You know you are in Ahmedabad when…!

  • You realize the city you are brought up in will assume prime importance, as it tends to grow on you.
  • You enjoy monsoon seasons by just opening your room window.
  • Somebody says “Amdavadi atle haramzadi”. (and yes, that boiling blood inside you!)
  • Your parents have no worries about your night outs.
  • You speak to each dog you pass… by name… and s/he wags his tail at you.
  • You get 10₹ copy and 400₹ coffee on the same road.
  • You see those unknown Streets, Pols with artistic designs.
  • You taste delicious food of a chef in restaurants/hotels/dhabas who’ve no hotel management degrees.
  • People celebrate with food – and it’s more than just for nutrition, health or just filling the belly.
  • You find dalwada for the rains, Aamras for summer, fafda-jalebi for Dussehra, Undhiyu for winter…
  • You don’t even mind when people from other states give Ahmedabad a Foodiefied tag.
  • When a gourmet’s paradise, a hub for gastronomy, RK or Jay Bhavani vada pav, Karnavati dabeli, Dakor gota, farali buff vada, Honest bhaji pav, Continental/Indian/Chinese food at Choice, Havmor ice-creams, juice and snacks at Shambhu’s Coffee Bar, the exquisite Gujarati thalis at Vishala, Rajwadu and Gordhan Thal – these are a few names which have ability to appease your taste buds. (Which actually, tends to be on the the most mind-boggling variety of food and sweeter side of the Ahmedabad.)
  • Two things are always on the streets of Ahmedabad any time of the day or night – Food centres and dogs.
  • You know all seasons “almost winter, winter, Summer, still summer, construction and Monsoon.”
  • The biggest business in town – start start-ups, private/public Limited companies or sell a delicious food items.
  • There are more Pvt. Ltd. companies, food joints in the city than hair on your head.
  • You’ve never had grain alcohol.
  • You write a check on the wrong bank and it bothers you very badly or it covers you anyway.
  • You won’t believe your eyes when you see the lane (called Khau Gali) in the morning (when it is desolate and empty) and then see it come alive in the evenings.
  • You cannot wait to show the real Ahmedabad’s humble beauty to the non-residents, in all glory.
  • You stop to wonder that Ahmedabadis suffer from any-street-food-withdrawal symptoms every now and then.
  • An isolated small shed where a food item is cooked well, becomes famous without having any great infrastructure or ambiance to attract food lovers, for which there is absolutely no scarcity!
  • Two elders start that nostalgic talk about how they were in two adjacent home of the same societies, or were in two buildings of the same area, and how they used to roam around the awesome Ahmedabad, and you feel like going back in time when going out with friends did not mean AlphaOne/PVR/Iscon/10 Acres/City Gold/Wide Angle/Drive-In.
  • You hear a previously unheard of area ending with Nagar, Pur. Enough said.
  • You keep arguing and fighting with your friends from the other part of Ahmedabad, as to whether east Ahmedabad is better or west Ahmedabad, without any meaning anything you say. Because you already know Ahmedabad is too good to just a part of it, when you have an opportunity to love the whole of it.
  • Its takes more time from Ahmedabad airport and/or railway station to city than from Mumbai airport and/or railway station to Ahmedabad.
  • You can’t remember the roads no matter how hard you try.
  • You find yourself drawn to S.G., C.G. Road or on a national highway every day.
  • Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is considered “going with the flow”.
  • The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit by traffic policemen.
  • Distance just not defined in terms of time, but two different measures while going and coming back!
  • When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, “It was different.”
  • Nothing is at your walk able distance capacity.
  • The ideal idea of a traffic jam is twelve cars waiting to pass a tractor.
  • When you found yourself lost and the person suggest you to go Central Bus Terminus (Lal Darwaja) – Because according to him/her, that’s almost the only easiest way to find where you exactly are and now you could move, wherever you want to move in whole city.
  • “Okay so I took a right, then a left, then left again, then I came to a circle from where I took the turn on the right and… is that the same tree I passed at the beginning of my ride? What?!” this situations quit normal in the city called Ahmedabad.
  • According to your mom, Khakhras, theplas should be/are at the top and best in your travel food list.
  • You can start your conversation and make friendship with anybody by just saying “કેમ છો ?” (Kem cho?). Yes, Ahmedabadi are the friendliest people you ever could found.
  • One side of the road has heavy traffic from 8-11 A.M. and the exactly opposite side from 6-9 P.M..
  • The road you took in the morning is all fine but is dug up beyond recognition by the evening.
  • It is normal to see an old man riding through town on a riding bicycles or any vehicles.
  • When 3 year olds near you communicate in three languages! Gujarati, Hindi and English?!
  • A Gujarati person tries to speak Hindi way too fast.
  • People call everyone older than you “ભાઈ ” (bhai), “બેન” (ben). Still. Not uncles and aunties!
  • “વહાલા” (Vahala), “બકા” (Baka), “દિકા”  (Dika), “બેટા” (Beta) are terms of endearment the same as “honey” “sweetheart” “dear”…
  • “some” don’t use turn signals because everybody knows where they’re going.
  • Your school/college classes were cancelled because of bomb threats, heat but not the cold.
  • You’ve ridden the school/college bus for an hour each way.
  • You’re born on July 3 and your family receives gifts from the local merchants because you’re the first baby of the year.
  • Your parents and grand parents attending sort of informative seminars, Gujarati Dayro, Bhajans, at a packed halls, grounds or any of the temple or at clubs. while your friends are attending an equally packed Ahmedabad palace grounds to get sunburnt, or any other music festivals and both are cursing the same time deadline.
  • We mind our own businesses. Like seriously!
  • Your “Vacation” means going to the family reunion. In weekends.
  • The local paper covers national and international headlines on one page but requires, 3 pages for sports, 5 pages for advertisements.
  • Night-life strictly sticks to the night. Especially during the festival Navaratri. Quite literally.
  • The signals are so long the rickshaw driver had time to get out, clean the wind shield and smoke a cigarette.
  • Auto drivers don’t come where you want to go but you go where auto drivers are willing to take you!
  • You know there are more real estate based advertisement papers than total number of newspapers.
  • Some Ahmedabadi’s morning starts with some radio stations. (Clarification: I don’t know any) But Still.
  • Public transportation is overflow with most of students.
  • At a times, you think river front garden is “nature”.
  • You find yourself alone on your vehicle with defining your own definition of freedom.
  • When somebody say food is their first and only priority and you keep telling them it’s scientifically incorrect.
  • You do awesome weird stuff and do not update it on social platforms.
  • You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean west Ahmedabad.
  • You get a thought of starting a start-up or even any social meet-ups.
  • The social meet-ups organize at the coffee shop, the garden or in any play ground.
  • Aunties in your neighbourhood scream at the top of their voices asking you to play in playgrounds, and go poker face when you ask them to find a place for you to play there, if at all there are any playgrounds left in the locality.
  • You’ve fun arguing with Ahmedabadi policemen.
  • You’ve that extra born right to annoy your neighbours.
  • You realize this is written by just another Ahmedabadi.
  • You get to know you actually are in Ahmedabad.
  • When you know there’s a lot other things remains unmentioned here. And that’s probably fair because one just can’t sum up 464 km² city with few lines.

To the outsiders,
Oh… have I tempted you enough to plan a visit to Ahmedabad yet?!
Aavjo to pachi 🙂

Dear Ahmedabad,

Okay, it’s been real, but I think the time has come for us to split ways. Normally, I’m the person who would say “it’s not you, it’s me.” Hell, more often than not, it’s not even a lazy cliché I’m using. It usually is my fault. It’s my own fault. But this time? This time it’s on you.
If it’s not smog, it’s superficiality. It’s not summer, it’s hot anyway. If it’s not pointless conversations about organic produce, it’s an equally meaningless discussion of who knows whom. If it’s not endless traffic, it’s… well, you get my point. But I don’t think this is entirely one-sided. I think, whether you admit it now or not, you’ll be glad to be rid of me for few days, Ahmedabad.
Hopefully we can both grow from this experience.
Your sincere citizen,
Sneha