It's been about an year and a half of my posting in Visakhapatnam and now is the time for me to leave this city for greener pastures (not figuratively greener necessarily but literally "greener" pastures).
The city deserves a tearful adieu. Coming to this city wasn't really a very excited affair for me so much so that my requirement for posting was very crisp and clear "ANYTHING but Vizag please". Then as fate would have it (अब होनी को कौन टाल सकता हैं ?) I landed up in Vizag with no expectations from the city and with a deep desire for a "exit strategy" ASAP. Not that I belong to Delhi/ Mumbai junta with a natural aversion to "small city", I am myself a product of "small city" Lucknow. then the heart has its own reason and the "कही-सुनी बातें" of the people about the city matter a lot too.
As I look back I find myself thanking my stars who aligned perfectly to get me posted in this wonderful city. With the highs and lows that the last 1.5 years in Vizag brought in my life, I look at my life charting a new course with cruising speed and with wind gushing through my hair and a happy song at the tip of my tounge. Thank You Vizag. Thou shall be missed immensely and tremendously.
My time in Vizag has not only added to my professional front but also personally for which I'll be forever indebted. I met the right people whether it was workplace or be it social circles. I struck a chord with them. I was twice blessed with all my near and dear friends were also posted in Vizag and I had the pleasure of their company around. A privilege I don't think I'll be able to enjoy anytime soon.
I have fallen I love with Vizag. With the beaches and with it's crazy traffic nuances. With the clear hearted and simple people and choking pollution. With it's upmarket Italian restaurants and South Indian affordable eateries and with many many many things.
My life's trajectory changed when I came to be a part of dramatics club quite dramatically and which dramatically changed my life. The endless practices and the never ending coffee nights. The bonding and the bonhomie between the members. The inseparable bond between the members which made us meet again and again and well yet again. The dramatics club was an integral part of our lives and even after the successful staging of 2 plays. So the birthdays and the anniversaries became events to be celebrated together and weekends were booked in advanced with hectic plans. This was single handedly responsible in getting a lazy person like me out of the bed and keep me out, like day after day. I was never a person who went out much or believed in social bonding in large numbers and here I was having an overbooked social life with party hopping and overnight coffee nights. Man I was going places!!
The city with its endless natural wonders and natural beauty never failed to seize me and captivate me completely in its beauty. It's been so many times I have stood amazed and wonder-struck by the serenity the beaches of Yerada, Kalinga, Rushikonda, Bheemli and the lonely and scantly populated/visited beach stretch from Rushikonda to Bheemli. Astounding view of Vizag in the night from Dolphin Hill or Kailashgiri when the whole city is lit up in infinite lights inspired one of my friend to call it Las Vizag.
Hours have been spend on conversations with bum chumps on Beach Road with coffee at The Chocolate Room. Vizag has offered me with ample gallons of coffee and they should thank me for giving them good business! Whether it be CCD lounge on a lazy Saturday evening buzzing with young crowd or be it the late midnight coffee at Novotel or Executive Court. Barista's coffee with wi-fi where I have spend my Sunday(s) solely with my gadgets or next to it the home grown "Bake My Wish" which made me feel old with youngsters hopping it. Coffee at the PCC or filter kaafee at Sai Parlour, all have stimulated me in their own fashion. The coffee from the coffee-wallah at beach road footpath or free coffee while browsing the bookstore Pages has stimulated my mind in countless ways.
As if the beaches, natural beauty and coffee wasn't enough for the city. I found my own happiness in my favourite restaurants in the city. Mentioning about each will be tad too detail but I'll put it out briefly. Remember it's not about the restaurants which served the best food or had the best service but the ones where I went for the dining experience. These include Novotel's Zaffran, the ultimate dining experience Vizag can offer then there is Four points Sheraton' Panache the authentic Chinese restaurant which gives a commanding view of the city, Dolphin hotel with just the right dosage of live music and stylish elegant decor with a just fine top floor view of the city and yes of course the good food, then there was my wonderful Little Italy oh I loved that so much that's one place I really gonna miss. Then there was Food Ex near the HSBC bank taking care of me on those late night binges, then there was Eleven which had quite a homely feel to it and yes great food, it would be such an injustice to not mention Beach Village at Rushikonda Beach which allows you to eat amazing food while enjoying the luxury of sight and sound of sea well it's actually on the beach what more do you need?
Then there are places I can't talk about because of course I am so close so attached to them and they mean so much to me like Gallops, Pages Bookstore. They have a special place in my heart and talking about them would be like undermining the influence it had on me. I owe them (only figuratively speaking).
Thank you Vizag. For the Love. For the Friendships. For the Coffee. For the Drama. For Everything. For Everything.