|The masth masth dancer, Raveena Tondon duplicate I found In Jamnagar rains|
Why I chose to write a travelogue after long period is, my travel tryst with the "hamara Gujarat"(the term so dear to our Modiji) that is undoubtedly lauded for it's economic success as a model state in our country. I was left wondering, why did I not be here earlier or spend more time than a week?
Landing in Ahmedabad city known as the Manchester of India (because of rapid industrialization) itself was thrilling. My mind had already visualized the dhoklas, khakras, the garba and dandia raas, hand stitched cotton/handloom bandhani sarees, and much more. The city that boasts of a terrific mixture of the old charm and also the modern amenities. I did encounter a few interesting incidents during my stay in the state, that are just appropriate to share herewith.
As is a practice for most of us, we got busy, trying to strike some tit-bit conversations with the driver en route the airport to the hotel. He took pride in explaining about the massive infrastructure development that was the dream accomplishment of "our Modiji"! I was bitten by jealousy every time the driver mentioned "apne CM Modiji".
|@Sabarmathi Ashram-Residence of M.K.Gandhi|
It was not just about that. The driver had even found an opportunity to taunt me "yeh aapka Bangalore nahee hai madam, aaram se jaavo bina darke". That was how the driver managed to convince me about the safety practiced in this state when I had felt insecure leaving my belonging in the car as we entered an highway side restaurant. With a bang on comparison. Phew! But, we have to agree, Gujarat was a state safe from theft. To correct myself, safest state. Also, safe for women. I could see pregnant woman come out alone onto streets at 9 PM to have some street foods like the "chaats" or for a quick walk.
Yet another incident that even multiplied my love for the state was the friendly and caring people we encountered. We happened to experience a wrecked car on the highway and had to pass time around in the fields at wee hours of midnight that too with two children with us. As the car was getting fixed we were keeping our eyes and ears open for any mischief making stalkers or any prowling big beast. But the most unexpected and overwhelming thing happened. Every other passer by , be it a car or a two wheeler would stop, talk to us, offer any help, water or food. This generous gesture, I challenge would hardly be offered in any other state of India.
Round the clock supply of water and electricity was something that I was envious about again, especially hailing from Karnataka that is almost popular for power cuts. Also the schools and colleges there have a well preserved culture, no "donations" and regulated affordable fee structure. All together, a place an "aam aadmi aka common man in India" can dream to live in.
|Never give up! Hold on.|
|That's how this green lady enjoyed rains|
|ehem, this perhaps was the parrot dance on the rope, in the rain|
|The wait was on. For the right moment, right partner and a photographer!|
|When the mornee bagaa ma naache song was proved false, see next,|
|Because, it was the mor not the mornee that danced|
|Glamorous, as long as it does not open its mouth!|
|Blue crowned, prided plumes|
|Perched high on tree.|
True to the famous quote, "collect memories not material", we gathered some of our best, from the nature that no souvenir could make up as a memoir. A few words and a few pictures are just an attempt to get you close to the reality and the thrilling journey we experienced.
A travelogue is always an incomplete diary....
More can be expected from my Gujarat diaries soon.