I arrived in Bangalore on Friday and met some of the other interns that evening. We went out for a meal that night to a really nice and cheap place near where we’re staying and had curry of course. The other interns are doing placements in marketing, law, real estate, photography and lots of other things. There will be two of us working at the New Indian Express newspaper, and there’s one intern who has worked there for the last few months and was able to tell us all about it. Unfortunately, I’ve missed my first two days of work due to being very ill, but I’m determined to go in tomorrow! Luckily, I have a later start on Wednesdays, so I don’t need to be in work until 3pm as opposed to 10.30am. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone in the office and doing my first reviews and interviews.
We had a very eventful trip this weekend to Pondicherry. The bus trip from Bangalore was meant to take 5 or 6 hours, but it ended up being more like 8 or 9, which was ridiculous. The driver decided to take an hour stop when we were about 20 minutes into the journey, without any explanation. When we arrived, it was too late to do anything, so we just walked around the shore and had dinner. The next day we woke at 5.30am to see the sunrise, but after the thunderstorm the night before, the sky was so cloudy, we couldn’t really see it!
Thankfully, the rest of the day made up for our long and hot journey. We went to a place called the Matrimadir, which was unlike anywhere I’ve been before. I was told it was a spiritual place, but didn’t really know too much about it. We had to watch an introductory video before we went in, which described what the place was about. Apparently it’s not a religious place for worship, but a place for concentration and only those who are truly serious and wish to concentrate can enter. The building itself is a huge golden dome, with a crystal ball inside. I wanted to go in, but it wasn’t open on Sunday afternoons and I got the impression that even if it was, we may not have been allowed inside. They are in the process of building a moat to go around it.
After watching the introductory video, we were all a bit bemused and didn’t know what to make of the place. There were signs up everywhere about nature and positive messages and they claimed that it was not a place for tourists, although there was a visitors’ center and a gift shop and they kept referring to ‘The Mother’, which was all a bit confusing.
In the afternoon, we found the most beautiful beach, which was privately owned by a hotel. When the security guard asked what room we were staying in, another intern quickly answered ‘401’. It turned out that there was no such room, but we still managed to get on to the beach and have a few hours swimming in the sea, where it was boiling and practically deserted.
Although the meal I had that night was probably the cause of missing my first two days of work, I managed to see a bit more of Bangalore today and had a walk around the streets near where we’re staying. An intern called Nathaniel, who also worked at the New Indian Express, took me to a really tall building so I could see a great view of Bangalore. At the top of the building we saw a really large, unusual bird and we were told that it was an Egyptian vulture, which was pretty cool! From up high, it was clear how green Bangalore is and we went to one of the parks afterwards. Before Bangalore became so busy and Westernized, it was known as the Garden City.
Hopefully soon I’ll be posting my own articles up!