This kind of intensity I found at the public policy workshop at Takshashila, and what impressed me the most here was that of the 30-odd youngsters in the course that I interacted with, none were from journalism or government: five were engineers, one was an HR professional from IBM, another was a Dubai-based architect, another worked at the international auditing firm KPMG, another was a wildlife conservationist, and so on. It was a diverse group and their questions were incisive, common-sense, and thoughtful. Afterwards, Nitin and his group took me to a Brigade Road brewery. It was jam-packed, but in a way that is different from the pubs in Mumbai’s arty-filmy-youthy Bandra or in Gurgaon, Delhi’s cyber-suburb. In those cities, you feel the watering hole is a refuge for the young; in Bangalore, the watering hole is where the young come to celebrate their ownership of the city.
When I left South India in 2011, I wrote that Delhi’s journalists ought to mandatorily spend at least two years in a Southern metro. It is now more true than ever. Bangalore, my visit reminded me, is a place of vibrancy and optimism, a place which will give India that higher trajectory economic growth. And it will do so while the North remains bogged down with its self-destructive culture wars.
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