Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome to Ahmedabad, Xi!

Dear President,

Welcome to Ahmedabad.  I am glad you chose to visit the lovely city of Ahmedabad.  It looks lovely today, especially the routes you will be taking.  Actually, just the routes you will be taking.

The hotel you are staying at, right next to it, is a very narrow lane. (fun fact: the lane was once home to a giant goat who loved to chew tobacco.) The lane is usually so congested, today it will be shut down completely.  Even though you will not take the narrow lane (because we have six lane flyovers in the city, why would you take a single lane narrow gully).

The lake right across your hotel - it is usually full of people and activity - the food stalls around the lane serve some of the best food.  Too bad you won't be able to either see how we Amdavadis find joy in simple pani puri and or even taste it for that matter.  You see, you will be fed traditional Gujarati food (and you must hope that it is not altered to suit to your Chinese taste buds as Chinese food is altered to suit our taste buds).

The Riverfront where you and your delegation will meet the who's who of Indian corporates is next to the Sabarmati river.  The river, on an average day, stinks.  It also has floating garbage which is at various stages of decay.  Today, it is clean.  Maybe next time, you could visit the holy city of Varanasi.

Also, talking of the Riverfront, please notice those statues of flamingos, asiatic lions and one mystery animal which I think looks like a donkey, but could be a nilgai.  It is the proof how we Gujaratis live in harmony with nature. (also, as I write this I realise I live like some 300 kms from the lions and omg, that is so awesome. )

We Amdavadis, however, are very glad you have come down.  The roads are re-carpeted. Some of them, at least.  It has made us believe that the roads which are ruined overnight in a few hours of rain (or sometimes mysteriously even though there are no rains, like really, how does it work - the roads getting damaged - who steals away the excavated part in the pot hole? how can it magically disappear?) can also be repaired overnight.

That Gujarat has the magical ability of developing nice roads overnight.  I always knew we were awesome like that.  Wish we knew how to get things done, though.

Oh, and while you are at it, do understand that your country has kind of - sort of ruined some of our local businesses, like ceramic industry, because the CNG prices in the state are so high, and the fuel cost increases the cost of production, forcing a lot of small units to shut down.  Gujarat manufactures about 70 percent of India's ceramic.  Of course, thanks to anti-dumping duty, they are surviving, for now.  But there are other things too.  I am not sure they are too happy with the grand welcome you are getting.

Oh, and while we are at it, we are welcoming just you and your delegation that is officially coming over.  Not the intrusion at the border.  Please keep that in check.  That is not welcomed.

Hope you enjoy your stay here.



(PS: Views entirely personal)

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