It's been over an year now in Jaipur, for my Dad and me. And I've come to really like this city. Here are 10 things that I like most about Jaipur:
- The Sun!
Yessss! Back in Patna, the adjoining high-rise buildings cut-off sunlight into our apartment, and ever since the frequent 'monkey visits' started in the neighborhood, we'd been forbidden to go the terrace either! That was really stressful! You simply cannot imagine how essential sunlight is for me! Remember I told you about how I used to make a totally vella trip to the market near my sister's place in Delhi, just to soak up some sunlight! I don't need to resort to any such tactics over here. It's always bright and sunny here... too sunny in summers, in fact!
- Goodbye to "mango-allergy"!
For the first time since 2000, I've eaten mangoes to my heart's content... thanks to the hot and dry weather of Jaipur! My face has even cleared-up of all the old acne marks... punishments for those occasional indulgence to my mango-mania in Patna!
- Relaxed town.
Jaipur is a very relaxed and sleepy kind of city. Nobody is in any rush to get anywhere. No unnecessary honks in traffic. No irritated drivers. The day's work starts lazily after 11 am for most people, and ends at 6 pm latest. Shopkeepers are more than happy to have a completely unproductive chit-chat with you. Random passers-by are equally glad to help you out with any queries! Laid back and comfortable place.
- Modern recreational stuff.
Even though it's a 'small town', you can still enjoy the experience of shopping at big malls and eating out at PizzaHut or KFC etc. Doesn't really feel like we are missing any of the 'big city' benefits!
- Helpful nature of people.
The day we landed here, by train from Delhi, the auto-wallah decided to take us for a ride - a long detour around the city, as we were paying by the meter. I could see in Google Maps on my phone that he was going off-route, and I kept pointing it to him, but being a tourist city, the auto-wallahs are totally unscrupulous here! I eventually asked him to stop so that we could get off and take another auto. A local gentleman, who was walking by, came over to ask if anything was wrong. When we told him our destination, he confirmed that the auto-wallah was indeed taking a longer detour, and he actually started to call the police from his phone to report the auto-wallah, which scared him enough to take us via the correct route! Apparently, the auto-wallahs here are scared of the cops!
- Progressive thinking of people.
(Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90255662@N08/8195206337/)
- Conservative at heart.
While progressive, people here are still quite conservative too. Male worker-class, like repair-men etc., will not share an elevator alone with a female. They will get out and wait for the other elevator. Men actually hold the door open for women, AND follow the principle of 'ladies first'! All that pushing and shoving that I experienced in Delhi and Patna seems like another world now!
- Feeling safe as a woman.
Honestly! It took me quite a few months to adjust to the fact that I didn't need to keep looking behind my shoulder every now & then! Guys aren't as blatantly lecherous as they are in Delhi. In fact, they don't even stare at you the way they do in Patna! Sure they stare... (after all, guys will be guys, right!) but they're like at least a decade behind the times! This is about the hormone-crazed youth that I'm talking about here. Men in their late-forties or older look at you as if you're a very interesting toddler, up to some new antics! There's an automatic, elderly-sort-of protective look in their eyes, unlike the middle-aged creeps of Delhi!
- Eco-friendly community.
Green belts along the roads. Mandatory rain-water-harvesting and sewage treatment plants in apartments. Daily reminders in the newspaper, requesting citizens to refrain from flying kites in the mornings and evenings because smaller birds get entangled in the kite strings and become injured, or even die. Even a special helpline number for reporting pigeons in distress! And look at this picture... is it possible to see such a clear blue shade of the sky in Delhi or Patna?
- Small commute times.
We don't really need to travel to the main town too often, but even when we do, commuting isn't stressful. Traffic flows smoothly usually, and while distances are longer than they were in Patna (although much shorter compared to Delhi), the travel time is considerably lower. We hardly ever come across stubborn traffic jams. There were hold-ups in the rainy season, but nothing too serious.
I won't say that Jaipur is perfect, but it's a lot LOT better than the other places I've stayed in! I'm actually quite happy we made this move.
Here's more in "Ten-On-Tuesday"!
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