Once upon a time, there was a Garden City

This article talks a little about the Garden City that Bangalore once was proud to be, but talks mainly about how Bangalore or Bengaluru as people lovingly call it is an incredibly special place. I was born in Mumbai, but I spent my life in Bangalore with primary and secondary education. I must say, I was happy back then as happy I am right now to be back in Bangalore after completing my engineering. We were too naive to realize back then what a blessing Bangalore was, and the huge impact that it had had on our lives. It was only after I went out and witnessed with my own eyes what the rest of India was like, it dawned to me that I had been living in the dark, in a place where our naivety wasn’t challenged. But god forbid! Bangalore wasn’t our ‘dark’ place at all! It was the most bright and cheery place ever, that nobody really cared about what it was like outside. Not that people didn’t want to care. It was just that people were too engrossed in their own lives to notice anything else. That is incidentally the reason why Bangalore is the way it is. People are so happy with their own lives in general that they now live in their own bubble of satisfaction. Don’t get the wrong idea though. It’s not like we turn a blind eye towards the underprivileged just because of our contentedness. We like to share our happiness with others to empower our community.

Since when I was a child, my hobbies were crafted out of the hobbies of my friend group which mainly comprised of computer and video game enthusiasts. We liked to try out different games and different consoles. It was not really a competition on who was best at playing or anything. There wasn’t any competition between us at all. We only cared about was having a great time! How I miss those days. But I realized later on that because I was with these guys, and because I was involved with all the new stuff that they explored on the web, and how we hacked consoles so we could play any game we wanted, I realized that I began to know more about software, games and consoles than other people around me. It wasn’t a sudden realization of course, because I wasn’t even really interested in the intricacies of software installations and the kind at the time anyway, but it paved the way towards my field of interest. Once I was in 11th and 12th grade, I could understand technical talks of people who had also shared a similar background and even make conversation with them. I seemed to get along with the people who knew their way around computers because we had a common interest, and we would take a moment to discuss stuff. That’s pretty common, but think about it in this way. You find out something really cool in your field of interest, that you want to share it with somebody else. So, you would at least want to share it with someone who can appreciate how great your discovery really is! Therefore, it is common to look for people who have similar interests as you. Not to mention, they will announce their discoveries to you too when they find something new! And one thing leads to another, and you guys start working on it. Explore it together. Meet up somewhere, at someone’s house, maybe even stay up for a sleepover. All this… But for what? That’s simple: Passion for life. Something as trivial as interest. Why do we do things that interest us? Simply because they do! Yet it gives rise to a chain of several other questions: If we are all just going to die one day, then why bother doing anything at all? Although that’s pretty common-sensical inquisitiveness, it’s also prey to an equally good counter question: If we are all just going to pass on to another world one day, why not try doing something worthwhile while we are still here? Ha! Think not much. It’s easy, do what makes you happy. Life is big, and life becomes longer than you would like it to be if you are not enjoying yourself. And most important of all, this life is yours! In Bangalore, people understand what it is to have a calm and stable society and people have learned to keep their eyes open to new trends, adapting to those who have not yet adapted and we collectively understand the serenity of such an environment and strive to cherish it and keep it the way it is (although not consciously, it seems to magically happen).

It is known that Bangalore is the Silicon Valley (or “Plateau”) of India. Naturally, based on sound reason. People here have jobs. Many even start their own startups with their friends and colleagues, hoping to “make it”. IT jobs generally pay well, so the general population of Bangalore has no lack of money. Surely, they are trying to make more, but not out of desperation. On the other hand, things have become expensive in the recent years, and Bangalore’s economy has proven to be quite stable. Bangalore is not associated with a particular type of population that speaks a certain language or has originated from certain place. It quite suddenly came into being and people from all over India and all over the world settled here in Bangalore. Another reason for that is that Bangalore has great weather. It’s neither hot nor cold. It does not fluctuate more than 20-25 degrees Celsius throughout the year, it’s usually between (15-35 degrees C). Over the years, a lot more people have poured here to grab hold of the opportunities, so the environment of the place has changed a little bit from how it was before, but it’s still as I remember it, quite the same.

People are friendly in an unconditional way. They don’t help you as a way to grab opportunities from you later, but really because they know you now, and would interact with you in the future, and who knows they might even become your good friend. It’s really about open and free friendships, no bounds to the people you meet. Often times I have seen friends-of-friends-of-friends forming a distant connection on Facebook. It’s just that, there’s nothing else that can come between what you love. And Bangalore is with you on that. The whole framework of Bangalore conspires to bring out the best in you. All you have to do is spread your wings and take flight!

What went wrong with our education system

How bad can education be? It shouldn’t be bad, or it’s not even supposed to be! But here we are… Quite heartbroken, and restricted because there is no other option out there but educate ourselves in the tiring, coercing manner they teach us. Mugging stuff up on the last day of the exam, not only because it doesn’t make any sense to you but also because the exam is the only time we are going to require it. Mug and vomit. That’s our routine 4 times each semester, for every subject and that’s repeated for 8 semesters in total. What a dumb shit thing we have had to go through. I’ve just cleared engineering, and what can I say, the most pathetic experience of my life was in these 4 years. What the hell did I learn in these 4 years anyway? Well, one thing I did learn, and that was how flawed our education system really is. It’s not flawed in a certain number of places or anything like that. It is a 100% wrong! I am emotionally vested in myself, and the education that I get, and the training that I get which I can use once I start my real job. But honestly, after receiving the kind of dull, lacking creativity, lacking enthusiasm kind of education I (or we all) have had to endure, I can say one thing: a serious change is required in our educational system. Also, our lecturers need to be better equipped with the right knowledge to guide us, pave the way for us to race across the sea of knowledge so we could grasp all we can. All they did was give silly excuses like “Students aren’t interested”, “Need to get approval from Principal”, etc. BULLSHIT! I say. If you really want to get something done, you would go out of your way to get it done, come what may. As a student, I don’t have time to entertain my professor’s excuses about lack of interest. Great teachers can gather a crowd of students out of their own interest. Our teachers forget that not only do they work for us, but also that they need to work for the future of our world and our country. Without passion, teaching is a very useless profession and my request to all teachers who lack it is to go find a different profession rather than expose to the students how boring the subject is. Good people, engineers or any other grad for that matter can be made if the people at the top most level are good. In the case of education systems, the Principal, and of course the teachers. We need teachers who can bring out the creativity in them and show us the joys of the subject. Students will then realize the possibilities that can come from learning the subject. For some, it will act as a way to retain information, for they can remember the creative act better than say, reading a textbook for instance.

As a kid, I was taught that all of us are special. Yes, each and every one of us, whether adult or child. We were born with a purpose in our lives. God simply does not roll dice! As humans, we are the chosen ones. But to learn, and experience the fact, you need a kind of education which nourishes your senses to a world with endless possibilities, where you can become whatever you desire, pursue your interests to the fullest and to give back to the society as much as you can. Someone needs to instill or invoke the untapped fire of creativity in us. Creativity. It’s really such a magical thing. Gives me immense joy creating things, whether the world knows about them is another thing altogether but I enjoy creating things. I believe my early days in school helped me out immensely. I realize this now, after looking at India through the scope of my college. From an early age onwards, I have been encouraged to open my eyes and fling my arms to the world. There’s everything out there. So much happiness. Something that I deeply feel that I need to share with the rest of the world.