Gujarat Tour Diary 4 – The bad Apples.

Through the previous three blogs we experienced a shining, wild and wonderful Gujarat that is standing tall.

“Hey, hang on ! Don’t tell me that everything is honky dory. You should have had bad experiences too”. 

I can hear loud and clear your murmur. For sure there were two experiences to forget during the ten day trip.

1. The first experience was scary. It was scarier than the roller coaster ride in Disneyland where at the least, I was confident that I will return 
back after the ride after a thorough shakeup.

2. The second one, left me wonder-stuck in disbelief with questions “How can it be like this? Is this not in His (you know whom I mean by ‘His’ !) Radar ? After all it is “His” own State !”

Let us get an idea of the two bad apples in my basket of experiences.

Okha-Beyt Dwaraka-Okha Ferry Ride – Disaster in Waiting

Gujarat Tourism (https://www.gujarattourism.com/saurashtra/devbhoomi-dwarka/bet-dwarka.html) gives a clear warning that boat connectivity could be sporadic and delayed to the Beyt Dwaraka otherwise called as Bet Dwaraka.

Bet Dwarka, also known as Shankhodhar, is said to have been the residence of Lord Krishna during his ruling years at Dwarka. It derived its name from the word ‘bet’ which translates to ‘gift’ and is believed that Lord Krishna received it from his friend Sudama. In the ancient epic, Mahabharata, Bet Dwarka is known by the name of ‘Antardvipa’ to which people of the Yadava clan needed to travel by boat.

In this modern era of technology and science, we were taken back to ancient times by the authorities responsible for the ferry.

This is nothing but a DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN ANYTIME. (Of course, it is based on the assumption that anything that cut shorts a human life is a disaster).

Here is a video of my ferry ride.

AMD – Ahmedabad Airport – Thriving on Chaos

The Domestic Terminal in Ahmedabad Airport, from where I commenced my return journey home, left me wondering with a few questions.

The Airport at the Capital of the State from where the Prime Minister of the fastest growing economy comes (Varanasi may be his adopted home) presented a feeling of a modern day chaotic mofussil bus stand.
Over crowded waiting area, jam packed lounges with huge queue to gain access to, noisy and vociferous crowd eager to form queues and rush even as the incoming aircraft is sighted, anxious and worried Senior Citizens on wheel chairs….. Ahmedabad Airport gives Chennai Airport a run for its money when it comes to chaos. No doubts about this.

This concludes the Tour Diary – Gujarat. Barring these two, the travel and tour was extremely comfortable and an amazing experience. Will see you soon from the other side of Atlantic .

Au revoir; à bientôt

Gujarat Tour Diary 3 – Standing Tall

This is the penultimate blog on our recent tour to Gujarat. I don’t intend to present the notes and photographs covering the  traditional tourist spots like the Step Wells, the Sun Temple, Somnath, Dwaraka, Masjids etc etc. 
I will rather present a few photographs that I took at three important places viz., Porbandar, Diu and Ekta Nagar.

These photographs bring out a clear message for me.

“ Freedom, Valor and Unity “.

No doubt in my mind that Gujarat stands tall when it comes to Nation building.

Porbandar & Sabarmati – Freedom through non-violence.

Diu – INS Khukri Memorial – Valor & Courage

Ekta Nagar – Unity in Diversity

Gujarat Travel Diary – 1 – Shining Gujarat

Post retirement we had a wonderful plan of exploring every year, one of the States and Union Territories in our country. That was working out nicely till 2019, when the dreaded CoVid 19 stuck. The years 2020 and 2021 saw us getting trapped in the residence.

At last, the opening came in March 2022. We decided that we will visit Gujarat (despite the fear of an oppressive heat). A detailed plan was drawn out (10 night & 11 days) covering nearly 2500 Kms of road journey. The tour was well coordinated and organized by Akshar Travels, Gujarat.

Here is a pictorial summary of our tour plan.

The explorer

Great experience it was. From the time we landed in Rajkot till the time we boarded our return flight at Ahmedabad, it was non stop learning about animals, places, heritage, culture, food and of course people.

From the non stop “Thambakoo” chewing Rajasthani driver (thanks to Film Stars who are responsible for this addiction in many people) to the tribal people selling their wares in Little Rann of Kutch, evidences of our Sanatana Dharma, everyone in search of pure happiness kept cropping up by the minute again and again.

My iPhone X literally cried for help. Help came only through places where photography was not allowed. Consolidating the photos and preserving them is a mammoth task. That process has just started and the first focus is on my favorite, the Sun – Aditya. The reason is “After all Gujarat is shining. Isn’t it?

Here is Shining Gujarat, a video of Sun Shine across our entire route in Gujarat

Shining Gujarat

Happy New Year 2022

The Year 2021 is coming to an end shortly. The threat of Covid-19 and its variants continues and as we find ways and means to mitigate the consequences of this pandemic, we should continue our vigil and care.

On a personal note, God has been extremely kind. With His Grace and blessings from elders, I could continue my journey of learning. Whatever I could assimilate, I could bring them out through my blogs and books and they have been well received.

From a modest beginning in 2019, prabhusponder.com now has over 250 followers, 18000 visitors from around the world (over 35 countries) and 36000 views. This only reinforces that I need to learn more and share more.

So, here is a big THANK YOU and a sincere prayer for the New Year 2022.

GOD BLESS

Lockdown Gossip – “The caw coo colloquium”

Ever since we returned back to Bangalore in April 2021 from the USA, it has been exactly the same conditions like what we faced when we entered NewYork in early February 2020. LOCKED DOWN.

Locked down essentially means you get lots of time to do “Roof top walking” a familiar routine in the early morning and evening for me; this time with a difference – with lots of friends and companions. Strange!

Yes. It is literally an expedition to the animal kingdom and in particular THE BIRDS. I can assure you that if the lockdown continues further I can probably claim to have understood what these wonderful creations of God speak among themselves.

Here is Cathy, the Crow and Peggy, the Pigeon in a conversation on a bright and sunny day. True to the current situation, they had their cup of woes too. Let us hear them.

Well, Don’t worry Cathy and Peggy. Normalcy should be restored soon. Best wishes.

Note: Videos and photos taken on my iPhone X.

Video Link

Arunodaya

Looking at the Sunrise with awe and reciting Aditya Hrudayam during my early morning walks has been my most enjoyable moment for the day for several years.

Nothing can be more invigorating than this particularly in this era of pandemic and lock down. The one hour that I spend in the early morning is worth the gold. That is what Aditya (Sun) seems to be telling me today morning.

Watch Him talk to me today, Sunday the 16th Morning between 0545 and 0645 Hrs in Bangalore

https://www.dropbox.com/s/782xv6yj94n67mq/Arunodaya%20.MOV?dl=0

Music Courtesy – Music Today Album Arunodayam – Bowli Raga

Lock Down ! Look Up !

After 15 months stay at the East Coast of USA, we are back at the base in Namma Bengaluru. Within two weeks of arrival, here we are ! under “Total Lock Down for 14 days” due to the second wave of the epidemic.

Heart goes out to the people suffering and affected by the virus. Lucky & fortunate elders like me should have no issues at all to stay at home in an apartment complex.

It is no big deal. Simple formula – Just lock down and look up. You will see what you want to see and not the barrage of negativity around. When you lock down negativity and look up for positives, you will see HOPE.

Here are some images of what I saw:

These iPhone images taken by me, reinforce my belief that Nature can present its best side even under stressful living.

I sincerely pray that this good side of Nature soon help us overcome its other side and presents a smile on us, the suffering Indians.

World ! Please Pray for Indians. This also will pass.