These days I work out of an office in Bangalore. I just love it. In some ways it feels like I have never been away. I love the chaos, the colors, the energy and of course the sound of Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu all around me.
My first day at work here was more like waiting for my machine to be set up and figuring where the loo was located in this huge building. As I looked around, people looked very friendly, most people had smiles that reached their eyes and I did not have to look around to find company for lunch. Even before I could inquire where food was available, I had four enthusiastic volunteers accompany and give me company through lunch.
Before I knew it I had been here for over nine hours. I packed my bag and made my way to the lobby trying to figure out which would be the best way to find an auto. As I turned in my badge, the lady at the counter said I had someone waiting for me. I turned and Saathi stood there grinning sheepishly. I swear I fell in love all over again.
Turns out he wanted to surprise me. I sure was happily surprised. As we made our way out of the huge complex, he asked me if I wanted to walk home. It was a good 40 min walk. I was game and we asked around to find the road leading to Airport road. Directions in hand we set out. It was a walk I will remember for life.
The dust rising off the mud roads, the order amidst the chaotic traffic, the lights from the nearby airport, the thundering of the flights as they made to land right above our head, the corner bakery where we stopped for a slice of dilkush. As we walked hands linked, I asked him about his day and he about mine. We must have walked for about 20 mins when we saw a bus waiting to start, without thinking both of us boarded it and hoped it was going the direction we wanted to go. It did. A few minutes later the bus deposited us a mile along the way. We got off and spied a street vendor selling roasted peanuts. Spent a precious four rupees on two cones of piping hot salted and roasted fresh peanuts and walked slowly taking in everything. The bright Pizza Hut contrasted with the Darshini right across the street. The ISRO compound had a small temple by its side. The fancy stores jostling with the tailor shop and the bajji kadai. Every step we took we felt a pull and a sense of belonging that is quite like nothing else.
Windswept hair and all we reached home. Just before we rung the doorbell, I had to give Saathi a quick hug for the walk to remember.