Anyone who has been to Bangalore with me knows how much I love the Garden City. My first trip to Bangalore (now Bengaluru) was back in 2008 when a friend of a friend offered me first class hospitality. It was during that trip when I experienced the thrill of riding through Indian streets on the back of a motorcycle, the delight of eating simple but delicious dhaba food and the fear of getting my first straight blade razor shave.
However, more than the experiences above, what I liked most about Bangalore was the simplicity of the people, the relaxed manner in which people went about life, not too rushed, not too showy, not too cut-throat dis-similar to what I experience in the north on a daily basis. Oh, and I also liked the California-type weather, the plush greenery and the beautiful girls.
Since that maiden trip, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Bangalore multiple times a year for meetings, events and weddings, and each trip seems to be more enjoyable than the previous ones as each time I arrive armed with a new set of restaurants I need to try, friends I need to meet and places I need to see.
Two weeks ago was no different. I was in Bangalore for a few days to host a workshop on nutrition and football as part of the work we are doing for AFC’s ONE GOAL campaign. The two days of discussion were quite riveting as we had participation from development experts such as Magic Bus, Akshaya Pathra, Ashoka, Slum Soccer, Asian Football Development Project, Royal DSM and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
What was also riveting was taking long, morning runs through Bangalore’s beautiful streets, eating and drinking at some of the city’s best breweries and, of course, watching India play Pakistan with thousands of other supporters in Bangalore Football Stadium.