Last weekend, a long overdue trip to Ambaji materialised and I had the fortune/misfortune of spending the weekend in Ahmedabad, with friends I had not met for quite a while.
Civic, Traffic, Development There is a fair amount of civic development – roads are much wider, probably more from the newer locations, construction apparently seems to be booming, though real estate bubble seemed to be similar to Bombay on a smaller scale. There are fair amount of flyovers, traffic seemed pretty smooth, though you still had the leg signal by Autos, no helmets worn, talking on the phone.
Retail & Consumption I have written about this earlier and nothing really seems to have changed. Amdavadis prefer to shop at high street or at shopping center – apparently because they are cheaper and negotiations can happen, also there are no parking charges. Friend quoted a couple of malls which were supposedly doing well, but that is a debate for another time. Value & Expensive consumption is on the rise. The percentage of consumers actually willing to pay for ‘Experience’ is much lower.
Entertainment, Food, Prohibition Multiplex have gathered steam, vying with farm houses and others aspects, Food scene rules – MNC, Brands have had to Jainize their offerings, whilst the old one store/rekdi have become chain entrepreneurs – not all of them successful. Different cuisines suitably altered to meet the ‘high Gujju standards’ are the norm, with Italian and chinese jostling for space. Prohibition still exists, however there is quite a relaxation in terms of permit issuance and the relevant fees 🙂 So the vegetarians also can indulge to their satisfaction. However, the late opening of stores and most of them closed on Sunday continues to dominate. Saturday & Sunday eating out has gathered momentum on par with Bombay, however the home delivery is really a way of you being obliged attitude.
There is quite an influx of migrants compared to earlier, however demarcation of areas is quite visible and relevant. The old Amdavadis still consider them new, even if they’ve been there for a decade plus and are unforgiving. However, the 2nd and 3rd generation seems to be more in tune with everyone and it is not difficult to hear different languages being spoken with ease in public domain.
One question that all my friends keep asking me – Why don’t you shift back to Gujarat? was asked again this time around. And honestly, I have no clue why?