Tuesday, February 21, 2012

AHMEDABAD - BEST CITY TO LIVE IN INDIA

We flew in to Ahmedabad on 31 May 2010, and have now lived here for over 1 year and 8 months. Having lived in various cities in India, it was pretty evident to us within 3 months of arriving here that we had arrived in the best city in India. This fact was only recently confirmed by a Times of India survey that ranked Ahmedabad as the best city in India. The reasons for this could be attributed to 'Uninterrupted and stable power supply' given to the city by a private service provider, "Torrent Power"; 'No shortage of water', thanks to the Narmada project; 'wide and maintained roads'; very 'friendly & traditional, yet progressive people'; a 'fairly (relatively) responsive municipal corporation'; 'good educational and health facilities'; plenty to do & see for people of all ages; the gujju love for food and music, etc.etc. Ahmedabad is a heritage city, with people still living in heritage buildings in the old city, and it also hosts some of the most modern schools like IIM and NID. Ahmedabad is a city where I have seen advertisements for new flats with an area of 3000 to 4000 sq. ft - joint families are still considered normal, and people still go to their 'native' place for festivals - which keep happening round the year - Navratri and Uttrayan (kite festival) are now famous. We have heritage walks and walks for charity and also the Sabarmati marathon. In short Ahmedabad is a city that is worth living in. However, the gujju love for 'adjust' can sometimes be exasperating, especially with regard to traffic sense - I have seen traffic jams with just one car coming from each direction at a cross road; I invariably find people demanding right-of-way by flicking on their headlights, even when driving on the wrong side of the divider, and then arguing about it with you; the railway crossings are a nightmare; encroachment onto roads, bad parking of vehicles is considered normal; traffic lights, zebra crossings, stop lines, and lanes don't mean a thing here - they are pieces of art, like the famous Ahmedabad ni gufa of the Doshi-M F Husain fame.

Well, in Ahmedabad's defence I can say, that every city has its own quirks.


 The famous Sidi Sayyad mosque jalli that is inspiration for the IIM-A logo
Our national bird is in abundance in this place..
 The chaotic traffic of Ahmedabad - in the old city (old city in this photo)
 Community garba celebrations during the Navratri
Ahmedabad ni gufa - Work of Doshi and M F Hussain

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