The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 28 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Over the hills and far away

Aresident of Guwahati for a year-and-a-half now, Chanchal Saha has fallen in love with the city’s hills. “A ride to Nilachal and Kharghuli hills is a thrilling experience. The city looks spectacular from the top of the hills. Whenever I get time, I visit these places and explore the other hills too,” the resident of Kalapahar says.

What he finds even more fascinating is the greenery. “Guwahati is a city surrounded by hills and, more importantly, they are not bald hills,” he says.

Saha who hails from Calcutta and is the general manager (sales and marketing) of Subham Group, a city-based real estate company, feels driving in the city is an experience better than driving in metropolitan cities. He especially loves driving around Dighalipukhuri, parts of Uzan Bazar and the riverside.

“Unlike Calcutta, traffic in Guwahati is manageable. The mad rush is not there. But it would have been better if there were more roads in the city,” he says. He reckons Guwahati has a long way to go before roads as wide as in the metros come up. “It will take time but I think it will eventually happen.”

He terms Guwahati a miniature metro. “The city is developing at a fast pace. Be it food or retail, these sectors are booming.”

Did he face any difficulties while settling in the city? “Language was never a barrier because Bengali and Assamese are similar. Here I got the feel of how Rongali Bihu is celebrated in Assam. The experience of pandal-hopping and watching Bihu and tasting the dishes served will remain etched in my memory,” he says.

Despite developing so much fondness for the city in such a short span, Saha misses his hometown’s para culture (neighbourhood bonding). “I have not found the para culture of Calcutta elsewhere. Irrespective of one’s caste and culture, people in any locality of old Calcutta will always be there for you, both in times of happiness and hardship,” he says.

Saha also feels that the city does not have a nightlife. “After 9.30pm, the roads are almost deserted. Hardly any shop is open. But, of course, as the years roll by and trends change, this city will have a night life too,” he adds.

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