Bangalore, as a general example of southern Indian cities, is a reminder that India can be different. More modern than Mumbai, more open than Delhi, cleaner than any of the other cities, Bangalore was a refreshing look at big Indian cities. Boys and girls holding hands, the ladies dressing up with cleavage, and all in-general looking a lot livelier and happier, it made me think that if there’s one place in India I can ever think about staying for long, it’s probably going to be the southern area.
The first day, off the airport, we spent chilling out in the Mahatma Gandi Rd shopping and restaurant area, also visiting the nearby Bangalore parks.
The reason we came all the way to Bangalore was because my dad was planning to attend India’s National Conference on Psychology and Cinema organized by the department of psychology in Bangalore’s prestigious Christ College.
After a shocking 3 weeks of adjusting to Indian tourist standards, my dad and I were really surprised with the high standards of Christ College. The campus looked great, the students all seemed happy and I must confess that it was also the first time (!) throughout all my trip in India that I saw Indian girls I found really attractive, and there were plenty of them around. A matter of cultural taste, I wonder, or just finally having seeing a different side of India that’s usually not on the tourist path.
The conference was very well done and we were really well taken care of. The event opened at the main auditorium with a few speeches and a wonderful dance given by the psychology female students (Jump to 1:20 for the dance, and give it some time, it will clear up a bit at 2:40).
We then saw a movie, that I have already watched in a film festival in Jerusalem about an Indian lesbian love affair, quite a controversial topic for the traditional India especially at a Christian university, but the participants showed depth and openness discussing this film and Indian society.
Although I wasn’t looking forward to this Indian conference, I must admit it was a wonderful experience that has contributed alot to enrich my tourist based shallow perception of India. I really enjoyed it, and wished I could stay longer. I imagine it would be a good idea to also look up a conference where ever it is that I goto next – it’s just a great way to get to know people and local student culture. I think my dad would say this was one of his favorite days in India, and I could definitely see why.