Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the changing face of Ranchi

A researcher who was supposed to visit us and provide "technical inputs" declined to come down to Ranchi as she had her own reservations about the place and we had to re-schedule the meeting in Kolkata...

Additionally recently I have noticed the mention of Ranchi city in some bollywood movies (Bipasha a "small town girl"in Bachna ae Haseeno hailed from Ranchi) and Suhel Seth's surcastic takes on this "small town". All this categorisation and perception of Ranchi being some remote destination is saddening.. So I decided to put across some points. Please read on...

Ranchi in 1995

- The city slept at 7:30 pm. With not many options for a night life there ws no other alternative but to sleep at night!

- Brands: What are they?!!

- Eat outs: the famous ones were Kaveri,KRSNA, Punjab Sweet House (economy dining) and if looking for a better ambience the destinations were Yuvraj Palace & may be the Gymkhana Club

- Theatres: walls qouted with paan stains, strong stench of urine, an indisciplined crowd that would whistle at bizzare things and suffocating ambience

- the comfort levels of girls wanting to freak out: Firstly the city did not offer more than a crowded Church Complex to "freak out", girls in western clothes were usually ogled at & at times followed home after "boarding a rickshaw"

Ranchi in 2009

-You are standing at a busy take away counter and savouring chicken pita bread rolls from their lebanese menu..its 10:00 pm and the city does not show any signs of sleeping!

- Brands: ahemm...UCB,Wills Lifestyle,Reebok, Adidas,Woodland(all exclusive showrooms & Ranchites please add on to this list) besides a Big Bazar and Reliance Mart. Grocery stores like Spencers and Reliance Fresh, Beauty saloons of Javed Habib, VLCC and Loreal & last but not the least - Satya Paul's sarees...

- Eat outs: while Kaveri,KRSNA, Punjab Sweet House still rule the taste buds of Ranchites but this sector is the one that has transformed completely..the hospitality, the ambience, the menu, the food (even the bars) of these new hotels (Capitol Hill, Capitol Residency, BNR Chanakya) are really commendable..Besides these there are several new restuarants and 2 CCDs & the under construction Raddisson is very much looked forward to

- Theatres: gone are the days of walls qouted with paan stains, strong stench of urine, an indisciplined crowd. yes we have just one multiplex today but with several others being under construction movies will no longer be watched on pirated DVDs!

- As you drive out of your house noticing dozens of girls speeding past in their scooties is a common site..not only do the girls freely hang out, the scooties are made use of to even empower the mommies who do not need to hire rickshaws any more!

The best part is that people's purchasing & spending on entertainment has really increased even in this so called small town. So do not have preconcieved notions in your mind when asked to visit our city! (After all even our very own captain Dhoni has decided to build his house in his motherland!!!!)