14 August 2002
. It was on this day that I had landed in Ahmedabad. It was the first time that I had to live in a different culture. Well, not entirely different; however, you know, even the sarees are worn in a way opposite to that in U.P./Uttarakhand. The language was different, but not difficult to understand. The weather was a different type of extreme.
It was funny that bus numbers 200 and 300 would make a round of the entire city in exactly opposite directions, a person on foot could get stuck in a traffic jam, a young man could become a business magnate by selling maska-bun
, and the scholars of a reputed institute would go to a neighbouring institute for snacks at odd hours. You would be amused to see the morning and evening walkers struggling to maintain a fine balance between their taste buds and the rest of their bodies! The all-embracing character of Gujarati culture was revealed when a Hungarian scholar was called Aurélbhai Gabris.
I used to take long walks round the city on weekends just to absorb as much of the city culture as I could. As I had promised to my seniors at the introduction party, I did learn several new ideas and thoughts, and polished my arts and other interests. To be specific, I learnt Bengali and Russian, yoga (ironically, as I came from Rishikesh), and harmonica. It was in Ahmedabad only that I had visited an art gallery for the first time in my life.
The experience at the institute was a mixed one, as life in general is. However, the greatest asset was the company of my seniors, colleagues, and juniors, who were so good in different fields. Whatever be your philosophy or outlook towards life, you would definitely find a company there. Those scholars kept the spirit of learning forever alive in me. They all showed me how large the universe is, and how many things are there to see, admire, cherish, and learn.
I still remember you. Love you all a lot.
photo credit: ahir, kutch via photopin (license)