As we left Coimbatore yesterday, I wanted to share a typical day in this beautiful city that we have come to like tremendously.
Most days at Coimbatore, we would walk to the Uzhavar Sandhai or Farmer’s market. Besides buying farm fresh vegetables for the day, we would drink a cup of Neera (An Amrit called Neera !) or a glass of tender coconut. Our favourite tender coconut seller was typical of the people of Coimbatore – soft spoken, very helpful and concerned about our well being.
For instance, he wouldn’t charge us for the tender coconut that would have less coconut water ! Sometimes he would have a massive tender coconut like the pic below –
Rengas – A Super Story
My Athimber (my cousin’s husband) who is a native of Coimbatore and knows every nook and cranny of the city told us to visit the Rengas Super Market, a large format Departmental Store on DB Road. We did that on one of the days during our morning walk.
The store was well lit, and had a great selection of groceries and other household requirements in cleaning products etc. Most importantly, we didn’t have any store assistant trailing us around in every aisle, a practise in Chennai that irritates me :).
As Amma and I were browsing the aisles, Krishnan went to get our empty bags before billing. He saw the young owner of Rengas at his desk and was very impressed that he had the “Naamam” on his forehead !! In this day and age when most young folks want to ape the West, here was someone following our traditions. Very refreshing.
Krishnan believes in complimenting people instantly and he walked up to the young owner and did just that. Mr. Saravanan, immediately invited Krishnan to sit down and they were deep in conversation by the time Amma and I billed our purchases :).
That was the start of a good friendship ! We had the opportunity to meet Saravanan’s family and spend some time with them as well.
Rengas was started by Saravanan’s grandfather. His grandfather built a large warehouse just to clean the groceries before putting them on the shelf. Obviously a man far ahead of his times ! And such a great value addition with no extra cost to the customer.
Do visit Rengas for your daily needs and you are assured of a fantastic customer experience.
People of Coimbatore
Just like a typical day elsewhere, in Coimbatore too, we had to print, sign and courier a document to Gurgaon for ShikshaDaan. We walked in to this store called Mani Xerox, on DB Road. The son of the store owner was not there early in the morning, so he asked us to send the document to be printed over email.
We did that and went over around 11 am. As it was a bit urgent, Krishnan asked the owner at the counter to send it through “express” courier. He hesitated and then told us – “why do you want to waste money on express courier, just go to the post office across the road and send via speed post. I will make money if I send your document through express courier but as a customer, I should suggest what’s good for you.”
These are the people of Coimbatore that you meet in a typical day !!!
What’s not to love about Coimbatore ?
Ease of Living
As advised by the owner of Mani Xerox, we walked across and send the document through Speed Post. Again, the experience was pleasant inside the R S Puram post office.
From the Post office, as we were walking back to our service apartment, we saw Kotak Bank’s branch. With a lot of hesitation we entered the bank to see if we could get some change in smaller denominations. The hesitation was because our experience with Kotak Bank in Gurgaon has never been satisfactory. We have come away feeling we have made a mistake to bank with them, nearly every single time.
Kotak Bank in Coimbatore was again a wonderful experience !!
They not only gave us the change but the Branch Operations Manager was so helpful that we were thrilled. The young lady didn’t know that, her saying “yes” instead of a “no” was a game changer.
Kaleeswara Stainless Steel – Apni Dukaan
I found Anu and my “Apni Dukaan” in Kaleeswara. Do read Apne Log, Apni Dukaan – Munich diaries to understand why I called this store as “Apni Dukaan”. Just like Karstadt at Munich, Kaleeswara is a stainless steel fan’s dream come true.
All thanks to my dear cousin Rohini, who brought me to this store. He father-in-law had brought her to this store right after she got married and no wonder she was hooked on to it.
I went back a few times within a couple of days. The aisles are stocked with every kind of utensil you would need – all good quality steel. On one of the trips, a family from the US had bought a large carton of stuff from the store. Not surprised at all.
Yes, there are some challenges in Coimbatore too … the two wheelers drive without following any rules and it’s disconcerting when they come at you in droves.
A Typical Day in Coimbatore is filled with good people, fresh veggies, pleasant weather and walking everywhere…. We could get used to this !! Sigh…If only the two wheelers can follow traffic rules, we might consider shifting.
p.s – No, we aint leaving Dhillika anytime soon :).