Saturday, February 6, 2010

A great weekend in a great city! :)

And so, finally, in the midst of working freelance, coding an application for dad, thinking of a plot for a short-story I aspire to write, fixing my cousin's God forsaken PC, photo-copying all possible notes for my university exams next month, organizing my data in my computer, attending Yoga and jive classes, I've had the time to blog! About my two wonderful days at Ahmedabad. :)

I visited the city for the second time this year, and saw more of it than I had last. Enjoyed to the fullest. :) I reached Ahmedabad on Friday (the 29th of January) night and stayed over at my blog friend Sakhi's place this time too, and surprisingly she looked more feminine with slightly longer locks that complemented her face very well (I'm sure she'll be delighted to read this! :D). We reached her place in twenty minutes or so. Houses in Ahmedabad are humongous; it takes longer to walk from one room to the next than it takes here to go to the last house in my building! :D I was in total awe of the place. 

On Saturday, I left for IIM in the morning. Their cultural fest Chaos was going on in full zest. I met my friend Nissim who studies there, he introduced me to his cousin who had come down for the fest as well. He then took us to a hotel nearby where his family had been staying for the past couple of days. I had a sumptuous lunch with his family at Pakvaan. The food was too sweet though and for the first time, I gulped the buttermilk with great relish since it was the only thing that wasn't sweet and successfully removed the sweet residue from my mouth left behind by the thaali. Followed by that was a trip to Sabarmati Ashram. It didn't even strike me that it was the 30th of January (Gandhiji's death anniversary!). And so, I happened to be there at the right time :) Clicked a lot of photographs in the Ashram and at Sabarmati river, bought his autobiography at the bookstore there and even attended the Timeless Mahatma exhibition that was held especially for that day.

The evening was spent at IIM. I met a Twitterer Jaideep (@jdshah) outside the campus and had a cup of elaichi chai (which, needless to mention, was sweet too!). We couldn't really talk much, since I had to go back to the campus for a concert that was going to start shortly. But it turned out that I still had an hour with me. I caught up with Bhalchandra- the guy I am doing a project with. Met him in person for the first time, he sure is different than what I had imagined him to be. His witty comments at the concert later had me giggling!!

The concert rocked! I got a front row pass (thanks to Nissim! :)) and I could easily pass through the barricade courtesy my height and width :D. The concert started off with a perfomance by Kavita Seth. She is a Sufi singer, more popular by "Iktara", her latest song from the movie "Wake up Sid". Loved her performance and was amazed by the Sufi dancer on stage who kept spinning around continuously while dancing and still managed to gain full control of himself once the song got over. I listened to a lot of Sufi songs. Shruti Pathak took over then ("Mar Jawa" singer from the movie "Fashion"). She sang a few Bollywood songs ("Mar Jawa", "Dance pe Chance Maar Le", "Beedi Jalayle"). After a lot of impatient noises and whines from the crowd (which was desperately waiting for Sonu), Sonu Niigaam finally arrived at 9:15 and performed for 3 hours straight!! He sang everything - Bollywood songs, songs from his own album, and surprisingly, "Stayin Alive" by the Bee Gees- in their own voice!! Sadly, I couldn't record that number. Hope to get that from some friend now. He entertained the crowd all throughout and had them with him. Here are some short recordings from my camera (sorry about the poor video quality!):

And so, after a well spent day, Nissim dropped me to Sakhi's place a little after midnight. The next day (Sunday), we went to her new house that was still getting designed. I then shopped at The Body Shop and availed of their discount offer by buying an amazing Japanese Cherry Blossom shower gel which, by the way, is much relaxing and smells great !! :D We had lunch at her place, and this time, it was way too tasty. Not too sweet, not too spicy! She had cooked my favourite vegetable (bhindi - Lady Finger) and I licked the plate clean. :)

In the evening, we took an auto to Kankaria lake. She had taught me to read the meter over lunch and tested me when we got off. And I have to mention, the auto-wallahs in Ahmedabad can no longer cheat me! :D Kankaria lake was awesome. It's one place where you've got everything- right from an aquarium, to a zoo, to adventure rides, to a park, to a laser and musical fountain show that takes place every evening, to boat rides, to chaat and other eateries, to countless wonderful birds flying together, to a beautiful lake and a beautiful sunset !!! :) We did a lot of photography, went for a ride in the boat, had a pizza and a cup of awesome WaghBakri chai (which was not sweet at all and had just the right amount of ginger), saw the laser & musical fountain show, had a lovely time photographing and making faces at the fish in the aquarium and then left happily having candy floss on our way home! :)

After playing a bit with her daughter, and then having some Maggi at 1 a.m. in the morning, she dropped me to the station for my 2:15 a.m. train! It was my first time in a night-train. I was a little scared of getting fleeced so I tried hard not to sleep at first, killing my time on Twitter on my phone, but unfortunately I had been given the middle berth and there was no way I could sit there even for a minute and eventually, whilst lying in that position, fell asleep. And how I slept! I woke up directly in the morning to the sound of babies wailing, and was shocked to see my face all swollen. I had slept a little too heavily :D I looked out and saw Vasai Road going by and knew Bombay was nearing. I got that strange soothing feeling that I always get when I come back to Bombay and in no time, the train halted at Bandra Terminus. I stepped out carrying my luggage, feeling at home and happy to be back. :)

P.S: Please watch ALL the videos. It took too long to get them here! :P


JD Shah said...

Cool post yaar! worte it so well..Yaar I wish I could have been close to the stage may b somewer u wer (more closer in Shruti's performance :D) coz mine was not so good experience - Sonu Nigam almost looked like Satya Sai baba wearing a leather gear wid a french cut :D (no offence to his followers) and than this 3 idots wala silencer ka photocopy made rest of us choke to death back there :( but anyway nice to see these videos..!

Anonymous said...

Thatz a nice travelogue! Sabarmati Ashram was the icing on the cake..btw, I stumbled here from Harsh's blog( Will check out other posts too :)


Samy said...

Cool post Anubha .. Ahmedabad is surely hell lot of fun and you put it correctly about the houses. The concept of high rises is still on the go, but nothing can beat Ahmedabad when it comes to building posh houses and larger than life bungalows... Chaos is a premiere event defining Ahmedabad and year after year it has been bringing awesome people from the entertainment industry. Being born and brought up in Ahmedabad, I can just go on and on talking about it, and hopefully when you come down there next time, we shall have a bloggers meet (if I can be there too at the same time lol) ... Like your blog as always, although I have not been following if regularly for the past month or so (which by the way you can figure out why from my blog ;-) ) ...Keep up the good work !!
(PS: Loved the snaps and the videos were awesome too)

Anubha said...

@JD Shah
3 idiots waala silencer ka photocopy?? Didn't get that one!! :-s
And yes, I was looking for you at the back after the concert but was too hungry and tired to last longer. I had a burger and crashed as soon as I reached my friend's place.

Welcome to my blog! :) And thanks, glad you liked it. Ever been to Ahmedabad?

I agree with you on the point that nothing can beat Ahmedabad when it comes to building posh houses. The new house that my friend is getting designed looks awesome; I wish we could do that here! Here, our major concern is how to fit so much in so little space! :D Glad you liked the post and will surely let you know the next time I am there. And now hopping over to your blog to find out why you were away! :)

Reema said...

no matter where u go and how much u have, one always feels happy when home arrives :) I m so J that u went to Ahmd twice. By the time I will go, I am afraid I wont be able to meet our friend :(

Anubha said...

Hehe no probs, you can go to Bangalore as well to meet her then! :)
Ahmedabad is a nice place.. do visit!

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Thanks for the link in as well :)