So finally after so much wait I got hold of the official update of Redmi 1S - that's MiUi6. Its not totally fresh though. Still based off kitkaat. But neverthless a fresh coat of paint with some new shine.
I went ahead with clean flashing with formatting everything and got it all working just the way it was supposed to be. Its about a fortnight since I flashed the update on my Redmi 1S. And my feedback is positive. It's not the lightest or easiest skin around. And also there's the free RAM issue, in that the amount of free RAM is still paltry.
But the thing looks like its well optimized. And it runs well. i had some issues with more than two-three heavy apps running side by side, but ever since I have come to understand its limits.
The internal apps are all new. And it all looks like a fresh experience. There are changes all around. The settings have been totally overhauled. The various transitions have been worked out. The Music app has been overhauled and its been better integrated with xiaomi's cloud services.
The rom gives good performance and the battery life provided is decent. You have to tweak it a bit according to your usage patternsbut after that it easily lasts for about a day and half.
Overall it was great that Xiaomi got this out the gate and it turned out to be such a good thing. In todays no-update world of android phones, its commendable when a company gets update to it's entry level hardware.