I think one of the things I have wrongly taken for granted the most in India is its safety, at least in Bangalore where I have spent the last year.
As a foreigner, I can say I feel way safer in Bangalore than in Monterrey. It must be said that the same doesn’t apply in the same way for wonem.
This picture right here reflects a red flag when it comes to security if you were, say, in México. It is very interesting because I took it sometime around 1:00 A.M. when I was coming back from having dinner with a friend and needed some cash.
The guy you see in the picture covered with the blanket is perhaps the security guard of the bank or a homeless person. In either of the cases,… harmless.
Nowadays in México, there is no way in life that I will get into an ATM to withdraw money at 1 am. Especially in Monterrey, chances are that our harmless Indian guy would be in fact a criminal with an AK-74 waiting for someone to come in. If you are lucky he would only take your money, and I say lucky because it can go as far as shooting or kidnapping you.
Last December when I came to Monterrey after studying in Milan, I heard the most terrible stories of people very close to me who had suffered some kind of violence regarding the drug war and terrorism in Monterrey. When I spoke to my friends at that time, I think the only one that was happy with the idea of me coming back was my mother.
After I did, it was not until I woke up one day to the sound of gunfire happening in the main street very close to my house that I realized how much my city had changed in the almost two years I was away.
And then, luckily for me, India happened… and I will always thank life for that opportunity of feeling safe and at home in both Bangalore and Mumbai.