My Bhuj Diaries 2018- Part-2. Laid Back Rickshaws


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The rickshaws of Bhuj.

The Bhuj railway station is just like any other railway station. As soon as you step out of the station, you come across different rickshaw owners inviting you to sit in their vehicles (Of course not for free!) to take you to your destination.

Once you pick one of them, they let you know their fares. Beyond 100 bucks of course! And, they don’t have the mandatory meter. Atleast I never saw one! Always make it a point to bargain for the cost-¬† at least for 30 rupees. If they don’t budge, have these options in mind.

  1. Is there any other source of vehicle. If yes- Take it!
  2. If No, you dont have any choice, do you? ūüôā They would be saying the truth.

So, once you negotiate and come to agreement, be ready for a good ride. Literally!



                                         Pic taken from the internet guru.

The rickshaw wallahs are very kind, cordial and laid-back. If you have to reach to a destination in Bhuj, be prepared to reach just as the clock strikes twelve. They will talk everything about the world with you as they drive the rickshaw at leisure. And yes, if the address is not found, they will take enough effort to guide you to the destination at no extra cost.

In-between the talks, ask them about the best destinations to explore. They are your unofficial travel guides.


My Bhuj Diaries 2018. Part-1

Sometimes parents want to take a day trip some 500 km away for a particular reason or so. They don’t even prefer to visit the nearby famed locations even if there are 4 days of holidays ahead.

My Mum wanted to visit Bhuj-Kutchch and a famous goddess temple-Mata no Madh from quite a year now. I had some holidays lined up ahead and I was excited to again visit Kutchch. But as usual, my excitement was punctured by her.

” I only want to visit there for a day. Take me if you want to, otherwise I can go by myself”.

As all of my attempts to pacify her failed, I booked railway tickets at the last hour for just the two of us. The journey was fruitful.

We all know there are some ‘Characters’ that we find in the train in India. This story is about one of them.

As we boarded the train, there was an uncle in his early 60’s sleeping on the upper birth opposite us. One assumed that he was there from earlier station. He preferred to maintain his position till Ahmedabad came, sleeping merrily.

A lady came into the scene next and awakened the gentleman after prodding him at least 5 times. He awoke from his beauty sleep only to question the lady with:

She: Uncle, ye meri seat hain ( Uncle, this is my seat)

He: Oh, Ahmedabad Aa gaya? ( Oh, has Ahmedabad come?)

She: yes, Uncle.

He: Kab Aaya Ahmedabad? ( When did Ahemdabad come?)

She: 5 Min Pehle aaya. ( 5 Mins before)

He: Yeh aapki Seat Hain ( Is this your seat?)

She: Yes

He: When will the train leave the station?

She: (Getting Irritated) In 5-10 minutes uncle. Can I now please get the seat.

He: Yes.

That was the end of the episode. But the nature of questions he put before the lady looked stupid and irritating.

Some more anecdotes coming up in few days.


Giving Back to the Nature

Nature has time an again warned us by its subtle means about how we humans are bent on destroying it for our selfish means. Of course, not all humans share the this thought process…
In the last 5 years, monsoon has been irregular and uneven in almost all the parts of the world. India has suffered greatly to this regards and rightly so. The newly founded love for industrialization has resulted in cutting off trees and creating pollution. Delhi is amongst the most polluted cities in the world after China. Imagine how much we are striving to make our own home unlivable.
However there is a silver lining in the dark cloud. People are gradually realizing about the need to protect, conserve and increase mother nature. They plant trees. Some people have even dedicated their entire lives in planting trees for the benefit of the people and have died in the process. People like me do this occasionally on birthdays and other events.
Some days back, I had an urge of planting seeds or plants on the occasion of my birthday. I could not arrange for the plants till the last minute. But as is the norm, we have a superwoman in every household known as Mother. She arranged for 3 plants in the last minute and my plan came to fruition.
I along with my parents had the opportunity to give something back to nature. I planted 3 plants on my birthday before going to office. I understand that planting trees is alone not sufficient as one has to nurture them like kids. That will also come to fruition as the days pass. Additionally, mother nature smiled on me as rainfall has been happening since that day. A proof that she approved of my small contribution.
I request whomsoever is reading this post of mine to do likewise and plant atleast 1 tree on their birthdays, anniversaries and similar occasions.

Salute to the Spiritual and a Simple Scientist-President of India

Sometimes, you are short of words, sometimes you are too full of words that you want to explode and let it out with someone you know. It is said that when people are deeply connected with each other, they don’t need to speak. They intuitively know each other’s thoughts. I guess this is how mothers come to know of their children’s issues even before they speak. Deep bonding. Mothers even come to know the mood of their offspring right when they step back into the home.
Just my ramblings.
Last month, our ex-President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam passed away, while delivering a lecture at a prestigious educational institute. We can say, he died with his boots on. On his job! Very few get to do that. But why is he so popular with the masses? Because he spearheaded the missile revolution in India and knew how to connect with people.
AND, he lived simply. How many people do we know who have been a popular government figure but do not own a home? Too few. He was one amongst them. Sir Kalam did not own his home in Delhi or elsewhere, except his ancestral home in Rameshwaram. When he died, he only had a couple of shoes pair, 4 set of clothes and some money. He preferred simple food and did not fuss about anything.
In spite of being once upon a time, the 1st man of the country. There were no bad name attached behind him in his illustrious career. And yet, some stupid scientist from our neighbor country, Mr Khan said he was just an ordinary scientist. Hell yeah, he was ordinary, BUT, he was EXTRA-ordinary. There is much difference in that. I don’t intend to put some links right now which refer to him as there are plenty available on the internet.
I remember my indirect association with him some 11 years back or so. When I was nearing my 20, I had written him a letter on an important topic expressing my concern, He was the President of India. I never expected a reply back from him. Yet, I was elated when the postman asked for some sweet one afternoon and he handed me the coveted letter from his office. One was a receipt and one was his reply.
Unfortunately, I lost his personal letter to me, if I remember he wrote it but the receipt still remains.

Everyday Normal but Extraordinary Heroes Amongst Us

What comes into your mind when you hear the word ‘Hero’ or ‘Superhero’ for the first time?¬†Someone from the film fraternity for sure? Someone from the army? Someone from the civil services?
Of course, the guys in the army are our everyday superheroes but what If I told you that apart from the army folk, there are many people who have committed themselves for a better India initiative taking their time from their job or business or full time? Yes, these people do not know each other and yet, they are spread all over India and doing their work silently without advertising themselves.
We would never have known them, but for one website or organization known as the Better India.They have taken up the challenge of finding these people from the crowd and bringing it in front of us.
Let me give some of few examples of our everyday Heroes in brief.
1. The Chocolate Ganesha maker

Yes, this lady ‘Rintu’ makes Chocolate Ganesha during the present Ganpati Festival in Mumbai. So what? In this age of the need of eco-friendly cries of making Ganesha statues, she not only made a chocolate god but also immersed the God as per the norm, but in a different way. She immersed it in Milk and gave the Chocolate milk to Underprivileged kids. Everyone happy? Of course! Read more about her.
2. No family separated during Kumbh Mela 2015
We have all heard and seen about the Kumbh Mela, the ancient religious fair of India, where people get separated from their families in the crowd, isn’t it? Even the old Hindi movies show it. But this time, the authorities made sure that it does not happen. With efficient planning and implementation, until now, there has been no incident of people missing in Kumbh Mela 2015 in Nashik. How? ¬†By this way.

3. Ordinary Lady into Doctor Lady

What do you think this lady is/was on first sight? She was a vegetable seller. And now? She is a renowned Oncologist. Yes, an expert surgeon and a very kind lady.
This vegetable seller turned oncologist is Dr. Vijayalakshmi Deshmane. To know how and why of her sudden life transformation, you must first understand that it takes dedication and passion to follow a dream. Read more about her here.

4. Fighting Hunger together for people 

We have all heard about the infamous Bengal famine, right? But there are some sections in the region where it is a daily task for people to remain hungry. But it looks like a shining cloud is on its way to solve this matter. Youngsters are taking the matter in their own hands. About 32 youth groups in West Bengal have come together to fight hunger in an innovative way.
5. No age for learning 

There is a belief in our society that until a certain age, one must accomplish something like education, marriage, job, etc.etc.. We have all heard of people who have started learning and going to college after their retirement. But have you heard of a young man of 96 years who has just enrolled for a P.G Course?
With just 4 years to complete his century of age, Mr. Raj Kumar Vaishya of Patna enrolled for a P.G Course in Patna in the Nalanda Open University. At his age, people are mostly confined to their homes and bed, to the dependence of their relatives, but not this gentleman.
Hats off to you sir.

6. Delhi is not that bad.

Delhi is now infamous for not only the thugs, but also rapists, attacking unsuspecting girls and even the tourists. But, it does not mean that there are no good people in the India capital. Recently, a woman was assaulted by a man who wanted to loot her near a park in the night. But a group of youngsters heard her cries, jumped over the fence and saved her from the attacker. Of course, it was all caught in the CCTV footage. Next time, you hear someone’s cry for help, at least think over it.
To read more of these stories, keep on reading from the Better India website. They are surely doing a great job.

Kutchch Nahi Dekha to Sahi me Kuch Nahi Dekha


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Ok, so you have just put down your papers in the JOB all of a sudden and have come back home, thinking what to do now. Your family suddenly gets supportive of your decision suspiciously and gives you some space for rest and thinking of future plan of action.  Now what?

That’s what happened to me this month in December 2014. I left my JOB on an impulse and came back home. For months and years, I have always wanted to travel to the Himalayas, but could not get lucky. This time also I could not get lucky because of:

1. Severe winter
2. NRI Season
3. Expensive packages.

I was mulling over the fact when Amitabh Bachchan saved me. He came over the TV advertisement and asked me to go to Kutchch. It is also the right season to visit the region due to the Kutchch Rannutsav and other places worth going to, specifically in the winter.

I trusted the Gujarat Tourism department for the program. They also give option to go to Saurashtra but I chose Kutchch as I wanted to see a desert after a long time and visit some palaces such as Aina Mahal and Vijay Vilas Palace, where the famous Bollywood movies ‘Lagaan and Hum Dil Chuke Sanam’ were shot.

My booking turned out to be quite well for the package as I got enough photography opportunities to shoot different historic palaces, beach, desert, etc, of course much to the irritation of my fellow elder retired co-passengers who had to wait for me in the bus for more than 10 mins every time.

In my subsequent 4 blogs, I will describe each destination of Kutchch in detail and what you need to take care of and take with you. If you have crossed the age of 45 and do not have interest of photography then develop one or learn to wait patiently for people who have this passion. Else it is just like going to a place, seeing it, coming back and visiting another place. Let the image of the scene or sculpture or landscape settle in your eyes before you visit another place.

If you are going to visit Kutchch in Winter, then you should:

1. Take some woolen clothes
2. Plan your accommodation and book it at least 1 month in advance
3. Hire a well-informed local guide in advance
4. Adapt to the easy going attitude of the locals and the time lenient mentality 

The other fact is that you will find the water of Kutchch much sweet to drink.

In my next blog, you will get information on Morbi district. Of course, the photos will always be there to guide you.


In a Mismanaged State of Affairs


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Hey Guys

This is my first post since I created this blog on wordpress after a gap of almost more than one year or so. Presently, I was just searching through really good blogs on the net, which I came upon. I myself am a mediocre writer and have been writing stuff for my company.

I was just wondering through good blogs as I mentioned above when I came upon this wonderful blog of a lady named as Shivya, who was a corporate executive in singapore some time ago. She quit her job on her true call of intuition and now is a full time traveller and also has a travel start up company. She works for living on what she loves to do-Travelling. I will not say much about her, as you can read it all on her blog here.

If you want to come upon my blogs, I regularly write on platform and have made 2 blogs there. One blog is on usual ramblings of my everyday life and the other one is my travel blog.. I travel on a whim when I get a chance to noting down my experiences and what I notice. Have a look here. Travel blog can be found here, if you wish to see.

See ya sometime soon hopefully