There are around 150 Maratha families who have been residing in the city for quite a few decades. They said that the people and their warmth drew them to the city and made them fall in love with it. Consultant urologist and andrologist Amit Saple says that Vizag has a beautiful blend of both urban and rural culture. “We have time for our family, profession and for ourselves to pursue a hobby. The best part is that we can spend quality time with our kids. Whereas in Mumbai, we would have known our children only by their length as we would meet them only while they are asleep,” explains Dr. Amit who is in the city since 2001.
Appreciating the quality of life, Uday Shirname, a retired professional says, “Life in Vizag is absolutely peaceful compared to Mumbai. If a person lives in the City of Destiny for more than a decade, it becomes tough for him to get accustomed elsewhere. The city has given so much of recognition to me as a person. As a Maharashtrian, I think I have a responsibility to pay back to the city in some form or the other.” Being an art connoisseur, he said that he missed theatre arts culture of Mumbai where he would spend most of his income and time watching Marathi dramas.
Another Maharashtrian Bani, a homemaker, says that except her family members, she does not miss her hometown much. “A lot of my relatives feel jealous of us that we stay in Vizag as the quality of life is comparatively superior. We (she and her husband) lead a very peaceful retired life. However, I do miss my brothers and sisters and the ‘masti’ we make during festive time,” she said.
A cosmetic surgeon by profession, Anjali, appreciates the time saved while commuting. “It hardly takes time to reach any place over here. But in metros, half of our time goes travelling. This is one of the reasons why I am able to continue my profession,” she added.
“Being away from Maharashtra, we have made good friends over here. Had it been in Mumbai, we would have not been met due to our hectic lifestyle. The place is also secured for women and we can go around the city anytime we wanted to without feeling insecure,” Vaishali More, a teacher said.
Except a little regret over civic sense, the Maharashtrians feel that the city had brought them luck, recognition and prosperity to lead a harmonious life.