“At the age of 17, I started working, not because my parents couldn’t afford but I wanted to do something and stand on my own. I started out as a promoter in a company, then a supervisor and then a trainer. I was a very busy person. My day used to start my 8 AM and I used to come back at 9 PM. Later, I got into the marketing team at a theatre group. I remember, I was the highest paid, at my house. Better than my brother who happened to be a software developer. One day, it hit me and I started thinking what am I doing in life? I, then joined a charity group where I worked and gave my heart and soul to, to see that I was tired of working. Mentally and physically drained. I decided to travel and I came to India.”

“I was at Jaipur for an internship, I got a full time offer from Russian companies. They wanted someone with experience to be their representative in India. They were okay with me staying anywhere in India. I googled to see which is the best place to live in India. I narrowed down to Bengaluru because I had a brief visit, before and the weather was something which I really loved. Few days after I came here, I fell sick due to Dengue. It was a very tough time for me because I didn’t know a lot of them here. I was in a very bad shape and a friend (that time, just a friend) he took care of me. I was thinking, If I die, how to transport my body to Russia. Somehow him and his family were there for me. That was when I made my mind up to stay here because of that friend. That friend, who later became my husband.”

How were the cultural differences here?

“My husband and I live with his parents. His parents love me a lot. Though, my husband has his own property, I insisted on living with my in-laws. They never forced me to change, not a single bit. They treat me like a daughter. A lot of the times, the internet shows a very bad side of a nation/culture, which in reality might be very different because I’ve read that Indians were very conservative and orthodox but, my in-laws are very open minded that way.”

“I have lived in a lot of places around the world. What I have realized from my experience is that, anywhere in the world you go, the moral values are the same, be it in any religion, any country. This city has a vibe, a vibe which I don’t think I got from any other place in the world. Yes, any place you go will have it’s own pros and cons. What is really important is how the city made you feel. A Russian in Bengaluru. I am Yulia Aslamova.”