On the last day of 2009, I moved to Bangalore for six months to complete my graduation project. The city welcomed me with scorching heat in the afternoon and beautiful rain in the evening as I sat at Peco’s and drank beer. In my slightly inebriated state, I made my first purchase in Bangalore from a children’s store, where I was taking shelter from the (beautiful) rain that had become a thunderstorm. This first purchase was a few copies of books for young children who are learning to write in Kannada. Soon, I could be seen at home after work, making what has been called my ‘concentration face’ (Thank you Prateek and Eshan) and practicing the Kannada alphabet. In a few weeks, I reached the level of competence, where if I stared and squinted at a road sign long enough I could manage to put together a string of sounds that sounded pretty close to the original word. Needless to say I felt very proud of myself!
I was back in Delhi in May/June 2010, and my efforts to learn to read and write Kannada took a back seat, and were eventually forgotten completely. A clear case of out of sight, out of mind. But, I am visiting Bangalore in just a couple of days, and even before I booked my tickets, I pulled out an unused copy of the writing book and began to practice once again.
When I am not writing in the book, I am scribbling on bits of paper or practicing the hand movements in air while I am sitting in the Metro or the bus. Yes, I invite a lot of puzzled stares. But, my excitement, about re-learning the Kannada alphabet and being in Bangalore again, are both very hard to contain 🙂