Most of the people who know about Jamshedpur know of it as the Steel City or the first city to have roads made of waste plastic. Named after the founding father of Tata Steel, Jamshedhji Nusserwanji Tata, Jamshedpur is a small city that boasts of one of the largest steel producing companies in the country and Tata Motors, a major automobile manufacturing company. But that is what those who have never been here know. But here is the city from the eyes of someone who has loved the city for all other reasons.
It will be wrong to say that I grew up in Jamshedpur because I did not. Owing to my father’s transferable jobs my growing up happened in inertia of motion and I became a concoction of cultures. Jamshedpur, however, is my hometown. I spent most of my vacations here. My father used to take me around the city on his bike. He would take me to the places where he used to play, his old house, his school. He spoke about these places with a certain frenzy in his voice. I always wondered what was so exciting about the dilapidated houses or the non-existent fields. Excuse my lack of attachment. That happened because I never got enough time to get attached to places or people. Then I shifted to Jamshedpur and now I can relate to that excitement my father always had while showing me around.
Jamshedpur is also called a green city. Not a part of the city is deprived of greenery. The morning air is always fresh and cold and one can here the chirping of birds early in the morning. Their chirps have still not been silenced by the disturbing honks of the vehicles. At dusk one has the pleasure of seeing flocks of birds flying in the orange-blue sky, returning home. Watching the sunset is not just a luxury for us, it is a routine. The absence of high-rises makes the sky and its glamour accessible to the eyes from everywhere.
The street food here is to die for. Some of the streets here are a foodie’s heaven. Movie theatres and malls are rare luxuries for us and that is something I admire. When most people these days go on movie dates and hangout in malls, we know what it is like to walk on the streets canopied by trees after a spell of rain or sit under a tree in a park and talk. We know the joy of eating hot “litti” during winter and hogging “golgappa” from the street side stalls. The best time to visit Jamshedpur is around 3rd of March, Founder’s Day. The entire city is adorned with lights. Not just ‘lights’. I, most frankly, do not have words to give a visual idea of what it looks like. The city looks like a bride. Also when in Jamshedpur one cannot the “masala cold drink” or “freezy pan” near Regal Ground. One cannot overlook the Straight Mile Road, a one mile straight road that lights up after evening by the headlights of the vehicles.
Sometimes while riding my scooty I stare at the sky, absolutely oblivious to the traffic and a sheepish smile appears on my face, unknowingly. When the first monsoon shower wets my city, the earthy smell of the soils fills my heart with wild exuberance. The trees are covered with flowers, red, purple and yellow. The streets are covered with trampled flowers that still look beautiful. I look at the sky with gratitude in my eyes, I do. I do not know if my acclamations are ever received but I do it anyway. We are a set of closely-knit people. We are warm inside and extremely loud outside. Not one person who has visited the city even once has gone out with regret in his heart and dislike on his mind. This is my tribute to the city that has made me what I am today and even if I have failed to do justice to her, I am proud I attempted.