Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it - new york, new york
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it - new york, new york
- New York, New York by Frank Sinatra
(link to the song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM52Xsvw5NQ)
6 years and four cities. I guess it does make me a bit of a vagabond. As my friends would vouch, I am not a travel bug and it is only circumstances that have forced me "to go places". It has been a refreshing change though every time and I think I wouldn't mind doing it all over again (till I am married and rearing kids).
I can't name any of the cities as my favourite as they have all have good and bad points.
Bombay - big; bad and busy. People rushing here and there, bouncing of you, exhausting you by the sheer volume of people and distances to be travelled. Time flies by in a blur and week after week melts into one long stretch. You actually feel like a rat in a rat race. The people are the best though - no one bothers you unless you need help and then they give it and go away without expecting thanks. Also, Bombay has EVERYTHING you need and everyone is professional, now that is convenience.
Pune - at least when I was there - was a student filled city and what a buzz it had because of that. I guess I felt it more because I was just out of college. Just hanging out on the balcony, enjoying the cool weather and watching cute women pass by was so relaxing (especially on the eyes). Also, the best place to ride a bike expect when girls dressed like terrorists zip by you on their little Scootys.
Chennai - the comforts of a metro without the hassles of a big city. Everything is available close by, you don't have to travel more than twenty minutes to get anywhere (discounting the ten minutes you argue with the ^$#^* auto guy). Home to the one of the best forms of music - dapanguthu, Saravanna Bhavan and Zara's - you cant ask for more. Yeah yeah, I hear you - centrally air conditioning, a gun to shoot irritating auto drivers, wishing that all of Chennai learns Hindi overnight.... come on guys.
Bangalore - great weather, lousy traffic. Unfortunately for me, when I left Chennai, I packed my car stereo with the rest of my stuff which is still warehoused and now I am left with absolutely no entertainment when I am stuck in a jam..... grrrrrhhhhhh. Another thing which I am not used to is hunting for parking. It may be great exercise to walk ten minutes to the restaurant after parking a mile away in an inside lane but you might die of stress-related heart attack before that. Frankly, the golden age of Bangalore seems to be over when the parks and the pubs were so cool. It seems extremely showy with malls and restaurants that are designed to take away the average software engineer's money away. However, the weather is unbeatable and almost worth everything else. Also, some of the pockets are really pretty with lots of trees and neat roads. I am hoping that the authorities really improve the infrastructure while keeping the good stuff intact.
Still gotta talk about the people eh? Lemme think... think think.... nope nothing good I can say about any of you. Just kidding, actually I count myself lucky that wherever I went, my friends were already there and made it that much easier to settle down. I really don't know how people manage when they move to a place where they don't know anybody. I guess I wont have that problem given my high ratings on the popularity charts. Another good thing is that I have found colleagues at work who have similar interests (read as ready to party and laugh at my great jokes) and have become good friends over time.
Short and simple - places may change but people remain the same and this one goes out to the best of them on the planet - my friends