There are 4 reasons as to how you would have come across the “city” RAIPUR.
1. You have a relative who works or studies there.
2. You are on a train travelling across the nation and find the words “RAIPUR JUNCTION” on peering through your window.
3. You are a student trying to memorize the capitals of all the states in our country
Briefly introducing to those of you hearing the word “Raipur” for the very first time, Raipur is the capital of the state of Chhattisgarh. On the basis of ruins of a fort and other structures located on the southern part of the city, some historians believe that the city of Raipur was in existence since the last quarter of the 14th century. Raipur is among the richest cities & also is one of India’s biggest iron markets. The state of Chhattisgarh is presently governed by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) one of the two main political parties of India.
Now, on a less dreary note, Raipur is certainly not a place that will capture your interest right away. As a matter of fact you should consider yourself lucky if it does anytime at all.
It’s a place where the stars are almost always absent, where the moon seems to blush orange in the night, where the locals find chewing pan a delightful pastime and quite possibly it’s the only city in the world where it could rain cats and dogs and you could still find yourself sweating profusely both at the same time.
Now, on questioning myself as to why I still continue living in this place despite its evident inadequacy to project itself as a habitable surrounding for peaceful and mutual co-existence just one phrase comes to mind;
“The freedom of choice”
Raipur may not be a lot of things but what it is, is a place as close to seventh heaven for the young and the restless in our country.
It might not measure up to the word “city” (reason as to why I have used the term “place” instead) but in today’s world I often wonder, do we really want it to? Today’s modern cities all have 3 things in common, heavy mind numbing traffic, pricey rates and most importantly they all lack a place to just sit, relax and listen to the dear mother earth, far far away from the hectic everyday life we all lead today.
It was only the other day last week that my friends and I drove our bikes to the mall (City Mall, one of the two malls in Raipur), watched a movie at innox, bought a few clothes from ADIDAS and decided to treat ourselves for pasta in a fine Italian restaurant for lunch.
Soon after lunch we let rip our bikes on a drag race on the all famous airport road, a beautiful stretch of ten kms with trees either side, a road so perfect, a place so silent, just me , my friends and our roaring engines paved way for an afternoon hard to forget.
And last night, my friends and I stopped for dinner after a tiring day. Hit by a financial crunch, we decided to enjoy our dinner on a fine dining inexpensive dhaaba on the streets, with truck drivers for company we sat and enjoyed our roadside toast.
Last night as I sat being served hot paneer butter masala and tandoori naan my eyes caught sight of a sleek Black imported car with the letter’s B. M. W stamped across the rear, cruise elegantly past the entry gate of the mall right opposite.
It was only then that the irony hit me. Today, we all live in a world where we all have to compromise on one thing for the other. One just can’t expect to lead a simple and calm life in a city, and neither can he set in search of brands to enjoy certain luxuries in a place else.
What Raipur offer’s is a unique recipe made to live life the way one wants to. Whether it be to watch a movie at PVR or to watch the sun set across the mountains, whether it be to enjoy a coffee with a loved one at cafÃ© coffee day or to enjoy a silent walk .Whether it be to take pleasure to stand and stare at the BMW’S and AUDI’s parked amidst traffic signals or to take pleasure driving past them recklessly taking advantage of the negligent traffic rules Raipur has got it all.
But, I believe people should not come to Raipur unless they really have to, its certainly not suited as a tourist attraction, there are probably a million other places in our country better off for that purpose.
So, what is Raipur exactly?
The answer to that question brings me to the fourth category of people to which you belong if u have heard of the term “Raipur” before,
4. You have lived and loved the simplicity of Raipur, a home for everyone, a mystery for the bold and most importantly a paradise for the young and the restless.
The writer is a Raipur based correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz