. He was not yet finished, and there came another guy asking for something. I got annoyed but still waited for my turn patiently. The officer was about to finish with the first person; there came another one to ask something. It was very pissing off. Though I was standing right in front of the desk, even the officer didn’t bother to ask me what I want. This continued for some time. I thought if I stand like this then I would be here all day. So, finally didn’t bother for anyone to finish, I threw my question and got the answer in 2 mins :).
Of course the system has to change. But more than system, it’s the people’s thinking that has to change!
Leaving all these annoying yet funny moments, I also had my memorable time. Spending lot of time at home, having home food. Though I had promised my parents that I would cook for them, I was in no mood to cook. My first visit to ‘Food Street’ during my stay in Bangalore was one among them. It was a Bliss to eat so many tasty food at one place.
Those hangouts with friends, watching movies, drinking together, still playing fifa 2008. And last but not least, the usual visits to temple. I might say every time that it’s boring to go to temples but it’s also true that one feels a weird kind of calmness.
Looking forward to my next visit and this time it would even more exiting for other reasons. Stay tuned.. 😛