Wednesday, July 13, 2016

100 days of Bangalore: the stay

Around the first week of February, I was asked if I was willing to go to Bangalore for a new project, working with a new client.
I may not exactly have jumped at the idea but the prospect of working in a new city and the possibility of learning something new was quite exciting. I said an emphatic 'yes' to the idea and started looking forward to this stint in Bangalore.
When I was packing, I didn't know  where I would stay and when I would find a place for myself. I booked myself into a hotel for the first week hoping to find something by the end of it.
When I saw Bangalore flats and flatmates groups on facebook, I thought that all I needed to do was post in the group and I would find a place. Foolish me! The search wasn't going to be that easy. The office being in Kumara Park West, there weren't many places for renting. Kumara Park West is close to Malleshwaram and both these places are known to be conventional, residential areas. You have many more options in the Marthahalli, Whitefield, Electronic City side of the city.
Renting an independent room in these areas seemed next to impossible as, of the few available options, no one was willing to give a room for 100 days. The minimum expected stay was six months...with a one month deposit to boot (and no guarantee of getting it back).
Finally, I found something that looked custom-made for me. A newly constructed room with an attached bathroom on the terrace of a PG. The whole terrace was mine.There was a TV and a WiFi connection exclusive for my use.
I reveled in the comfort of exclusivity and privacy but at the same time, I didn't realize how tough it was going to be to access the kitchen on a floor below.What separated the terrace from the kitchen was a steep, open staircase. So, if one were to use the kitchen, one would have to carry all ingredients/groceries from the room to the kitchen below. Not having vessels to cook in also added to the woes. I managed to cook bread, Magi and tea at times. Having a fridge and a microwave helped to an extent but then there was a jostle for space to use these assets. And because of this arrangement, I had to have all the three meals outside home. But at least I had some semblance of a home.
The office, headquartered at Belgium, was definitely a great place to work where the employee comfort was well taken care of. The product I documented was vast and challenging. But what fun if you don't get a challenging project?! The work was invigorating but also pretty demanding
My working time was from 11 am to 8 pm. I would need to complete my morning chores, get ready and decide on a place to eat before I could step out. There were very few options around the place I stayed.
The time till 11 was ruled out and coming home at around 9 ish also ruled out any possibility of venturing out, watch movies or even explore places.
It was on weekends only that I could clean, wash clothes, attend mails/bills, visit friends and relatives and search for decent lunch places for that weekend.
The commute was the best part of staying in Bangalore. Having a permanent address in Hyderabad may not allow me to stay close to office, but that was not so in Bangalore. I could rent a place, less than a kilometer from my office. The commute time, on foot, was just about fifteen minutes...a bliss for every office-goer. To top it, walking under a canopy of trees helped ward off the hot sun till I reached office.
Trees all around my residence also meant waking up to chirping birds...instead of wakening to the rude hoots and rumbles of passing vehicles...something that I have not experienced since my childhood days.
Well, back to home sweet home now.