There’s a place in everyone’s life that has the power to instantly free you from all your worries. The place which is like magic, the place you call home. For me, that place will always be Ranchi. Ranchi, a beautiful city of lakes, as it is so lovingly called by people. The place which has given me the best friends of my life, the best experiences, the best memories. As I continue to move forward in a fast-paced metro city like Bangalore, the mere thought of Ranchi makes me slow down, and inevitably brings a smile to my face.
Now before you “youngsters” start gushing over all the hukka parlours and lounges, let me stop you right away. The Ranchi I am talking about is a lot different than what you see nowadays. So if you haven’t spent half a day at the upper Bazar, with the sun mercilessly burning your face, because you needed a specific kind of lace, you better stop reading this.
Yes, I agree that the city has developed in leaps and bounds, with so many malls and lounges and high-end restaurants coming in. The people dress better, drive better cars, and have much cooler places to “hangout” and “chill”. But if you haven’t gone in front of St. Xavier’s College to have phuchka (not golgappe, not panipuri, its phuchka you guys!), you and your friends have really missed out on something amazing. And who says we didn’t have places to hang out and chill with friends, we had airport road for long drives and Dhurva dam for bunking sessions. Even roaming around in the Shyamali colony after school, was one of the most interesting experiences.
If you ask about movie theatres to anyone who has lived in Ranchi before 2010, their answers would be incomplete without one name – Sujata. Before all the multiplexes and 3D theatres, Sujata was the undisputed champion of cinema halls. Our lives have undoubtedly become easier with the convenience of online booking, but I do miss the older times, such as the time in 2006, when Krrish was released, it took us 25 minutes to reach our seats from the main gate.
Today, as I travel in the sickening traffic of Bangalore, I can’t help but remember the time when the 35-minute bus ride from Bariatu to JVM Shyamali seemed so long and unbearable. This is of course before I was introduced to the infamous “Shyamali v/s DPS rivalry” or “howling at the top of our voices when we crossed the tunnel” phenomena. These experiences then made the bus ride a lot more fun and also, a lot shorter. My Ranchi is beautiful, serene, and the amazing delicacies don’t hurt either. Even with all the pizzas, pastas and luxury dining, no one can beat the lip-smacking litti chokha from Doranda, or a plate of sinfully delicious momos from Nepal house, or freezing chuskis from Morabadi.
The Ranchi I remember and love is filled with a number of such little joys, which never fail to amuse me. The sense of attachment I feel to this city is unparalleled, and I hope one day all you guys can witness the sheer majestic beauty of this place, just as I do every single day! I am happy, lucky, and most importantly, proud to have been associated with this place I call my home.
Written by – Snigdha Dubey, A Ranchite
Hatia Station’s pic credits – Arighna Mitra