When Gandhinagar brags about its clean roads, Surat says ‘Hey, that’s cute!’. When Ahmedabad brags about it being called ‘Manchester of India’, because of its textile industries, Surat says ‘Sure, li’l brother!’. When Diu brags about its beaches, Surat says, ‘That’s it?’. No, Surat is not a brat. Remember that guy in school days, who was great at Academics, Sports and Dancing? Well yes, Surat is that guy for Gujarat. So, this guy deserves a chance to show the reasons, why he is the kukkad kamaal da:
1. WTF (What the food!)
Surat is home to dishes, whose names would literally twist your tongue, but whose taste would put your tasting buds back in their places. With dishes like Undhyu, Ponk, Locho and Ghaari, Surat has something to fulfill all your foodie fantasies! (By the way, Surat has its own variety of Pani Puri and Chinese.)
2. Badi Khub’Surat’ Ho!
Despite of its industrial backdrop, Surat is a rather hygienic city. In fact, one of the cleanest in India. (Obviously, if you’re making money by selling Diamonds, you’ve enough of common sense to keep your surrounding clean. Warna foreign wala client kya bolega!)
3. Sun of a beach
Oh yes! A town with all the modern amenities and industries on one hand, and gorgeous beaches on the other, is definitely THE place to live in. Beaches like Suvali, Ubharat and Dumas look as if they’ve been created on Adobe Photoshop! (By someone who knows Photoshop, obviously!)
4. Roti, Kapda, Makaan is attained by Heera, Kapda, Dukaan
You might find this pretty repetitive and boring, that whenever people talk about Surat, the first thing that strikes their mind is ‘Diamonds’. (This is because, you know, you can’t ignore a diamond!) And actually, much of Surat’s business is driven by the Diamond industry (9 out of 10 diamonds in the world are polished in Surat) and the Textile industry (with over 100,000 mills).
5. Paisa, Paisa, Paisa
Surat’s municipality is the richest in India, as it used to be the highest tax paying city in India. The economy is so well established, that there’s hardly any effect of recession on Surat! No doubt, it is the economic capital of the economic capital of this country.
6. It’s DREAM come true!
Gujarat Government is planning to establish a Diamond Research And Mercantile near Surat. This place would be a hub for Diamond industries. This means more opportunites, better standard of living , and more importantly jyada paisa!! (I think Gujarat government has an all together separate department for abbreviations. GIFT, DREAM, and who knows, maybe DRY State stands for Daaru par Rok hai Yaha!)
7. Awesome Mausam
Surat has been gifted with an amazing climatic condition. It average temperature in Summers is around 37 degree Celsius , that in Monsoon is around 32 degree Celsius and in Winters is 23 degree Celsius. So more all less, it’s good all the time!
8. IT is nice!
After rocking the diamond and textile industry, Surat is preparing to rock the IT industry. Both Microsoft and IBM have chosen Surat for developing it into one of India’s smart cities with special measures of Waste Management, Disaster Management and Citizen Services. Hello, Banagalore!
9. Surat is mini India!
Yes, along with the Diamond city, silk city, city of flyovers, Surat is also known as mini India. Surat has immigrants from almost all parts of India. It has second highest number of migrants in India after Mumbai. Surat celebrates almost all festivals of India. Festivals of Maharashtra and festivals of Gujarat are equally celebrated in Surat. And Surat is the only city of Gujarat to celebrate festivals of other states of India. Surat has its own festivals as well, one of them is Chandani Padvo. So to summarize, Surat is one of the most culturally diversified city of India.
10. Surti Lalas
When you ask for an address and the person comes with you to drop you to your address, you are in Surat. Yes, people in Surat are the friendliest, the most helpful and the jolliest people you will ever come across in India. People in Surat play Antakshari during floods and celebrate earthquakes on footpath with lots of food. Hindus welcome Tazia on Muharram and Muslims welcome Ganpati on Ganesh Chaturthi here. When you are in Surat, you are neither Hindu nor Muslim. You are a Surti.
If you still can’t find Surat interesting enough to live in, well, they haven’t yet started selling plots on the Moon!
[Featured Photo Courtesy: Prashant Champaneri]