Free Software Trip 4: Exploring Bangalore and then goodbyes.
Date: 23rd January 2019
4. Bangalore sightseeing and Leaving for Mumbai
After the event, I spent the next couple of days exploring the city and trying to experience the culture,food and to understand the people.
I really liked the food there, it was kind of similar to the Telugu South Indian fare I am used to but has flavours which are very balanced. I made a list of things I would definitely try and went about looking for them.
Some of them are listed below:
- Rava Dosa: Here they served it with a tomato, peas and potato curry!
- Set Dosa: It tastes king of like uttapa.
- Donne Biryani: Donne means leaf and this biryani is served inside a leaf basket. It’s green in color and is just the right combination of spicy and flavourful. It actually reminded me of the green chicken I was used to eating at my Konkani neighbours place as a kid.
- Bisi-Bele Bath: This is like dal-rice but with vegetables mixed and served with curd. I almost missed trying this one, finally got a place at the airport where they served it.
I visited a few popular locations which interested me, like Lalbaug, VIT Museum, etc. A few stock sight-seeing options.
I also went to see the Brain Museum in NIMHANS hospital which has a unique collections of human specimens of brains and other body organs with information on how diseases affect them. It was very interesting to read their descriptions. Surprisingly, my 12th grade bio is still fresh in my head so I could make sense of some of the medical terms for the conditions in the sample.
For example, my aunt had a Cerebral Abscess in April last year and I got to see a sample of a brain which had the same. It basically had a huge dent inside the tissue where fluid builds up and pushes it back, sometimes causing irreversible damage.
There is also a section where you can hold organs like the Brain, Heart, Liver, Kidney, etc in your hands. It was kinda awesome. The brain is a lot tougher than it looks like. It felt like synthetic rubber.
The day had come when I had to return to Mumbai, I was in Bangalore for 5 days now and I had really gotten fond of it. There is a lot less chaos here while still having a cosmopolitan presence. The metro stations for example were so much more quieter even though there were so many people.
From what I understood Kannada people are very polite and proud people. The state of Karnataka has its own flag called “Kannada Pashka”. They are very proud of their heritage and traditions, and this shows in their way of life.
Kannadigas, in my experience are reserved yet respectful of strangers, but when they get to know you, they will be very open and invite you to a bunch of things. They are always eager to help out if need be. They are also, in general alot more civilised and disciplined than people I have seen elsewhere. There is a healthy respect for structure here, something I could really use.
I made quite a few friends here and they are a really delightful people. I actually like this place a lot and think it will be a great place to work and live, for a while at least.
I met Abhas sir the day I was leaving and he got to sit down with me properly for a long time where we had some interesting discussions and he gave me alot of advice about how to become a better programmer and what I need to do to follow the hacker ethic .
Abhas sir stressed about the need for having a strong set of personal Ethic and integrity to stick to it. Its very important for a person to live a content life. I have learned alot from him , with and without him actually teaching or guiding me.
I had asked him how he could trust a stranger like me so quickly and even doing all that he did for me. What was his motivation? He must want something from me too, right?
“This trip was meant to motivate you to continue doing what you are doing.”, that’s what he said the motivation was. According to him he had done his share of work in his life and had achieved the things he wanted and now he just wanted to give back.
He could afford the trip so he arranged it, even though it probably cost him , but the way he saw it the value in it was me learning something and helping somebody else out. Giving back to the community that probably helped him at some point. Its investing in the future generation, as he said.
I was very touched by this of course. I work on my projects on my own, without any help or any appreciation for my efforts from anyone. On the other hand most people trivialise my pursuits, saying that since it doesn’t make me any money it’s wasting time.
It felt great to have somebody who not only gets it but also encourages me to keep on learning, exploring and developing my skills. It was something I didn’t realise I needed to hear.
I am very thankful for Abhas sir for the trip, his guidance and the opportunity to be a part of something like FSF, even as just a volunteer. I got to use my code to build apps used by more than 900 people and probably more in the future.
Also I got to meet wonderful people, most importantly RMS. He is an inspiration to many including me and I admire what he did for all of us. The talk was really informative and I will try to implement all he said into my life. More on that on a later post.
I also thank Dr. Renuka Prasad for arranging my stay and all the help. Also Mr. Shivanand who helped book my travels etc.
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© Abhishek Balam 2019