Amdavad stories!! The Doors

Amdavad or Ahmedabad, is a beautiful city located on the banks of river Sabarmati. Read to know about some of the doors of the city.

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DoorsOfIndia presented an opportunity to travel to Ahmedabad for a day and I was totally up for it. With the hectic timelines, I had just enough time to search before the flight and read during the flight, about the places to go to and ask people about recommendations for food. That’s all I want to know about anywhere in the world- what’s for food and where to find it?

Keeping aside the discussion for food for now, I’m going to keep this post for various doors because “doors” were the main focus of this particular visit. It was amazing to travel with the crew and the blogger who were there for work, unlike me- pretty jobless and enjoying her life.

The day started off with Sidi Saiyad Mosque:

Sidi Saiyyid was a learned man who came to Gujarat via Yemen. Built in the last year of existence of the Gujarat Sultanate, The mosque is entirely arcuated and is famous for beautifully carved ten stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches with panels in geometrical designs.

The entrance takes us to the Sidi saiyyid ni jaali referring to the “Tree of Light” in the backdrop. This same jaali inspired the design of the logo of IIM Ahmedabad and may be seen at many shops across the city.

I had to visit the place for my own personal reasons of seeing this Tree of Light which has been so close to my heart.

The second stop was Panchkuwa gate.

146 years old and costed Rs. 11,450/- at that time, Panchkuwa gate was built for easy access to railway station. The walls around the city were eventually demolished as years passed and the city grew. These gates, however, remained a testimony to the Sultanate and the architecture of older times.

Thanks to Baba who provided us an access to the rooftop that enabled better pictures and I couldn’t help but notice the enthusiasm with which he explained about the amazing food that I can find around. He mentioned that this gate also had its name from the 5 water wells around and the 5 paths it led to. Super excited to be on the camera with such a broad smile, he had his own set of questions about the shoot.

It gave me my only chance to get a selfie clicked with half of the team who were working day and night to make this campaign a hit.

We headed towards the main gate which was super crowded during the day with the marketplace set for the visitors and buzzing with vehicles and people alike. The shoot was eventually scheduled for next morning- 6 am 🙈.

This gave us a chance to head straight to the riverfront by the side of Sabarmati river covering 9 bridges. Coinciding with the visit of Japan prime minister and our very own Mr. Prime Minister, there was a flood of beautiful lights across the length of the riverfront. And it looked spectacular.

Next day at 6 in the morning, we were ready to shoot our Door in Focus “The Teen Darwaza” which has its own stories attached to it. I looked minuscule standing in front of it. The grandeur, the architecture and the history behind it are something to look forward to. It is over 600 years old and features in the logo of “Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation”.

Made with Indo-Islamic architecture to the east of Bhadra fort, it has a lamp which has been lit for as many years of its existence and an inscription that instructs that women be an equal recipient of father’s property and inheritance.


With this Shoot, ended our journey of Ahmedabad and we headed towards another city of beautiful doors. Watch the Tata Pravesh video here: The Teen Darwaza

But, there was one door which for me was an introduction to the city of Ahmedabad a decade back. And I have to mention about my new friend, Dhvani who took me around the city and the campus that I always wanted to see for myself.

Watch more: musaafirana in Ahmedabad

To more such travel stories (stay put: there’s food story for Ahmedabad which will be up soon)

-musaafirana

The roadways in Punjab and beyond

One fine day in 2004, I made a choice- infact I fought with the family and declared that I will travel by bus. With the school and coaching in Jalandhar, I would travel 25 kms from kapurthala by car. And it felt awkward, really awkward. I was 15 then and car seemed to be binding me. And borrowing this from what Zaakir says, freedom (Badal) important hai. It continued with 2 years of school and then 4 years of grads college where the journey lasted 9 hours at a stretch by bus and further, beyond my own state. This journey gave me perspectives, I met people- wonderful ones as well as creepy stalkers, helpful ones and touchy feely maniacs. I owe a part of me being bold to these bus journeys. It contributed to make me who I am today. The fresh breeze and sweaty smells, the rainy days and burning sun, the wet seats and shattered window panes. It was only these journeys/ travel times that I learnt:

  • You can be philosophical and easily, feel high on the roads 😇
  • Personal space is important 🚀
  • You can hit people if they touch you inappropriately. You can also abuse them. 😈
  • The bus drivers and conductors are sweetest people (it was just once/ twice or maybe thrice out of 1000+ journeys they dropped at a totally unknown stop at 5:45 in the morning & late in the night in Chennai )👻
  • You can learn to write even when the vehicle is moving and so can You read 📚
  • Punjabi songs/ bhojpuri songs/ Tamil songs/ Hindi songs and all the songs that You can ever remember 🎶
  • You can also travel to Guna (near Gwalior) from Shimla by a bus and so can you travel to chennai from Tirupati and so is Bangalore to mumbai possible. Mumbai- Shirdi is a common journey though. 🙈
  • That I can travel for an hour standing in the bus and so can I, hang almost outside the door (your grip cannot be weak in this case) 🤺
  • Bonnet is precious for the driver, but if you’re nice, he’ll make space for you, put a cloth on it and let you sit there.
  • The best seat in the bus is seat no. 1,2,3💺
  • Seat no. 1 is conductor seat but you have to be nice to the driver and conductor to get that seat
  • You can pass a smile to your fellow passengers and the driver/ conductor and this isn’t hazardous for your health 😊
  • And, you can fall off inside the bus and right outside the bus- on your face 😭
  • Tips on how to get on or get off a moving bus (not recommended)
  • You can also propose your love on a long journey because they are a captive traveller now 😜
  • Buses are the lifeline when it comes to travelling within the state or even inter-state 🚌
  • And despite all this, you’ll get to over-hear some of the funniest conversations during your journey 🤣
  • I was always in awe of these conductors and wondered about their level of motivation for the job ✋🏻💁🏻‍♂️
  • The best quotes and wishes you could find on your journey
  • Jee aayan nu means welcome😍

Cheers to all these journeys!! Cheers to Pepsu and Punjab Roadways!! Cheers to what they made me!! And to innumerable journeys I took!!

A.

Birthdays deserve a post!!

No matter how unexcited I be
and the age keeps pestering me,
Someone said a Happy Birthday in advance
And my smile was back with a dance 💃🏻

My Birthday is my most favourite day of the year; of the month and even of the week. Birthday is a birthday.
I feel less excited than I used to be as a kid. (Mind it, a single Birthday still is more exciting for me than probably someone's entire life incidents may be).
I start waiting for it in phases and I have my different set of countdowns for it:
As soon as the year starts.
27th June tells me it's just a month.
I love July and as it starts.
10th July is my sister's birthday and I just have to wait for another 17 days.
20th July and its seven days and those seven days are my happiest days of the year.

I cannot be calm, literally and figuratively and any adjective may be happily added to it- excitedly 😝
Ohh, how I wait for this day!!
As a kid, I would save my dress for Birthday. Even if it was a dress I got for Diwali. I had to wear a new one on my Birthday. It was never really a party but I loved distributing toffees, candies when in school- wearing the colourful clothes (which were mostly white- white being my favourite colour). And most of all, I've always loved the attention the Birthdays bring with them. I loved all of it.
I had a few rituals for the Birthdays (some remain, some just made peace with time- I had to grow up):
Visiting the temple (its on)
Toffees and chocolates for everyone (replaced by sweets)
Cake cutting (its on)
Calls and messages (they're on and I reply as enthusiastically as it's a kid enjoying them)
Oh, new clothes and dresses (so much more now)
Evening Puja (its on)
Counting of Birthday wishes (I understand they mean much more than the count now) (grew up 😂) – I count my blessings now

I love monsoons and rains and July.
Even when Birthday now means a number which tells me I'm getting old. It bothers me quite a bit only till someone tells me- Happy Birthday in Advance. The happiness of the Birthday is much more than the gloominess of the number which counts my age. There could never be anything which makes me feel like a kid as much as my Birthday.

More on this during the day. Much love for everyone reading through!!
A. ❤️

बचपन, प्यारा बचपन  

To all the kids I have, I’ve seen and I see in my life- Kaavish, Irya, Avika, Tavish, Tavisha, Tavisha, Anav, Seerat, Veeransh, Lakshit, Osheen, Chakshu, Bhavya. Your innocence inspired me to put it to words. And to the kid that my family raised up with oodles of love- me.

हाय बचपन, प्यारा बचपन  

बेरंग बचपन, और कभी रंगीन सा
ज़्यादातर मीठा, और कभी नमकीन सा 

कभी भुआ की ऊँची एड़ी के सैंडल चढ़ाता हुआ 
और कभी प्लास्टिक की गुड़िया को बाल्टी में डुबाता हुआ

आम को सफ़ेद फ्रॉक को खिलाता हुआ
कभी अपने खिलौनों को टम्बलर से पानी पिलाता हुआ

दादी की गोद में छिप जाता है कभी 
सो जाये सब तो खिलखिला जाता है तभी 

तिपहिया साइकिल पर पाँव लगाते हुए चलता है ज़मीं पर
मिट्टी में घूमते हुए उँगलियों के फूटते किनारों की नमीं पर

दौड़ते हुए गिर जाता है और रोने लगता है 
रोते रोते कभी थक कर सोने लगता है 

कभी माँ को पुकारता है, कभी चुप चाप ताकता है 
पास में कोई आये तो आँखों के कोनों से झांकता है 

कभी तुतलाता है, कभी मन को मचलाता है 
कभी आँखों में आँसू भर कर माँ को बुलाता है 

दादा के काँधे पर सो जाता है अक्सर ये
चुन्नी की साड़ी बाँध कर खिलखिलाता है ये 

घर की हर थाली में खाना खाता हुआ 
गली में हर आने जाने वाले को पुकारता हुआ 

कभी चाची के बाल खींचता है और कभी सजाता है 
कभी ईंटों के घर में गुड्डे गुड्डियों को कागज़ के कपडे पहनाता है 

अँधेरे में मोमबत्ती जला के कहानियां बनाता हुआ 
रो रो के घर को सर पे उठाता हुआ 

कभी चुप हो जाए तो सन्नाटा लगता है 
इसका हर एक हसीं का पल खुशियों का फव्वारा लगता है

चाचा का है लाडला और नानी की आँखों का तारा
इसकी नटखट बातों में ही है ख़ुशी का दारोमदार सारा 

आ तुझे लगा लूँ गले से और बिठा लूँ अपने पास 
दौड़ते दौड़ते थक जाता हूँ मिलाते हुए तुझसे अपनी सांस

खुशनुमा भीनी खुशबू और भोलापन तेरा 
नन्हे नन्हे पाँव तेरे और अजब सा अहसास तेरा 

तुझे छु लूँ, पकड़ लूँ, भींच लूँ अपनी बाहों में 
थक सा गया हूँ, ले चल मुझे फिर से उसी मासूमियत की पनाहों में 

Love ❤️, 

A. 

पुरानी यादों की दस्तक

फिर ले आया दिल खोल के वो बंद हो गया पन्ना
किसी किताब के बीच में मोड़ के रखा था दुबारा खोल के देखने के लिए
यादों कि चुटकी बिखेर गया नीरस से जीवन में
पतझड़ के पेड़ों के बीच में जैसे फूलों सी महक बिखेरते हुए
उस किताब पे सिर रख के सो गए थे गहरी नींद
ऐसा लगा जैसे सपनो कि दुनिया में भूल ही गए हक़ीक़त को बदलते हुए
वो बंद पड़ी अलमारियाँ यकायक खुलने लगी जैसे अपने आप
जादू के लम्हे की तरह हम कुछ पीछे चले गए अचनचेत से
कल के अँधेरे में डर सा लगता है और आराम भी मिलता है अजीब सा
हिम्मत बता नहीं पा रही है कि और चल पायेगी मेरे संग
उम्मीद के चिराग में बढ़ते जा रहे हैं रास्ते को खोजते
लगता है कभी पुरानी सड़क पे जा के खुलेंगी ये गलियां
उन गलियों में पुराने लोगों के बीच उन्ही लम्हों में
जहाँ रंग खूबसूरत थे और बातें सपनो की होती थी
आसमान में उड़ने की ख्वाहिशें अपने पंख फड़फड़ाती हुई
भूल जाती थी कि उड़ने वाले गिर के ही ज़मीन पे वापिस आते हैं

An old letter from 26/12/2013

We carry a world with us!!

Who you are, I will be. Whosoever I am, you already are.

We are a mix and match of our circumstances and our surroundings. An assorted platter of nuggets from people around us, with garnishing of our childhood lying beautifully over the fine plate. Coming across people in our day to day lives, we pick a few characteristics of each one of them- which may happen knowingly or unknowingly. It’s isn’t always a controlled action & reaction- until we’re self-aware to choose what we may like to have for ourselves. 

Every single day is an evolution in the life cycle of any human being. With every conversation we have, we become a little more intelligent and knowledgable than we were in the previous instant. Each day we’re an iota better than the previous day. 

Not only we need to surround ourselves with people who we admire- to gain from their company, to learn things we admire them for. It is commonly said that were a clear reflection of the five people we spend our time with. We need to evaluate which are the five people we want to look like- in terms of habits, character and outlook. In case we realise we need to change ourselves- we also need to change our company for an effective transformation. 

Apart from identification of the right mix of people, We also need to be grateful to each of those around us- for they make us what we would be tomorrow. Gratitude would bring abundance and thus grant us more. 

A lot to learn and heaps to be thankful for, 

A

What am I looking for? 

A requirement or a compulsion

I’m reading a book today (which is rare considering my concentration as well as patience levels). Just like everyone else, I have a mobile, a smartphone- rather an over smart phone. Keeping the discussion about my phone for some other day, We would rather talk about my reactions rather in this post. With no social networking apps except Quora and Watsapp installed on my phone per se, it is mostly a congestion free screen that exists on the oversmart phone. 

It’s a Sunday evening and I’m in the train, travelling back home from a 3-day trip. Nobody’s calling, there are no watsapp pings, no messages and absolutely nothing which pops up on my screen except a shopping website telling me what the user would love and what the user would not want to miss upon every now and then. There’s another music app which wants the user to bounce on the latest music playlist they’ve curated for me. 
I press the centre button, open Watsapp and there are no messages. Disappointment, even though everyone was clear with no pings on the screen. I can feel disappointed, despite knowing there’s not going to be any Djinn discovery. I open the browser and refresh the Facebook timeline, no notifications there. Next comes Quora and after going through a few answers on the latest newsfeed, I press the power button to switch off my screen and go back to my book. And this process is repeated, again, and again, after every 10-15 minutes. The entire activity takes a good over 5 minutes, every single time effectively- 20 mins every hour. 

There’s nobody who’s call is expected, there’s no one waiting for me beyond reasons, there’s no pressing need that requires my immediate attention. And I still feel the anxiety of not having a notification, not even a single notification. Is mobile an addiction or is it out of a compulsion I’m doing this? With being as clueless about what I’m looking for in my mobile phone or probably my life, there’s, for sure, something that is being searched and nobody knows what it is and/or where it is? For sure, it is adding up to the anxiety levels and is totally unhealthy. 

Trying to breakthrough the monotony of mobile, 

A.