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 πŸ™ˆ.

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 πŸ˜‡
  • Personal space is important πŸš€
  • 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 )πŸ‘»
  • You can learn to write even when the vehicle is moving and so can You read πŸ“š
  • 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. πŸ™ˆ
  • 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. 1,2,3πŸ’Ί
  • 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 βœ‹πŸ»πŸ’πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ
  • 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.

Simple Steps to a Goa trip!! ο»Ώ

When you’ve got a bunch of awesome friends and crazy adventures: Whatever happens in Goa, stays in Goa comes to life. 

Simple pointers for your trip to Goa:

  1. Find cheap tickets. We got ours at #Paytm <thank you Paytm for you’re awesome>
  2. Find  friends. If you don’t have, make friends. Follow step 1. <Reviews are coming in a Separate post… No, not for friends but other things that involv money. >
  3. Choose a North Goa beach- there are many in South Goa (full of people), and many in North (do akkar bakkar to finalize one)
  4. Look for the hostel at various  locations. Finalize on the basis of the beach you’ve  shortlisted. (You’ll find one very close to whichever beach you put up on). Disclaimer: In case you’re rich and/ or want to spend time with only yourself or your family, pick up a beach resort.
  5. Pick 3 sets of  clothes (basically a tee and shorts and slippers), one for normal wearing, one if the first set gets wet and third if someone pukes on you after getting drunk. You may like to keep a formal set in case you wish to go to club (third set may be replaced  by  this one)
  6. Once at Goa airport/ railway station (not sure about the station though) , Take a prepaid cab for whichever area you would like to go to. Be prepared, it’s costly. β‚Ή 1500/- for 25-30 kms. 
  7. Carry your  Passport,most of the cool hostels take only Passport for your ID. (Reason: You cannot leave your Passport behind, in case you want to run away without paying- they got it right). 
  8.  Once in the hostel, ask for the guy who gives scooters on rent. In case you’re a bigger group, rent a jeep probably. Takes β‚Ή200-300 a day. β‚Ή100 a day for the fuel. Go wherever you want to. We went till Arambol from Vagator. Stay wherever you want to and probably come back another day to return your scooter. 
  9. Make sure you take Local advice of my places to check out, food to try etc
  10. In case you are planning to drink, go to a club (ladies may look out for ladies night) or find a wine shop. It’s further cheaper there than at local restaurants. 
  11.  Be careful when you opt for water sports. And negotiate for the entire package. 

Guess it covers the important pointers which one must know before travelling to Goa. For any other enquiries/  clarifications: Contact
For Goa changes who you are, 

A.

Are you ready to die?

Do you know life’s going to end one day, all of a sudden, by itself, without any warning? It won’t knock on the door or peep through window. No doorbells, no calls (whether crank or drunk). No arguments, no love-making, no briefs and no underwear (bad joke).

When I hear such cases, I get a  feeling that they should at least have a clue that the end is approaching. And then I imagine if I get to know one morning that I’m going to die in less than a minute, am I going to have any regrets about it? Honestly, no. 

I read a beautiful statement the other day which I would want to share. Pardon me for plagiarism but I don’t know the source of this statement and it’s slightly changed too. “They say when you’re about to die, your entire life flashes right in front of your eyes. And when my time comes, this flashback would be so embarrassing that I would rather want to die.” Except that I’ll have to leave my Family. Not that they are dependent on me for anything, but it’s just that I love them. I would want to be close to them and not die. 

Just last week, I had a long and exciting trip which may be termed as thought provoking because I met some beautiful people who helped me think through what I’m doing and what I would like to do. I’m still not very clear, but I’m going to spend some time thinking about it. I’ll try to make my life more peaceful, enriching and an experience worth remembering.

And then I met a colleague yesterday, who helped me think more about  it. Rohit, that’s who he is; is fiercely competitive and is at the hilt of his corporate career. Young, 34 years old probably, he’s already promoted to the position of a head. He wants more and more and that’s where he sees his  satisfaction in. I, probably am, unable to understand this thirst and hunger and want to get ahead in  life (I was exactly there 4 years back, though- and I grew out of it). I wonder if he’ll be able to remember this journey once he would be  some 60 year old corporate honcho, Managing director of an  organization. Not that I’ll be able to remember my bufoonery, but that’s mostly because it’s going to be  an overload of embarrassed stories and crazy  adventures. Every one in life has a different perspective, and it’s almost beautiful to watch our co-existence in this world. 

For me, life is all about adventure (bungee and paragliding, that’s how I see it with my little eyes), fooling around (a drunk call, Random plans to travel), excitement (of being at a new place, meeting friends) and mostly about being with family. Tomorrow shouldn’t be regretful, because, There’s no tomorrow. 

Start living whichever way you like to, my friends. 

With lots of energetic love (bundle of energy wishing you) 

A.

Sunday Mornings!!

I was in Delhi for a weekend and that only means one thing for me- a food walk/trip/trail to the revered Chandni Chowk. (No doubts on why I’ve gained 10 kgs in last few days)

Before and after posts have to be different but this is only about the morning that happened. I was staying at my Best Friends place and I had already informed them about my plan of a Sunday morning food walk. Prateek had ditched me for this one and I couldn’t think of any body else to drag to Chandni Chowk. Varun is my rescue- I asked him and he readily accepted the plan. 

I Got up by 7:30 and planned ( 7:30 was early by my standards- I slept after 1 am last night)

  • Checked out the blogs etc for Places. Left a few tabs open to be checked once I’m there 
  • The idea was to start at 9 am 
  • No metro- it’s a Sunday, I’ll take Uber
  • And because it’ll only take half an hour to reach NDLS; I’ll try Uberpool (difference of hardly Rs. 20/- but for the experience)
  • Reach NDLS by 9:30-9:45 and put my luggage in the Cloak room
  • Take a cycle-rickshaw/auto rickshaw to Chandni Chowk and make it there by 10-10:15
  • Get done by 1 pm and go to Bhua’s place 

And it started off exactly like that. I sat in the cab (was wearing a red top and the cab was red too- things my Best Friend notices) and started by 9:15. Started chatting with the driver and confirming that it would only take me half an hour until he put a disclaimer about Co-passengers. And as he mentioned, he gets a call for pool. Summary of the incident- we had no clue where Vikramshila building is that the lady mentioned. Took us almost quarter of an hour (it was already 9:45 at this Point) extra to figure that out- and then we entered the IIT Delhi. 

IIT Delhi is big- and this was my first time inside the campus (probably last too- nobody is ever going to invite me to IIT). The campus plan, chilled-out kids, so many cars, such big playgrounds. The driver was looking for the building and the surroundings were enough to mesmerize me. I was soaking it in- trying to appreciate it and make up for the delay that it was causing me. From somewhere, a peacock turned up in the ground- (those really aren’t the grounds but the fields and meadows) such a beautiful scene. As we moved ahead, I thanked the cabby stating that this was my first time ever into IIT-D. We found our Co-passenger and headed out of IIT. Uber suggested that we had to drop my Co-passenger first who had to go to Kota House. We missed the building etc are small parts of this journey but as we figured out, I asked the lady sitting beside me, about Kota House. Kota House comprises of transit flats for Navy  officers. Wow, I never expected to enter this building. But some days, you are lucky and I got to go inside-out even if it was a 5-minute exercise). Aunty and I parted our ways, exchanging pleasantries. Already 10:40 am and Varun had already reached Chandni Chowk. 

And now finally I was on my way to Paharganj railway station, Thankfully. The driver told me to get down and walk, else I might get stuck in the jam and will be further delayed. The ******* dropped me a km  (almost) before the station and I had no other option but to walk because the rickshaw would charge nothing less than a hundred bucks for this- when they would spot someone with a suitcase. 

While I was super-duper late for everything that followed and upset with the cabby; there was an element of excitement in my eyes and satisfaction of being in 2 places of national importance on a Sunday morning. And that too; totally unexpected. Life happens like this and it’s more important to grab the happiness out of every moment.

Keep watching for the wonderful things, because they don’t ring a bell seeking appointment,

A!!