Story Pankaj Sharma
Shanghai is a city of dreams — a city where millions of dreams turn into reality. The moment you touchdown at the gigantic airport, you can see the boundaries of the airport periphery melting into the horizon just like the sea and sky fades into the celestial space near the seashore.
As you get out of the airport, it is an amazing sight watching the towering skyscrapers dotting the roads. As far as you can see, the mul-ti-storied glass houses adorn each every parts of the city. New York may have one Manhattan, but this is a city of Manhattans.
What a planned, structured and regulated growth the city has witnessed. It looks like an architectural marvel. Even the spick and span roads are a treat to watch with multi-layered flyovers easing the traffic congestion of Shanghai. The way the city has been designed, you are left in an awe, travelling in a city of one of the most populous countries of the world.
All the flyovers are decorated with multi-coloured rose and bougainvillea plants on both the flanks to give a better aesthetic appearance.But the biggest shocker is that there is no visible presence of gun-toting policemen with their hands on the trigger.
Be it the airport or the railway station or even the market places, they are nowhere to be seen. This is the sense of security the state has ensured, that definitely needs thousands of plaudits. But you will still encounter traffic cops, catching violators by the scruff of their necks.
As you cross the smooth flowing, meandering Yangtze river through a cable-stayed bridge, the full glory of the city in its majestic form comes to the fore.
Though the Chinese have built bullet trains, they have not yet forgotten dragons – the legendary creatures of Chinese mythology and folklore.
But lo and behold here comes the laser show on the Yangtze river, one of the lifelines of China during the evenings.
As the Yangtze divides the city into two parts, it is impossible to identify the older and newly developed parts. Shanghai Centre, one of the tallest buildings in the world, is only a few metres short than Burj Khalifa.But the cruise on a dragon-shaped boat on the Yangtze with all the nearby buildings lighting up the night sky with their laser shows is an out of the world experience.
Watching this entire shimmering spectacle on Yangtze with a buffet dinner adds to the splendour and glamour of the evening.
Even before taking the first step on Chinese soil, the tens of fingerprint kiosks located at the airport give you one of the biggest lifetime surprises. They build an instant bond with the first time travellers. The moment you scan your passport for fingerprinting, it starts com-municating in the language of your country’s passport.
As you leave the city, you could get the clue that the Chinese have used their blood, sweat, and tears to build this magnificent city. –[email protected]