It’s 8:30 am and I rush out of my house. I can feel the celebration and scent of festivity in the air around me. The Sun is rising in distance kissing our Pink City with the warmth of joy on this chilly early winter morning. After all it’s Jaipur’s 289th Foundation Day also called as Jaipur Sathapna Divas or (in my terms) HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAIPUR!
It’s the day to celebrate and cherish the dozens of stories associated with the lovely Pink City and see how the city has evolved over these eventful 289 years.
Anyone who travels around the city for the for first time can easily feel the love and pride all the Jaipurites hold for their city. So, I thought of walking through some of the heartfelt stories of this incredible city in the words of its own children.
“Jaipur is my birth place and home town and no matter how many times I visit around the city, I’m always fascinated by its historical and cultural environment.” says Sankalp Udaywal, a PGDM 1st year student. The city has gradually turned into a host of opportunities, nurturing budding startups and grown with the increasing population. The numerous shows and eventful fests are adding more colors to the Pink City. However, among everything else, growth of infrastructure has turned out to be the major development Jaipurites have experienced over the last decade.
“I remember when I came to Jaipur in the year 2000, Clark’s Amer was the only multistory building in the whole vicinity which could be easily spotted and places like Vaishali Nagar were rarely known to people.” -comments Dr. Anvay Bhargav of Jaipuria Institute of Management when asked what changes he has seen to the city. However, his companion feels that Jaipur has greater potential which it needs to live up to in order to compete with cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad.
“Jaipur is not only confined to JLN Marg ; take a turn from that road and you’ll see the insightful dumping grounds and trash bins with cows and pigs roaming around.” remarks Dr. Sudipti Gupta, a young environmentalist and my professor.
Mrs Bhavna Singh remarks about the growing rebellious nature in the young crowd of Jaipur, “Youngsters are losing their dignity in the name of modernization. Mimicking young blood of other metropolitans is not bad but it should only be done in a productive way! When I first came to Jaipur, 7 years back, I believe people were more genuine and cultural. But gradually I’ve seen this city being converted from a cultural city to a ‘supposedly’ world class city. The only thing that remains constant is the heritage which everyone strives to protect” This is a timely indication that we need to be careful that we don’t rip ourselves off our uniqueness in the name of modernisation.
Amidst all these serious issues the young Jaipurites “LOVE the way Jaipur is!” say Ritu, Niharika, Jalpa, Vishal and Sanidhya who claim to bring a positive impact to the city by working with their college for the poor people and disabled children.
“I would prefer to live in Jaipur over any other city in this world.” proclaims Harshit Chhabra, a budding technocrat of the city with a big proud smile on his face.
Be it the mature elders or the happy go lucky youth, all have gifted something or the other to their city by doing their bits and this is what keeps ignited the zeal of Jaipur! For it’s not the infrastructure or government but the citizens who build the city.
It’s 8:30 pm and I’m driving back home. I see a kid looking out of the car window at the city lights in amazement. He shyly passes a smile at me as he realises my gaze upon him. I smile back at him waiting eagerly to be astonished at the miracles my home town would unfurl in front of me!