Stranger in my hometown


In the picture: Holding my nephew Siddhanth’s perfect little baby foot.

There are moments when I have no idea where I am or what I am doing, that’s how fast I’ve smacked into life here in Bangalore. I’m really grateful for this kind of expensive post I’m writing (I’m using my mobile phone data since we still don’t have Internet at home). I can’t believe Ragini (Fellow and roommate) and I have been here for nearly three weeks already. We’re still in the process of making our rather roach-infested apartment into a home. In the next couple of days, we plan to get our hands incredibly dirty scrubbing the place down and making it ours (and roach-free).

At work, I had a relaxed, almost boring first few days, but then my project was launched last week. Since I began my full-time work on Janaagraha’s Liveability Score, I’ve found myself forgetting to take deep breaths and relax. It’s exciting work, but in these beginning stages, it’s a whole lot of information to take in and organiz(s)e. I’ll write soon in greater detail about the project.

My social life is quite confused right now. On one hand, I’m in my hometown, surrounded by my family, playing with my baby nephew, and speaking the language. On the other hand, I’m in a country that I don’t really know. Most of my work friends are not from Bangalore, so we are able to relate our experiences and help each other figure this new life out.

Some mornings I wake up on the American side of the bed, and I just can’t make sense of anything. But on others, I wake up feeling like I am exactly where I was meant to be.

The power just went out for the 4th night in a row.

Having spent half her life in India and the other half in the United States, Swathi gained a unique perspective on inequality that sparked her interest in understanding and combating poverty in its various forms. After six years of college at a stretch, Swathi is eager to balance the academic knowledge with practical experience in the field. She is looking forward to the rewards and challenges of rediscovering her drastically transformed hometown of Bangalore. Most recently, Swathi worked at the NGO Entreculturas in Madrid, Spain, to support education programs all over Africa, and to develop a global advocacy network on the right to education. She speaks four languages and is trying to decide on a fifth.

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2 thoughts on “Stranger in my hometown

  1. Fascinating! I am waiting to read your next post…about Liveability score…and hopefully more experiences, some pleasant, that makes you feel less of a stranger.

    Rgds, Ravi Kumar

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