'Yeah, Patna is safe, I’d love to take my pooch for a midnight walk too'

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: Jul 05, 2015 14:12 IST

The spunky girl perks up at the sight of “sizzlers.” She never misses an opportunity to visit her favourite haunt for this sizzling delicacy.“If you have not enjoyed sizzlers’ at Yo China, then you have missed a real treat”, she says, as she hops into Baskin Robbins, a neighbourhood trendy shop, for an ice cream to round up the ‘all meal day’.

‘Nothing like sharing a dips bucket with friends at KFC’ and ‘Enjoying cold coffee with the gang at CCD after the movies’: such updates have become really common on social networking sites.

The world is changing at a lightning fast speed and moving at snail’s pace is not an option to Gen Next in town.

Patna is also adapting to changes, offering a plethora of places to hang-out.

“Patna is changing. Patna has changed. It is no longer the city I spent my entire childhood in”, said 27 year old, Meghna, who has come to Patna after four long years. “Its an eyeopener”, she adds.

She recalled: “Earlier we spent lots of time deciding over a meeting place but now just one text saying ‘At McDonalds-4 pm’ is enough.”

Earlier what was limited to metro cities has now become a vital part of city life, especially the young coasters, who have developed twinkle feet when somebody mentions a bite.

More and more fast food restaurants and café chains are opening up in the city and Patnaites seem to be relishing every bit of it.

KFC, CCD, McDonalds, P&M Mall, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Hangover Lounge etc are earning a huge profit by offering the youngsters and families just what they look for: quality and comfort.

Be it the food, service, or the atmosphere- everything they offer leaves a smile on the faces of their customers. The customers always leave feeling happy and satisfied.

These things are not just to be said or heard but if one looks around then they are sure to see the effect. Why else would people wait outside these places even before they open? Kritika, a crew member at McDonalds says, “People come to the place before us and wait while we get dressed and setup the machines.”

She went on to add, “Girls and boys in their 20s visit the place very often. Families can be spotted mainly on weekends.”

Arnav, manager at Hangover Lounge, says, “We have a range of customers, varying from youths to families. Owing to the tight security, girls feel secure and they do not have always to rely on their male counterparts.”

On being asked if girls attend late night parties, he said, “Girls usually come during evening hours. Though some girls stay up late, their number declines after eight.”

All these places are jampacked with people chatting, savouring the food, and clicking selfies. It is difficult to find a place to sit especially in the evenings. This shows that how much people needed to hang-out in order to take a break from their monotonous lifestyle.

Many believe that opening up of such places has given way to Patna’s development in a different way in the last six to eight years. Construction of bridges and other infrastructure do portray development, but these places add another touch to it.

“Today taste and preferences are changing, people no longer want the same old chicken butter masala; they look for ‘ something more’. I simply love spicy chicken at KFC,” said Manvi Rastogi, a third year student of Patna Women’s College. However she feels that many of these places are ‘very expensive’.

For Patnaites, who found it difficult to find a cool and casual places to hang-out with their close ones not so long ago, there are choices aplenty. Gone are the days when the school and college student on their summer breaks used to run from one end of the city to another, just to meet friends. But today they can simply hangout at any of these places, whichever one is closer to their place” said Rahul, a third year student in DU.

“Every time I came here for holidays, I got bored because there was nothing much to do. But, now I can have a good time now,” he adds.

But there are people who still feel that Patna has a long way to go which in some way sounds true. But the ways in which the city has changed makes them believe that Nitish Kumar’s Bihar has the potential to take even bigger strides towards progress.

So confident is the feeling that Nisha Sharma wuld ‘love to take my pooch for a walk, midnight too”.

Asked about the times, when she was a college student, 2003, she shudders: “Forget Yaar. Pass it up Na. Thinks have changed Na."

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