When you think about Bangalore, you probably think of a bustling city with terrible traffic, teeming with IT professionals and a plethora of offbeat, fine-dine rooftop restaurants. But Bangalore for me is confined to the cozy, familiar neighbourhood of my Ajji-Tata’s (Nani-Nana’s) house where temples and dosa joints lurk at every corner.
I think of showing up at their doorstep, smiling wide as they chuckle in surprise, my Ajji embracing me as she states her standard dialogue, “You’ve become so thin!” even if I resemble a boondi ka ladoo.
I think of the ever-present aroma of freshly brewed filter coffee in the atmosphere, the blissful scent of fresh jasmine wafting in the air as we pinned it to our braids on pooja days, of lazy afternoons as my Ajji regales us with my mother’s childhood stories.
I think of leisurely summer days spent visiting the Iyengar temple just to eat the iconic, incomparable ‘puliogare’ prasad, quenching our thirst with random stops to drink fresh sugarcane juice from Cane-O-La, of the mandatory buffet lunch at Maiyas; of hiding out in a bedroom to drown out my Ajji’s weekly chanting group.
I think of spending the entire day playing in the blistering 40 degree heat, filled with boundless energy as we started yet another round of Jail Tag; of laughing with my friends as we shared stories on our way to Corner House.
I think of the entire family glued to the T.V, watching IPL as we devour post-dinner mangoes; of at least one argument with my assertive Ajji (where do you think I get it from), of the mouth-watering delicacies she enthusiastically prepares for us, oozing love (and ghee); the entertaining banter between my fiery Ajji and soft-spoken Tata.
But most of all, I remember the absolute warmth that hides in every nook and cranny, the sheer love and care that shines through.
And every time I visit, or revisit Bangalore in my head, I clutch onto the memories just a little bit tighter, painting an elaborate story in my brain, wishing I could hold on forever.
Author: Ananya Chaure Editor: Aastha Mahajan