Bikram has an interesting tag in his website called Incredible India!, and I have picked it up…
The rules are:
1. The list contains all the states of India and their capitals are in brackets.
2. Make bold the states you have visited, and mention your favourite memories of that state.
3. Include only states that you have really experienced, and have felt the culture of the place. The touch-and-go while travelling in a train does not count, because that way I believe I’d have seen a little more, but it does not give me a feel of the place and so they need to be actually visited.
Since I have visited a very few state capitals, I will include only those here.
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) : I was born and brought up in Chennai. I loved the city till before about a decade when IT did not yet boom. Every profession had its prestige back then. Now its only about IT and the money it brings (mostly). Though I was a part of it, I hated the ultra competitive atmosphere in the schools of Chennai which confines students to the books – at an age where they ought to be merrier and happier. I love the musical tradition and musical tastes of the people. I think Chennai was an intellectual city, but these days that tradition is slowly eroded by the ever pervasive IT/BPO sector. But good to see many types of industries (like automobile SEZ, etc) developing there. When the glitz and the glamor of IT/BPO is gone, that will surely help.
Bangalore (Karnataka): I don’t like the name ‘Bengaluru’, not yet 🙂 The most impressive thing about this city is the greenery and the huge number of parks you can find across the city! Most of the houses make it a point to at least have a small garden, and a lot of trees in the roads are preserved to make the already green ambiance, greener and cooler. I did not switch on the fan in summer (sometimes) and that speaks how good the climate there is! It actually makes you lazy! I was lucky to have my house and office in the same area, otherwise the traffic would have killed me! I don’t know if I am different, but I think the malls are the most boring places to go… I like the theatres in them though… You can get away with any of the languages – Kannada, Tamil, English, Telugu or Hindi in this city – people will understand, and perhaps reply in the same language too.
Mumbai (Maharashtra): Back then, a couple of companies I worked for had their head office in Mumbai and hence I had to visit this place at least twice in a year. I love the spirit of the city. Once you get down at Dadar, the energy of the people is evident by the pace with which they walk. They love to work, and are among the most active citizens of the country. I love their attitude too – Once I asked for a ticket to ‘VT’ and the guy in the counter stared at me and said, ‘CST’. I said ok, CST 🙂 Traveling in the electric trains, are a nightmare if you happen to take it during peak hours. I was not able to get down at where I wanted to – the crowd carried me out, a couple of stations after that! Once I was there during Ganapathy Pooja (Vinayaka Chadurthi) – You should see how enthusiastically they celebrate that festival! When they go to immerse the idol in the beach, whole housing complexes, families and everyone are on the road singing ‘Ganapathy Bapa Mooria’. Yeah, the vehicles had to wait, but it was one of the rarest occasions I loved waiting, looking and listening to their enthusiastic chants. You can go out at 12′ O clock in the night in Mumbai and still expect to eat somewhere!
Hyderabad (Andhra Pradhesh): Though I am more familiar with the South of AP (Andhra), as my relatives live there, I have gone to the North of AP (Telangana districts) only thrice. And that too only to Hyderabad city. The first time I went there, it was late in the night and there was only one Auto. He asked me ‘From where are you?’, I said ‘Chennai’. Then, ‘Aap Madrasi ho?’ I said yeah! I was surprised as I was talking to him in Telugu, and he was replying to me in Hindi! I am still not able to decide if Hyderabad is a South Indian city or a North Indian city! It guess it has the best of both the worlds. I liked the Ramoji film city – that was a very different tourist place!
Ranchi (Jharkhand): This is the only North Indian city I have been to. Its a hill station actually, with a wonderful climate. The people there are so different, yet so similar 🙂 I loved the rides on the rickshaws and even Jeeps (which are used like share autos). They use mustard oil (I think) for cooking, and that was the only difficult part. I was here only for three days, and hence cannot say much about this city which has become synonymous with the name ‘Dhoni’ 🙂
Thiruvananthapuram/ Cochin (Kerala): Yeah, I think Kerala has two capital cities 🙂 And both are equally wonderful. I was very young when we visited the Thiruvananthapuram Palace and Cochin shipyard. Later on, I used to go on job. Once, there was some movie of Mammoty and Prithiviraj and a huge crowd was standing outside the theater. I wanted to see that movie too, but was not able to due to lack of time! One interesting thing in Kerala is, there is not much of difference between cities and rural areas. You can go across Kerala only to find that the entire stretch is filled with houses! and you never know when you are outside a city and when you enter another! I managed to learn even a bit of Kannada, but Malayalam is so tough to learn! Even for a person who knows Tamil!! As far as development goes, MG Road Cochin is bigger than MG Road Bangalore! Of course, I love Malayalam movies and songs. The songs are so melodious.
So, you can also take up this tag, if you like.
Related Post: Chennai and Bangalore.