Friday 11 February 2022

Adieu Gujarat, thank you for being so kind!


Pics from my Vadodara Home

This is perhaps the most unusual post I will write in the month of love this February but I have to. Having been born to a banker who was transferred at the drop of a hat I have grown up across different states in India learning and adapting to their languages and culture. In fact, I have always loved this adaptability the most in myself. My love for strangers and embracing the new like my very own too stems from it. 

But one state I had never been to until a couple of years back was Gujarat. I first came here in early March 2020 when my husband traveled to the city of Vadodara for some work. As my only brother lived in Ahmedabad I thought it would be a good opportunity for us to meet after several years. Love undoubtedly was love at first sight for me. I loved the peace and calmness that mesmerized me as soon as I set my foot in the ‘Sanskari Nagri’ after a brief stay at my brother’s place in Ahmedabad. We were putting up in our business partner’s home(who now lives abroad) when the first Covid lockdown happened. 

The next 80 days would have been really difficult when we were stranded away from home but our neighbors, all helped us as much as they could. Gujratis really are very simple, grounded, and kind people. I feel an instant connection with them. I love their culture, their business sense, and their zeal to live life. Every single day I wrote a letter every day which is now published in a book.

Fast forward to today, last time in 2020, I went without exploring my beautiful city a lot, promising to come back at the soonest and I did keep my promise. I came back in Nov’21 to the city I had fallen in love with, which has been most kind and accepting to us. I always had thoughts that I will like to spend my life after retirement but it is too early to decide on that and it depends on so many other factors. I feel I am a sucker of too much peace and serenity in my life which I get here in Vadodara on the terrace of my bungalow watching birds and squirrels or in Pune where I spent 9 years before 2019 when we had to shift to Delhi. I wish I could stay here longer. It is Feb’22 almost three months and I still can’t get over it but I know I have to head home soon. I have almost become a nomad in last two years living out of a suitcase but expect lives to get back to normal soon.

Soon, I shall bid adieu to this worthy city and state with a heavy heart. God knows if I ever get to come back here again and live again in this beautiful house surrounded by greens in three directions which I fondly call my Vadodara home. Unfortunately this time too I couldn’t explore this absolutely magnificent state this time too because of the coming of third wave of the pandemic. This gives the traveller in me the hope that I shall soon be back again exploring one of my most favourite states now with my backpack and relive the priceless moments and days and months I had spent here. 

My heartfelt gratitude to all the warm-hearted people of Gujarat for their immense love, acceptance and support. You gave taught me a lot and even if I will be gone, you all shall always reside in the softest corner of my heart.

Delhi wait for me! I shall soon be back…

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