The city of Sun

Yes! Surat was previously known as Suryapur and hence it is the city of the sun 🙂  It is the eighth largest city and ninth largest metropolitan area of India 😀 I re-located to Surat at a tender age of 13 and since then it is home to me! 8 long years (minus 2, because I re-located to Vadodara for pursuing studies) have been amazing in this city and looking forward to many more…

This city has introduced me to amazing people in my life and I will always be thankful for that 🙂 Spending my school days and college days here, I have met amazing personalities and  have made life-long friends.

Isn’t it amazing to see our city being at number 4 in the Smart Cities Challenge!? I must say that the city has developed a lot in the past decade! A thumbs up to The Surat Municipal Corporation and to all the Surtis 😀 There was a review from the New York Times which mentioned “After 2006 mega flood where about 80% of Surat was in water, the whole world was thinking that Surat has gone 10 years back and it will need 5 years to regain its position. But Surtis proved all of them wrong! Within 2 months it was back on track and in two years we were fastest growing city of the world.” After the 1994 plague, Surat has always been in the Top 10 of India’s Cleanest City.

We have an amazing event called U Turn that happens every Sunday. Everyone comes to the venue and enjoys with everyone around. It is an event where you can enjoy, have fun, dance, paint, love life and share things.It is an initiative by Surat Police Supported by Surat Municipal Corporation & Managed by Yatin Sangoi & Jagdish Italia for the city to bring out joy & creativity in our lives.

There is an old saying in gujarati ‘Surat Nu Jaman Ane Kashi Nu Maran’ which means ‘Eat in Surat and Die in Kashi’ for the ultimate experience of the soul. How can we miss out on the delicious food of Surat! We have food that touches the soul, isn’t it? These are a few mouth watering food items that we have are:

  • Locho – It is the most famous and unique food item.
  • Undhyu – The best one is made at our home specially by our grandma!
  • Ponk – Surat has seen many visitors coming in during the months of December and January specially for this delicacy which can be eaten in various forms!
  • Ghari – A sweet which is relished by everyone.
  • Lashkari Tomato Bhajiya – Severed hot and tasty at Dumas.

Surat being known as a Textile and Diamond City worldwide has many thing to offer from saris, salwar kameez, dress pieces and many more. Ghod  Dod Road and Ring Road are the best places to shop for clothes. The city is one the most important centers of Zari manufacturing in India. We also have shopping malls like Surat Central, VR Mall, RahulRaj, Iscon Mall, Lavanya A woman’s Paradise, Abhinandan AC Market, Rajhans Ornate – High Street Retail Hub, Star Bazaar, Big Bazar, Westfield Shopping Center, The Palladium Mall and many more!

Some days back, a friend-turned-stranger had visited Surat and sent me Snapchat from the Surat Railway Station saying “Surat Sucks”. I had quit talking to this person for some personal issues, and was quite moved when I saw the picture and comment she sent. Anyone from the city would have been shocked! It is so insensitive of her to behave in such a way! I replied her in the same language which she used, “So why are you in a city that sucks?” and I got a reply from her hours later which said, “Majboori! Finally leaving shitty Surat”. I, being a human with moral values and self respect didn’t react to her shitty stuff. This proves that now a days people have no moral values, have become numb to emotions and feelings, are full of ego and they just believe that they are the greatest of all. These people usually tend to be losers! 〉〉

I had to write about this not because I want all of you to know, but because I have been attached to this city and it’s my home and it will always be! I will not let anybody say anything wrong and insensitive about my home!

I am proud to be a Surti and I know we all are 😀

Below are words from some proud Surtis:

“Though Surat is not the city where I was born i.e. not my janmabhoomi, but it definitely has been my karmbhoomi! It’s a city that has made my childhood memorable, teenage years cherishable, youth exciting and current life rocking!
Surat is a mini Mumbai, a cosmopolitan city where each one of us is raring to go and leave the past behind. Be it the plague or the floods or the earthquake…anything! Surtis spring up back in action as nothing had ever happened. We fight back and we are survivors .
In the recent years our city has seen incredible development in its infrastructure and economy. It’s rated the fastest developing city of India and makes my head held high.
A city full of life, vigor, vibrance, action…I love everything about it. It has given me my precious friends and work that has given me recognition and that I love. Yes one major quality lacking is the quality of education and thus it’s value. We still have a long at to go for high quality educational institutions coming up in Surat.
All in all I have pride in my heart and joy on my face for my city Surat!” – Sumita Shah (Director Operations – Tapti Kids Preschool)

“Surat! Where do I begin…it is my birthplace and so obviously it is close to my heart. As a child I was always away from Surat cause I studied in a boarding school…but of course it kept calling me back. Whenever we traveled around India, on the way back home the board at Surat station gave inner peace. A peace which you feel when you reach home. Surat is a growing city and the growth is speeding. I remember narrow paths are now giant roads. We have great business opportunities, lots of entertainment spots, big brands to shop at the same time we have a clean green Surat. As for me Surat has given wings to my career. so yes Surat is home to me. In a number of years it will be a place to watch out for! With growth, safety and prosperity. My grandmother always said “Surat sona ni murat”…so true.” – Jenil Ishwar (Fashion Stylist)

I was born in an artist family so I have seen art from my childhood! In Surat there were some artists who were working but as there was no source of income, they treated art as a hobby not as a career. There were some artists like Vasudev Smart and Thakorlal Mistry and after that generation Rohit Zaveri and Jagdeep Smart who really worked in the field of arts. Jagdeep smart gave Surat the college of Fine Arts and now we see the big change in art scenario. I feel that now because of institutions like Fine Arts and Gujarat Kala Pratishthan, we will see big cultural changes in the city and I am very sure that Surat will be called ‘Art City’ soon.” – Rajarshi Smart (Artist)

“Surat, earlier known as Diamond city, Textile city is now emerging as Real Estate city as well. The city that has its own economical growth, pumped always positively by the citizen of city itself, has never been dependent on national oe world economy. The food, friendly people, adaptive lifestyle and the weather keeps me attached to this city for forever. I was born and brought up in Surat and this city has given me endless opportunity to explore my ideas, extend the vision and execute it! The city will now witness great new Real Estate projects as well as International Diamond Bourse. The city definitely will have great importance much more than it is holding now. The city’s future is crystal clear and next young and bright generation will live a great life as the growth is already taking place in full throttle.” – Keyur Kheni (Hindva)

“With Surat I’ve always had a love – hate relationship 🙂 Its actually not the city but the people living in the city build the spirit of a city! Surat has given given me a lot – Memories, Name, Fame, Career, Relationships and I’m pretty happy n contended about it. What pinches me here is we are still not able to outgrow from the old school thinking! In spite of the commercial and infrastructural development, I still feel we need to get out of our shelves and look beyond it because as a human only if we are persistent to change ourselves our society will! As far future of the city, as a matter of fact the entire country…. It’s only and only if we as society change – So shall the city or the Country!
But I would bit shy away from saying…I love my city and  I feel extremely proud of whatever little significant change that see around.” – Roopangi Dewan (Headmasters)

– Jessica Pancholi

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