Two years after Surat was adjudged India’s best city it failed to make the list of top ten cleanest cities, but it still remains the most interesting city.

I was disappointed to see that Surat was not on the list of the cleanest cities of India, and that south Indian cities, led by Mysore, topped the list.

Only two years ago, Surat was judged India’s best city. The parameters for this included, according to a report in The Times of India, “mobility, water supply network, cleanliness, public amenities, pollution control, greenery, safety and easy processes of getting work done at the corporation.”

Pune stood second in the “quality of life” category, while Ahmedabad was placed third. This was the result of a survey, and we must discount surveys as not being an effective tool to measure quality.

However, I must add my two bits here because I was delighted with the results. To me, Surat is the most interesting city in India. It would be so even if it weren’t the place I called home for most of my life.

It was a city before Bombay and New Delhi and Madras and Calcutta and Bangalore existed. It wasn’t designed by outsiders and it had an urban culture developed by its citizens, much of which it retains today.