Thursday, February 5, 2009

Week 3 - Reminiscing the Trip Back Home !!!

... Continued from Week 2.

[PICS: Disclaimer: Sorry, but I removed the links on this post for the pics, so as not to let someone random from the internet world, misuse the pics... It would have been fun to put it here, but hey those of you who are really really interested, why don't you just email me or ping me at samkit.s.shah@gmail.com, or simple enough, just put a comment here (even a blank comment will do), and I would send out the links... I would be more happier and it would be more safe to do that way ... I know, removing the links takes out the real essence of this post, but I think the flavor and the excitement is still there ... So just leave a blank comment or drop a line to my personal email and you would get the links in guaranteed 15 min time - Cheers :) ]

Well, well ... I never thought that the trip back home and the events that I experienced, would create so much responses from my readers when I would share it with them. Over the past few weeks, those of you who have dropped by my blog, and in fact requested for the links for the pics, I really am glad for that ... And a special thanks to those who have taken out a few minutes of their busy routine life and commented on my posts...

Week 3
1/8/2009 - 1/14/2009

To continue with the memories, Week 3 was just about going to a lot of places, relatives, friends, socializing, having lunches and dinners with them and spending some quality time - a time which one longs for having stayed in the USA. Such is the aura of the atmosphere back at home, that no one gets spared from the cliche social surroundings and like it or not, someone like me always yearns for that environment. That in fact truly describes how life in two entirely opposite countries are different for a common man - A Sunday evening in the US, is described as "depressing", "gloomy" and "stressful" - with people scurrying home in their beds to think about work or business on Monday - and just the thought of it gives you a low feeling...

On the other side, a Sunday evening in India, in Ahmedabad, is all about hustle and bustle of the frantic people flooding the awesome restaurants, movie halls, shopping malls as if it's a season of celebrations for no reason at all... Mind you, it is not that people are not working on Monday or people dont care about their businesses and Monday mornings, but it is just how we back in our country tend to ease out our stress and enjoy the real meaning of Sunday... In fact a lot of people work on Saturdays and so have only one day to enjoy as compared to the "weekend" notion of USA ... Its just we Indians know how to enjoy better !!! lol.

Well with the Gujarat Govt., spending money wisely and in a disciplined way, Ahmedabad now can boast about a lot of infrstructure developments and re-establishments. One such example being the famous old Kankaria Lake... I really wanted to take a look at it after it's restoration and took Dipali along too... What amazed to me was the fact that, people of Ahmedabad, be it any kind of recession the WORLD over is talking about, these people were ready to shell out 10 Rs. for an entry to the lake, and even further some 25 Rs. for a ride in the train. The train is the center piece of attraction and has been imported from some place(Sorry I dont know a lot of details here)... After you enter such a public place, the first generalized idea you get is - Oh man its gonna be dirty and all, people polluting the surroundings etc...

But mind you if you have not been to Kankaria, then be ready to get surprised - as people from whatsoever background they come are now aware of Public Etiquettes and not 100 % but atleast 60-70 % of the people gathered there for a quiet evening stroll, now make it a point not to spoil the image of Kankaria any more. For that I truly support the Govt., charging people to even enter the park. That is the only way one can maintain a truly beautiful public place ... I went in the night time, and so did not catch a clear glimpse of the water, but in the middle of the lake was a giant advertising screen - that showed how technology is catching up... It was a truly memorable evening and makes you fall more in love with Aapnu Amdavad !!! Pics surprisingly came out well considering it was a bit hazy and was in the night ...

Everytime I used to enter my house, the walk from the gate till my house, made me remember so many fond memories, moments that I had spent for about 21 years before coming to the USA... Each trip, each time, makes me feel so nostalgic about my home - "Champanivas" ... The compound walls, the Badam trees, the smashed window panes of my Uncle's bunglow in the front, the underbridge, the whole bunglow itself, in fact sometimes chokes me up with tears - just fondly remembering those childhood and college days spent there ... Summer time cricket, vacations, fast bicycle moments in the compound, learning my first two-wheeler, my car, flying kites, and what not ...

My cousin grand-mother (I hope that relevance means correct in English - its basically my Dadi-Kaki), had invited us for breakfast this week, and as usual her love was to the brink, when she caught my hand, and made me eat a typical winter delicacy which is good for health... My dad, my mom all are fond of her and now she too is fond of Dipali... If Dipali is not seen for some days, then she would immediately ask mom - "Where is Dipa" lol - yeah, she calls her Dipa !!! Such love, warmth and care, sometimes makes me feel as to what am I doing there back in the States, without all these emotions ... I truly believe that I am an emotional guy to some extent, but the stay in the US, did teach me a lot about being practical - but as one says - basic nature is never forgotten ... I took a lot of pics in and around my home this time with my new D-SLR to bring it back here ... The Great Champanivas ... I too have loads of stories to tell to my kids about this home, just like my Dad has told me all these years... Truly Nostalgic ...

Moving on, days passed by, with as usual the shopping trips, dinners at all the goody restaurants that Ahmedabad can boast of, and the day came when I started hearing familiar shouts of - "Kaipo che, Chal Lapet" (It's some of the words one shouts when you cut someone's kite during Uttarayan Festival) ...It was the 14th of January - The Uttarayan day, and this is one such festival which I really love, or rather time has made me enjoy amidst all that is happening in my life, the sole reason being that we the so called NRIs visit Ahmedabad during the months of Dec-Jan and this is the only festival we have on our platter. The rest of the festivals are in such months, where I can just think of enjoying ... But I have decided that maybe after my marriage next year (again which would be around Dec-Jan), I am gonna visit Ahmedabad in some odd month to enjoy some other festival - Navratri, Diwali, Summer Mangoes - anything but Dec-Jan's Uttarayan !!! lol...

My father rightly says "We, the NRIs are like the birds of Nalsarovar, who fly and come down during the winter in Dec-Jan, and as the season comes to an end, we fly back to wonderland" - How ironically true !!! Well, I wanted to take Dipali to the real show, the place where the night turns up aive, with shouts, music, cars honking their horns, people running around buying kites - Yeah - Its called "Katal ki Raat" (Meaning "The ULTIMATE NIGHT ever") ... To experience this one needs to visit some certain parts of the Walled City, and truly what an amazing festive mood it is on both sides of the road. Had to manage really hard to take some pics, but finally got some... Dipali was stunned looking at the crowd and how people were running around with their kites above their heads, and some getting their threads colored and sharpened for the important battle the next day - the battle of the kites and the threads !!!

Next day, we visited several places to be with friends and family, and of-course enjoy the kite festival ... Met my EC friends for a while, went to Dipali's family place in the afternoon and ultimately like all these years, went to Soham (Sotu's) place late evening - as he has a place inside the walled city - and believe me that is where the real Uttarayan is ... The pics speak for themselves ... Had great fun !!! But it was not over yet, my cousins had got together to fly what they call a "Tukkal" - its basically a cardboard type lantern, inside which you light up a candle and tie it to the thread of the kite and send it up - the one with the most number of such tukkals is the envy of others and people try to cut that with their own kites - so the trick is to send another guard kite for protection ... Amazing isnt it?

The week was filled with a lot of nostalgic, excited fun-filled moments, and I could give up anything to experience that again ... Its amazing how these moments are so fresh in my mind, that I can describe them to the tiniest details if asked for ... There are uncountable such outings to malls, restaurants etc which I am not unnecessarily describing here as that would just make me feel so much home sick lol :) ...

Well as always, enjoy this post till I come out with my last week at home - Week 4. As for the pics, you know what to do - just drop in a line at my email - samkit.s.shah@gmail.com OR just drop by a blank comment here on my post even if you dont feel like writing anything to this post.

To make it more interesting for me, I would like to hear about one of THE BEST memories that you would have you would like to put down here in my comments section - a memory from your childhood, a memory from any of your trip to any place, any thing worth remembering ... Do it and read it again - You would truly enjoy it till the end ...

Will be back with Week 4...
Till then - Sayounara ...

Cheers

Samkit

8 comments:

romani said...

what a great blog u have...i m getting to relive india all over again.....thank u so much...plz plz send the pics..can u plz send ne wk 2 and 3 pics...i m dying to see ahmd...its been almost 7 yrs since i was last there....:-(

mirrorcracked said...

I just returned from a weekend trip to Ah'bad! Fascinating place! :)

Shachi said...

Hey - good posts :) I got back after a month in Abad as well - so my stories would have much in common with yours :)

anyway, it would be good to get a link of the pics....

i need to start blogging - i have some interesting things to share....will do so soon!

Anonymous said...

amazing!!reminds me mah home town Ahmedabad.Would like to see pix though!

Samy said...

@Romani - Thanks for the compliments ... I can surely send you the pics, but I need your email address and some kind of identification lol - I am not too sure if I know you :) .. Do drop a line on my email address as listed in the post, and I shall send you the pics ... thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on it ...

@Nikhil - Definitely a fascinating place, and I see that you had to write about the "beauty" of ahmedabad lol ...

@Shachi - Welcome back yay !!! I know, I thought where did you go - as no recent posts ... But then if you were in Ahmedabad - no complains - makes sense as I myself was away for a month there ... I would await your experience in Ahmedabad ... For the pics I dropped a comment on your blog as I need your email ID to send you the pics ...

Cheers

ruchi said...

havent been to kankaria in ages...seems it would be a to do thing in my next trip...

dalfi said...

hey Samkit..
I've visited A'bad twice..bt trust me i am all in luv with it..
ya last time whn i was there..i didnt get enuf time 2 hang arn wi dmy folks..cos u knw i was stuck wid wt...
bt i aint gonna wast any more time whn i am there.. bt head 2 Vishala..
n ya i luvvvvvv Vishala..i remember telling my dad the 1st time we'd been there..." i am going 2 get married here only"..haha i was obviously very young then..

n i still cry b 4 leaving jsr t come to bombay..milan obviously cheers me up enuf..bt u knw 1 can't help crying then..
hope i get 2 b there next time during Utrayan..i just luvd the whole thing ..we were on the terrace after u left till 1 tht night..Milan, Nimit bhai n me..

Samy said...

@Dalfi - Firstly, thanks for stopping by my blog, secondly, even greater thanks for writing a comment lol ... there arent much out there who spend time to write a feedback, even though I know that there are a lot of silent readers lol ....

Yeah I know, ahmedabad has given me everything, and its but natural that one falls in love and never comes out of that love, where one is born ... and about you being in ahmedabad the next time around, make sure you are there for my wedding n not for uttarayan lol ... ;-)

Cheers