I felt like Johnny Bravo, trapped in a strange land with nothing but beautiful women all around. Everywhere I looked, there were hot, sexy women flaunting themselves, lost in the oblivion of beauty. And for someone like me who hauls from a concrete jungle where the only eye-candy is found in a mirror, I was irreproachably lost and felt a pang of jealousy for every man who walked the streets in that Paradise.
I was in Ahmadabad for the weekend, arriving in Bangalore only last night. The return flight was anything but comfortable. Indigo Airlines has a reputation for more heart-in-the-mouth moments than any other airline and last night, I experienced it first hand. The plane was rattling to the bone, crunching and creaking at every seam and the nuts and bolts could be heard deafeningly loud in the ear. The pitiful whine of the engines added to the mayhem and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one sitting hunched up, hugging myself and my dear life.
But the deathtrap was worth it’s airfare as it dropped me safe and sound and in one piece in Bangalore, when I promptly fell to the ground, kissed it and flipped two big, fat middle fingers to the plane. As I walked down the rickety ramp, I could sense the huge beast breathing heavily and sighing with relief from the strain of being pushed to its limits for two-and-a-half hours.
Ahmadabad is a Paradise with a violent past and a glorious future, living in it’s quiet, picturesque present. The people are warm and fuzzy, and they talk about their Paradise with a pinch of salt, cringing every time memories come flooding back. Being a lion from a concrete jungle, I had no connect to their violence, no sense of belonging in a bloodshed past, and nothing to offer but a kind ear.
The women – oh god, the women there are breathtakingly beautiful. I felt so relieved that I was in love with the most beautiful woman in the world, because if I wasn’t, I would have been so tempted! Some of the places I visited were absolute thrills, and for a few minutes, I was comparing God’s creativity and Man’s imitation of the same – the women and the architecture, respectively.
The step-well at Adalaj was so perfect in more ways than one – every turn and every bend boggling the mind with the complexity of the labyrinth; the light sneaking in at every turn, break and crack, throwing up fascinating shadows and reducing us to mere silhouettes; the throng of people, open-mouthed and yet, cautiously silent, awed by the hidden divinity of the place; and the beautiful women made the picture complete.
Sabarmathi Ashram was the other major pitstop I had, and amidst the quiet chaos in the heart of the city, the place had an eerie calm to it, ensconcing the visitor in a shroud of silence and almost forcing everyone to marvel at the power that Gandhi wielded without touching a single weapon, without commanding a single army and without having the luxury of wealth, office and politics. It made me feel proud. It made me feel small.
The obvious highlight of the trip was meeting three of the sweetest bloggers – Manushi, Sakhi and Alice. It was a different thrill meeting each one of them, and it did not feel awkward or constrained at all. The fact that each one had in them something different to offer to the conversation and add to that my fascination of finally meeting them, made what could have been a potentially disastrous meet into something akin to absolute fun. You three are great and I take my (non-existent) hat off to you.
Of course, the most prominent part of my trip was my reunion with a dear old classmate/friend/confidante/curse-buddy/beer-buddy/sutta-partner of mine – Chucks. She was back in India for a semester break during her MBA in Sydney, and meeting her was an absolute thrill that cannot be expressed. I raise my glass of beer in toast to you, Chucks, and hope that you succeed in whatever you do. Tiny steps, remember?
All in all, it was a great weekend. I got some quality work done, met some absolutely fantastic people and saw some breathtaking places. Ahmadabad must be on every traveler’s list. It’s worth a re-visit.
All images are taken by me, using my Nikon L12.