Home 2017 From the Trenches in Ranchi

From the Trenches in Ranchi

written by Anil Gandhi July 21, 2017
From the Trenches in Ranchi

Digging one’s nose in a public place in full view was a fashion statement in Ranchi a few years ago; as if to say “Hey there, I can do this in front of you and you can do nothin’ about it. I am the boss, you loser with your fancy pants sense of public decency”. Yup, it really was the in-thing to do. But on this visit, I learned that the time-tested avante-garde display of olfactory cleaning methods had evolved to a refinement reserved for those who dare to visit the plateau in Jharkhand. The fashionistas have a new gig-spitting. No, not the one plastered on the sides of walls in staircase wells – that’s  old hat, any aging geyser can do that, but this new gig is delightfully spontaneous and opportunistic. If a motorcycle cuts you off in front of the Ola Nano you are sitting in, the rider of the bike will invariably mark his territory in front of the car with a carefully planted spit on the road, seeming to say “not only can I cut in front of you but I own this bleeping space on the road.” Oh! what a delight!

That would be a good deal already. I mean can you take this much fashion? But there’s more…

But on this visit, I learned that the time-tested avante-garde display of olfactory cleaning methods had evolved to a refinement reserved for those who dare to visit the plateau in Jharkhand.

It’s not just the bike riders who are in on this new expression of saliva, even the kids wanting to gain quick passage to adulthood sitting on back seats of a 3 wheeler auto will spit in front of your Ola if you happen to be lucky enough to follow them in 3 mph traffic. It’s rite of passage, for to be an adult one must be a spitting image of an adult first.

We love you so much we will make the deal even sweeter…

Walking on roads is always fun in Ranchi. Roads, which double as sidewalks in this town, you know, to provide for a more collaborative experience between car and human, now provide an even more colorful experience. While previously, walking on roads one could enjoy black smoke emanating from diesel-operated buses, but there is a new added attraction – in addition to the intoxicating diesel exhaust, the fumes now also have the color and irresistible aromas of burning garbage by the side of the roads. Chanel No. Ranchi. Man, are you digging it yet?

Oh ho ho… you are so wrong, the deal gets even better.

I queried my Ola driver one day and he confirmed that liquor stores open before 8 AM.

I had occasion to frequent a hospital for long periods of time during this visit. So I got to know what time the shops in the neighborhood open. The tailor/dhobi shop about 30 degrees from my vantage point opened at around 11:30  AM, the Amul store guy right across from my perch ambled in around noon-ish, the opticians and the rest of the shops soon after.  BUT… the good news is that the wine shop in the neighborhood about a block away opened at 7 AM; I queried my Ola driver one day and he confirmed that liquor stores open before 8 AM. Super. I mean, you can survive without eyeglasses, but without liquor? Un Un. Oh and the wine shop does not have any wine, they only carry Indian Made Foreign Liquor. How’s that?

Now, I know you are salivating and asking yourself  “When can I get this deal?” Ladies and gentlemen, you are in luck, we have this on sale today. Simply enter the following code when you book your vacay to Ranchi  “EAT MEAT. DRINK JOHNNIE. SPIT.”

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