ಮೊನ್ನೆ ಅಷ್ಟಮಿಯ ಸಮಯ. ಊರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದೆವು. ಮತಾಡ್ತ ಮತಾಡ್ತ ಅದು ಇದು ಎಂದು ಕೊನೆಗೆ ಹೊತ್ತು ಹೋಗಿದ್ದೆ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗಿಲ್ಲ! ದೊಡ್ಡಮ್ಮ ಚಾ ಕುಡಿದು ತಿಂಡಿ ತಿಂದು ಹೋಗಿ ಅಂದಾಗ ಒಪ್ಪಲೆ ಬೇಕಾಯ್ತು. ಸರಿ. ಈನ್ನೇನು ಚಹಾದ ಸಮಯವೆ. ಇಲ್ಲೆ ಕುಡಿದು ಹೊರಟರಾಯ್ತು ಅಂದುಕೊಂಡು ಕೂತೆ. ಚಹಾ ತಯಾರಾದ ಕೂಡಲೆ ದೊಡ್ಡಮ್ಮನ ಹೇಳಿಕೆಗೂ ಕಾಯದೆ ಊಟದ ಮೇಜಿನ ಎದುರು ಕುರ್ಚಿ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಂಡು ಕುಳಿತೆ. ಚಹಾ ಕುಡಿದಿದ್ದೂ, ತಿಂಡಿ ತಿಂದಿದ್ದು ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಆಯ್ತು. ಆದರೂ ಮನಸ್ಸಲ್ಲಿ ಅದೇನೋ ತಳಮಳ. ಏನೋ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡಂತಹ ಅನುಭವ!
ಊಟದ ಮೇಜಿನ ಮೇಲೆ ಮೊದಲಿದ್ದ ಮೋಹ, ಕಕ್ಕುಲತೆ , ಅಕ್ಕರೆ ಇಲ್ಲವೇನೋ ಅನಿಸುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಮನಸ್ಸು ೧೫ ವರ್ಷಗಳಷ್ಟು ಹಿಂದಕ್ಕೆ ವಾಲಿತು. ಈ ಮೇಜಿಗೆ ೧೫ ವರ್ಷಗಳ ಹಿಂದಿದ್ದ ತಾಕತ್ತು ಇಲ್ಲವೆನಿಸಿತು.! ಏಕೆ? ಇದು ಹಿಂದಿನ ಮರದ ಮೇಜಿಗಿಂತ ಗಟ್ಟಿ ಮತ್ತು ಬಲಿಷ್ಟವಾಗಿದೆ. ಮತ್ತೇತಕೆ? ಏಕೆಂದರೆ ಮೊದಲಿನ ಮೋಹ ಕಕ್ಕುಲತೆ ಮೇಜಿನದಲ್ಲ! ಮೇಜಿನ ಸುತ್ತ ಒಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಕೂತು ಉಂಡು ತಿಂದು ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಕೂಡು ಕುಟುಂಬದ್ದು! ಹೌದು! ಹಿಂದೆ ಮೇಜಿಗೆ ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಇದಕ್ಕಿಂತ ದುಪ್ಪಟ್ಟು ಬಲವಿತ್ತು! ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯ ಕಾರಣಗಳಿಂದ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಕಡೆ ನೆಲೆಸಿದ್ದರೂ, ಮೊದಲೆಲ್ಲ ಹಬ್ಬ ಹರಿದಿನಗಳಿಗೆ ಒಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಸೇರುವ ದಿನಗಳಿದ್ದವು. ಈಗ ಅದೂ ದೂರದ ಮಾತಾಗಿದೆ.
ಆ ದಿನಗಳದೆಷ್ಟು ಚೆಂದ! ಅಂದು ಅತ್ತೆಯ ಮಕ್ಕಳು, ವಾರಗೆಯವರು ಕೂಡಿ ಆಡಿ ನಕ್ಕು ನಲಿಯುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ದಿನಗಳು. ಈಗ ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಒಂದೆಡೆ ಸೇರುವುದೇ ಅಪರೂಪದ ಮಾತಾಗಿದೆ. ಅಂದು ಬೇಸಿಗೆ ರಜದಲ್ಲಿ ಬೆಳಗಾಗುತ್ತಲ್ಲೆ ಕ್ರಿಕೆಟ್, ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಬಿಸಿಲಾಗುತ್ತಲೆ ಗೋಳಿ ಮರದ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದ ಕಸ ಕಡ್ಡಿ ಒಟ್ಟುಗೂಡಿಸಿ ಮನೆಯಾಟ, ಅದು-ಇದೂ ಎಂದು ಮದ್ಯಾಹ್ನದ ಊಟದ ಸಮಯಕ್ಕೆ ಮನೆಯ ನೆನಪಾಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದುದು.
ಊಟಕ್ಕಾದರು ಅಷ್ಟೆ. ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಮೇಜಿನ ಸುತ್ತ ಇಲ್ಲ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಒಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಕೂತರೆ ಮಾತ್ರವೇ ಊಟ. ಊಟ ಮಾಡುವಾಗ ಊಟ ಮತ್ತು ಪದಾರ್ಥಗಳ ಮೇಲಷ್ಟೆ ಗಮನ. ಟಿವಿ ನೋಡುತ್ತ, ಇಲ್ಲ ಅದು ಬೇಡ, ಈ ಪದಾರ್ಥ ಬೇಡ ಎಂಬುದಕ್ಕೆಲ್ಲ ಸೊಪ್ಪು ಹಾಕೋರೆ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಬೇಕಿದ್ದರೆ ತಿನ್ನಿ, ಇಲ್ಲವಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಿಡಿ, ಆದರೆ ಯಾವತ್ತೂ ಬಿಸಾಡುವಂತಿಲ್ಲ. ಚಹಾದ ಸಮಯವಾದರೂ ಅಷ್ಟೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಈ ಮೇಜಿನ ಶಕ್ತಿ ಕಮ್ಮಿಯಾದಂತೆನಿಸಿದ್ದು.
ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ತಂದಿಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಕಲ್ಲಂಗಡಿ ಹಣ್ಣು ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಊಟದ ನಂತರ ಹಂಚಲು ಮೇಜಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಮುಚ್ಚಿಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಹಣ್ಣಿನ ತುದಿಯನ್ನು ಕದ್ದು ಕದ್ದು ತಿಂದು ಯಾರಿಗೂ ಕಾಣದಂತೆ ಓಡಿ ಹೋಗಿ ಮುಗ್ಧರಂತೆ ಕೂರುತ್ತಿದ್ದದ್ದು, ಅಮ್ಮ-ದೊಡ್ಡಮ್ಮ ಯಾರ ಕೆಲಸವೆಂದು ಕೇಳಿದಾಗ ಅಮಾಯಕರಂತೆ ಅಣ್ಣ-ತಂಗಿ ಮುಖ-ಮುಖ ನೋಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದದ್ದು, ನಾವೆ ಕಳ್ಳರೆಂದು ಗೊತ್ತಾದರೂ ಅಪ್ಪಂದಿರ ಬೈಗಳು ಬೇಡವೆಂದು ಸುಮ್ಮನಾಗಿ, ಎಚ್ಚರಿಕೆ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಅಮ್ಮಂದಿರು ಎಲ್ಲ ಈಗ ನೆನಪು ಮಾತ್ರ. ಆಗ ಅಮ್ಮಂದಿರು, ಇದ್ದುದರಲ್ಲಿ ಹಂಚಿಕೊಂಡು ಖುಶಿಯಗಿರುವುದನ್ನ ಅದೆಷ್ಟು ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಬರೀ ಕಾರ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ತೋರಿಸಿಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದರು. ಈಗ ಅದನ್ನೆ ಮಕ್ಕಳಿಗೆ “ಶೇರಿಂಗ್, ಕೇರಿಂಗು” ಅಂತ ಅದೇನೇನೋ ನಾಟಕವಾಡಿ ಕಲಿಸೋ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ!!
ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಈಗ ಈ ಮೇಜು ಮೊದಲಿನಷ್ಟು ಆತ್ಮೀಯವೆನಿಸುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ.ಆದರೂ, ಇದೆಲ್ಲವನ್ನು ಅನುಭವಿಸುವ ಅವಕಾಶ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಅಮ್ಮಂದಿರಿಗೆ ನಿಜವಾಗಿಯೂ ಅಭಿನಂದನೆ ಸಲ್ಲಿಸಬೇಕು. ಅಮ್ಮ, ದೊಡ್ಡಮ್ಮ, ಚಿಕ್ಕಮ್ಮ, ೩ ಜನ ವಾರಗಿತ್ತಿಯರೂ, ಬೇರೆ -ಬೇರೆ ಕೌಟುಂಬಿಕ ಹಿನ್ನಲೆಯಿಂದ ಬಂದವರು. ಆದರೆ ಮೂವರೂ ಅದೆಷ್ಟು ಬೇಗನೆ ಆ ಮನೆಗೆ ಹೊಂದಿಕೊಂಡರೆಂದು ಈಗಲೂ ನಮಗೆ ಯಕ್ಷ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಯೆ.
ಅನಿವಾರ್ಯ ಕಾರಣಗಳಿಂದ ಅಜ್ಜನ ಮಾತಿನಂತೆ ಬೇರೆ-ಬೇರೆಯಾಗಿ ಇರಬೇಕಾಗಿ ಬಂದರೂ, ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಒಟ್ಟಾಗಿಯೆ ಇದ್ದಾರಿವರು, ಮನದಾಳಗಳಲ್ಲಿ. ಅಣ್ಣ-ತಮ್ಮಂದಿರು ಜಗಳವಾಡಿದರೂ, ಸಣ್ಣ-ಪುಟ್ಟ ಮಾತುಗಳು ಬಂದು ಹೋದರೂ, ಇವರುಗಳು ನಿರ್ಲಿಪ್ತರು. ಯವತ್ತೂ ಮಾತಿಗೆ-ಮಾತಾಡಿದ್ದಾಗಲಿ, ಸಿಟ್ಟು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಂಡದ್ದಂತು ನೋಡಿದ್ದಿಲ್ಲ ಇದುವರೆಗೂ. ಇದೇ ಜೀವನವೆಂದು ಕಲಿಸಿ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ಮಹಾನುಭಾವರು. ಮಕ್ಕಳೆದುರಿಗಂತೂ ಇವರು ತುಟಿ-ಪಿಟಿಕ್ಕೆಂದಿದ್ದಿಲ್ಲ.ಅದೆಲ್ಲವೂ ಈಗ ನೆನಪು ಮಾತ್ರವೆ. ಅದಕ್ಕೆ ಮೇಜು ಮೊದಲಿನಷ್ಟು ಆತ್ಮೀಯವೆನಿಸುತ್ತಿಲ್ಲ. ಅದು ಬರೀ ಮೇಜೀಗ. ಮೊದಲಿನ ಸೋಜಿಗದ ಕಲ್ಲಲ್ಲ!!
Everywhere there was a hurry to link AADHAR for every other thing like Bank account, PAN card, etc.
My father being a senior citizen had now enrolled for the fifth time to get an AADHAR number/card. We have been trying couple of follow up, multiple email threads to PMO office; social media and what not, just to get his AADHAR number. Finally I thought of giving up.
But, by then Government had almost mandated it for Bank account and December was nearing. We had to get his AADHAR is what I and my sister decided. But “How” was the question! I am not any great follower or fan of Modi, but I appreciate the good job done. At least he is trying to do his best with all these greedy officers and corrupt ministers, and looking towards a better system. But, when his Government mandated this AADHAR, and getting it was a tough job, I too started cursing him just like any other common man. Then, I felt if he can move a step forward for our betterment, if my colleagues or friends have no issues using SSN (Social Security Number) in USA, why can’t I help by using AADHAR for our own good.
Though the idea is not bad, or the reason behind mandating it is good, its implementation techniques that have been adopted or officers who are working for it, seems like have not clear idea on it or they lack technical knowledge about it. This is what I used to tell my mother whenever she used to complain about this issue. But, when it was so tough to get it for my father, I felt it’s really a meaningless system.
Yet, I was not ready to give up being one of the supporters of Digital India. I felt, somewhere something is missing. I should look for more options to get this resolved. I had a strong feeling that there should be some online digital solution available for this, if Modi really meant digital and wanted to support it.
Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS):
“Centralized Public Grievance Redress And Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) is an online web-enabled system over NICNET developed by NIC, in association with Directorate of Public Grievances (DPG) and Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG)”
We decided that, we would lodge a grievance here and watch for its resolution. After some more research, found that, any grievance should be registered under the right ministry.
Below is the newer version of the portal, which requires registration. When I used it in November, I did not register. I used the option – go to earlier version now.
Anyway, registration or login is mandatory now. May be for easy tracking.
Then, I lodged the grievance under incorrect ministry – Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and received the message next day – “grievance disposed”. I wasn’t surprised as I expected no resolution. It was just a try. Then, being curious, I just looked for reason and it was mentioned incorrect ministry, then I lodged again under the right ministry, hoping at least something might happen.
We were so curious, every next hour we used to check the grievance status and finally fell asleep. Next day, I had totally forgotten it. But, suddenly around 12 PM while I were checking my mails, I found an email from CG portal that, my grievance has been forwarded to central head at Delhi from the ministry! An action taken in a day for the online complaint lodged within 12 hours by Indian Government system! A real delightful surprise of course!
Next day it was transferred to the regional office in Bangalore. Ah! It’s Karnataka and our own state departments need almost more than ten days to respond. Finally, after 2-3 email follow up there was a response from the regional officer.
The reason was below –
3-4 years ago, when smart card project was launched (similar to AADHAR), his data was digitally captured. The new project never left it go waste, but used the same. Hence, even after multiple enrolments, he used to get, “this enrolment is under manual verification” and finally no AADAHAR number was getting generated and he used to register again and again. After following up again, and giving my mobile number, the regional officers called me and gave his AADAHR number.
For security reasons, it was not mailed to me (Please note – it was not communicated in any security risk or privacy risk way, but after verifying couple of data of mine, they agreed to give me the AADHAR number over the phone). Then, my father had to take it to AADHAR enrolment for finger print and iris capturing and link the number to the right data and secure it. Finally, now he has got his AADHAR card.
Now, I am a fan of Modi, not because my problem was resolved, but because he has courage to start such steps towards development even in India and use the technology for the betterment of country. Kind request to ministers and officers, if you cannot make use of it, don’t simply blame the system. Do not confuse people by giving misleading data. Just give a try like me, obviously there will be flaws but, not as much as you think. Before commenting, just check the reality and facts. Just blindly following others or misunderstanding a single statement will lead your life to confusion.
Using the portal, you can try out other options as well, send reminders to the officers with whom your current grievance is lying or call them over mobile number and follow up. Also, send a reminder over the portal itself using the grievance registration number sent to your email or login account. Try it now!
Quick note in Kannada
ನಿಮ್ಮ ಆಧಾರ್ ಕಾರ್ಡ್ ಇನ್ನು ಬಂದಿಲ್ಲವಾದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದನ್ನುಒಮ್ಮೆ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನಿಸಿ ನೋಡಿ –
ಅಂತರ್ಜಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ “https://pgportal.gov.in/” – ಇಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಭೇಟಿ ಕೊಟ್ಟು, ಇಮೇಲ್ ಐಡಿ ಮೂಲಕ ನೋಂದಾಯಿಸಿ. ನಂತರ, “Ministry of Electronics and Information ಟೆಕ್ನಾಲಜಿ” ಆರಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು ನಿಮ್ಮ ದೂರನ್ನು ದಾಖಲಿಸಿ. ನೋಂದಾಯಿಸಲು ಬಳಸಿದ ಅಂಕೆಯ ಮೂಲಕ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಪಡೆದು ಸಂಬಂಧ ಪಟ್ಟ ಅಧಿಕಾರಿಗಳಿಂದ ಮಾಹಿತಿ ಪಡೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳಿ .
Leelan Express – Indian Railway – Jaipur to Jaisalmer:
When we started by Leelan Express from Jaipur towards Jaisalmer, we could see it was barren land all over and no green. We started to feel the real dessert! We were wondering about a lengthy water source all around suddenly after certain distance! Then, we came to know that, its – The Sambhar Salt Lake, India’s largest inland salt lake, a bowl shape lake. Its 96 km south west of the city of Jaipur and 64 km north east of Ajmer along National Highway 8 in Rajasthan!
Dinner at Leelan Express – Jaipur to Jaisalmer – The unknown scene behind dinner ordered:
We ordered for food for dinner as we knew we will reach Jaisalmer only in the next morning! The coach attendant said they arrange food only for those who need and order. And food arrived at around 9pm near Nagaur. It was kind of full-meals with multiple sabzis and rotis. We and one of our co-passengers (a foreigner) had our dinner and were almost getting ready to sleep. The attendant said its 200 INR per meal. We paid and tried to sleep. I could not sleep properly, neither Prasad!
From Nagaur, we felt train speeded up and when we reached Bikaner, due to its noise and speed (as train was almost empty hence a lot of sound with bumpy ride) we were sleepless. During that time, we could hear the conversation between, train in charge Railway police (RPF) and these attendants that, they get these meals for around 50 INR and utilize not having pantry and make some money in the name of helping passengers!
Today, when we read about Vasundhara Raje’s Annapoorna Rasoi project, we remembered this incident suddenly and recalled, in Rajasthan, it’s not tough to get food at cheaper rate. This is how people like these attendants defame Indian Tourism!
Hotel Radhika :
When we reached Jaislamer at 5 am in the morning, as usual the taxis and hotel agents surrounded us saying they are offering the cheapest offer, including safari at Sam! We ignored all of them and came out of Railway station. Then, there was a jeep driver who told us he will drop us at 20 INR to the Hotel. He started chatting with us as if he is the only person offering cheapest ride to Sam. We now came to know his intension and said we would call him if required and we really do not have any plans as of now. Standing in-front of Hotel Radhika, we started to ring the bell for the door to be opened! Finally, after connecting with Oyo rooms’ customer care, we could enter in!!!
That morning, we had our breakfast there at the hotel and I felt irritated with the taste of tea! Then, Prasad told me its Camel’s milk! Ah! It was a different taste and I had no other choice at dessert!
Jaisalmer Fort and Patwon-Ki-Haweli:
Then, we started to roam around and entered Jaislamer Fort – It’s a living fort! 3000+ people still live inside the Fort there. We met a guide and had no choice other than accepting his offer. He started guessing and immediately made out that we are from Bangalore and like others; he too is under the impression that these 2 IT kids make lot of money and from Bangalore! Huh! Ignore as usual. Marvelous fort with mixture of Hindu and Jain culture. Really great spiritual and cultural heritage of Rajasthan and India! That is on the sandy expanse of the great Thar Desert, on Trikuta Hill.
Then, we headed towards nearby Patwon-Ki-Haweli – massive five-storied construction has five intricately decorated huge suites. The guide explained us about the beauty and historical importance of it and I was flattered by its beauty! Meanwhile, at one of the shops near the fort, we bought two habur stone items – kind of vessels. They say, it has lots of Scientific importance and available from Habur village and the blah blah stories. Since Prasad is an artist and he loved it, I ignored the rest and agreed to buy it. It’s really beautiful
We had our lunch at Jaisal Italy, where we had Jaisalmer Thali, which included the very tasty Kair Sangri curry which both o us loved so much. It was really delicious. It’s a memorable lunch and the view of Jaisalmer fort and the haweli is really beautiful.
We returned to Hotel Radhika by an auto of an old man. When we reached, there were few others waiting for an auto and just because this fellow was an old man, they opted for another young auto-driver who actually offered them the hire at a higher rate. We could hear the old man murmur himself, “pata nahi kya zamana aa gaya; aap bhale eemandar ho agar bhudde ho to uski koi izzat ya kaam nahi hai. Aaj kal ke bacche ko lagta hai ki sirf apna generation unki madad karega.” 🙂
Sam Sand Dunes:
We enjoyed the SAM sand dunes, camel safari and the usual SAM viialge folk songs, music and dance, with an authentic Jaisalmer / Rajasathan delicious dishes. We had a real good conversation of life style, culture, politics, border and army relationship with the local taxi driver during our visit to Sam.
12 October 2016 – Gadisar Lake:
The next morning, we went to Gadisar Lake, This is a rain water conservation lake built by Maharawal Gadsi. There are many small temples and beautiful nature around.
We left Jaisalmer to proceed towards Jodhpur with lots of beautiful memories of the yellow city. To enjoy the local life style beauty, we decided to travel by local bus.
A beautiful journey of culture… 08 to 14 October, 2016.
Delhi – I have been waiting for this vacation since my engineering actually 😛 I never had been on long trip till date and wanted to be isolated from this usual world I stay at and get along.
08 October – New Delhi:
The trip started on 8th October by Flight and reached our destination New Delhi as per the plan. As soon as we landed and came out of the Airport, it started to stink and I said I can’t bear it! Prasad said this is what it is and you will get used to it soon! OMG. After reaching NDLS metro station, smell increased and I couldn’t tolerate it. Prasad started ironically “eega nimge hegannista ide madam?” OMG! This is our Capital city. I said, “Vasane bartide, I can’t bear this”!.
After checking-in, we started to reiterate to decide where shall we go and roam around for the day? Listed down based on their closing time, connectivity, time to visit etc. So, decided to book an uber to ride around India Gate. Reached there and roamed around Rashtrapati Bhavan as well. We have it in our still to be done visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan (as premises inside, which has a separate online process to be followed to visit).
India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Dilli Haat – Delhi:
Near India gate, there were 100’s of them surrounding us, saying “they will capture our pics”, but we didn’t want it. However, a decent young boy, who requested very humble, we felt he is earning his part time job money for some good reason like education and we said “yes” to him (Unable to recall his name, probably Akshay). He really has captured few good ones. (Though I am not publishing them here).
Salute to our Amar Jawans…
The garden beside RB and the parliament had a spectacular view. Many noticed it only after seeing us there :);)
We rushed to metro station (Central Secretariat) and headed towards Dilli Haat. (Opp. INA market metro station). I was flattered by the neatness and cleanliness of the Haat! It was soothing to see colorful stalls from different State Tourism Departments, like jewelry, clothes and food! We first went almost half around the stalls, and sat down at Shillong Stall (From Meghalaya) for few good Momos 🙂 It was really very tasty (not fried, we tried steamed and we like it steamed). Actually we could see 2 stalls opposite to each other and in some of the blogs, I had read Shillong has the best momos. But, there were no Shillong sign, instead Meghalaya! We were trying to recall which state Shillong belongs to: P
The shopkeeper, Delhi:
After that, we moved on to buy some pashmina shawls. I was flattered by their beauty. All handmade! How creative Indian women are and hats off to their patience! So cute and beautiful art work. The shop owner is from Srinagar. And being asked about his place, he said so and asked if we have ever been to Srinagar.
Shopkeeper: “Han, abhi halat utna thik nahi hai, aap bhi khuda se dua kijiye ki sab jald hi thik ho jaye” (considering the India-Pak tensed situation, terror attacks etc)
We: “Han, sab maangte hai. Hum bhi shanti chahte hai aur chahte hai ki hamara khoobsoorti hame jald vapas shanti aur suraksha se mile aur hum south se ho to bhi fikr karte hai ki aap log sab khushi se zindagi bitayen, bina ye jhanjhat se. Aur hum bhi idhar be-fikr ghoom sake” J
Shopkeeper:”Han. Hum kuch nahi chahte bas shanti aur ye Hindusthan ka hi hissa hai, mera Srinagar bahut khoobsurat hai J”
Prasad: “Han, jannat hai, jannat J”
Shopkeeper: “!!!han ji”, about to greet when we were about to leave after purchase.
Prasad:” khuda hafiz”
Shopkeeper: “!!!” (He was surprised to see Hindu from South wishing so!) And he smiled J
We all in India, the real lovers of Hindusthan, do not bother if you are a Hindu or Muslim, but these vote bank politics, hyper media, activists make this living intolerant, not Hindusthan, neither Muslims, nor a Hindu or a Sikh or whoever he/she is! The shopkeeper was really concerned about his city and its beauty – the jannat – “Srinagar” #Respect # culture
Later, in the night we were very thirsty and wandered in search of water to end up in front of Tamil Nadu stall. We looked at each other and said “no, this is Karnataka’s Kaveri and we don’t need water frpm here. Moved ahead to Bihar stall and the shopkeeper wondered as if we have never seen/had water in life after emptying 1 liter of water. We took metro and back to the lodge we stayed at Karol bagh.
09 October, Qutub Minar, Red Fort – Delhi:
The next day, we hurried to roam around Qutub Minar. From the metro station, we were in search of auto and the auto drivers all over India are the same! Unfortunately, if they get to know you are from a different place, they will try to earn as much as possible and charge you like hell unless you open up your mouth and shout boldly!
Qutb Minar is a beautiful cultural heritage which depicts beautiful Hindu – Muslim cultural mix-up. It has beautiful Lotus flowers and many other flowers’ art, also the Hindu “Dhruva Sthambha” and also, the tomb structure of Muslim culture. (I do not want to bring the topic of argument of “whether it’s a Hindu or Muslim heritage, though historians have already written lots of research articles on it. I loved that its still protected as a world cultural heritage as it is and well-maintained.
We left the place after roaming for around 1.30 hours. Again back to auto argument and he tried to fool us yet, we opted to follow our trick of asking him to drop to the same place from where we have reached Qutub Minar – the Qutub Minar metro station.
We realized we are feeling hungry and yet to have breakfast. So, chose to go to Chandni Chowk. We had our good breakfast at Haldiram’s restaurant, near Gurudwar.
After that, we walked straight towards Red Fort. It’s really a wonderful history at Red Fort. This write-up would not be enough to explain about Red Fort. So, its better I just refer you to visit there or to read about it from web on that J
The funny thing I still remember from there is : We were tired and sitting in a corner at The Diwan-i-‘ Am (‘Hall of Public Audience’) – a rectangular hall. It was at a certain height from ground level and you have to follow few stairs to get out of it and move to the next place around. Usually, I think people in North India sit along the stairs. Since the place near stairs was filed with people, we were sitting at a corner. But, many of the tourists thought the place where we were sitting also leads to stairs and all followed to end up noticing the stairs is at the other end in the middle J We were enjoying the mini fun 😉 One of the ladies didn’t even observe that there are no stairs, carrying her baby she was about to step ahead and her husband shouted from below to be careful and watchful. Then only she realized where she is heading towards!
It took around 3 hours to cover Red Fort and then we headed towards Chandni Chowk by rickshaw (as I was very tired and wanted to have a rickshaw ride). The traffic was like hell, yet, these rickshawala do not care and the take you to the destination within 10 minutes there by approaching the wrong side! 😉 Though you know it’s not the traffic rule, nobody cares, neither did we! So, I still feel Bangalore is far better at least in that perspective: P
We did not feel hungry as we had our breakfast at 11 AM! 😛 So, we decided to head directly towards Akshara Dham at 1.30 PM. Took metro, got down, entered into Aksharadhama. There was a huge queue and lots of formalities and security to measures taken uo due to tension at the border and school off time for Dussehra. So we felt, we will not be able to cover anything by the closing time an decided to head back and put it to halt. Then we realized we were hungry and again ended up in Haldiram’s restaurant for evening tea and light snacks. The restaurant staff is quite arrogant and not customer-friendly. Though we love its taste, we did not like the customer service there.
Back at our lodge, in the evening roamed Karol bagh market and had a very tasty Gol gappa at a Punjabi sweet/chat stall (unable to recall the shop name).
10 October 2016, journey to Jaipur, RJ:
Next morning, we had a train to catch at 6am to Jaipur. Ajmir Shatabdhi Express from NDLS. We enjoyed the early morning journey with nothing much around though 😛 Almost everyone in the train were tourists who were travelling to Jaipur from various parts of India. There was a small family from Kerala and the kids in the family were explaining about their teachers in Malayalam, which entertained us a lot J They were speaking very loudly thinking nobody understood what they were discussing 😉
Once we reached Jaipur railway station, we booked Uber to reach Ginger Hotel. The taxi drivers surrounded us with offers of being arranging the cheapest facilities with a price range of 200 INR just for a hotel drop! 😛 Almost every place we booked uber and paid via Paytm as we did not want to be fooled by the price and thanks to mobile app geeks 😉
Jantar Mantar, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Bazars, RJ:
We had our lunch at the hotel and then started to Janthar Manthar; is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, built by the Rajput King. Real science existed in India in 17th century or even before that. Regret that we in our country do not value or derive deep out of it! I was really surprised by the calculation technique that was being used! Amazing minds and thoughts.
Thereafter we headed towards City palace as it was at a walk able distance. Wonderful architecture and what a beauty! A must visit place at Jaipur J Moved to Hawa Mahal next and visited it only from and around the venue as we had lots of advice from locals and cousins that not worth visit inside. Captured few pics out of it and headed forward. There was an old man who offered us drop at Hawa Mahal from City Palace at 20 INR by his rickshaw. Since we felt he is very old and not comfortable he riding rickshaw being that old we paid him 30 INR and then, realized he wanted to gain some business of forcing us to visit his son’s shop for bangles and he was heading towards that shop; offered us the drop 😉
We checked with some local shopkeeper for a good tea shop and he directed us to a very small gully road, and a tea shop. The owner was a very old man and still the culture of being asked to get in and sit own existed and we were seating on a small bench in few minutes. Chai was still in preparation stage and looking at our impatience (more than impatience we were tired), the old man offered us “Chaiwali aaj nahi aayi, isliye der ho rahi hai. Me aapko Musambi juice pila sakta hoon, the sweet lime juice!” J We said “arey nahi chacha, thik hai. Chai hi do”. I think he felt young generation today doesn’t have any patience and he offered us sweet lime juice, thinking we were in hurry. The chai was really tasty. J Its near a small passage near Johari Bazar, opposite to Hawa Mahal road 😉
Girls are enthusiastic about shopping and I had heard a lot about jewelries and bangles of Jaipur and Google out for some shops. But, ended up in a wholesale bangle shop, where I could get very beautiful bangles and then, sarees and clothes for gifting from another shop (at Tripolia Bazar). We did not follow any guide or any advice of Google. Just entered one of the shops that we felt we can go and check and felt reasonable and value for money. But, if you are buying sarees in Jaipur, be careful to check the blouse piece, length etc very accurately as per your needs. They still use 5.25 meters saree as in our olden days in few cases 😉 Took uber back to Ginger from Tripolia gate, Chura Rastha.
11 October, Jal Mahal and journey to Jaisalmer:
Next day, after a quick breakfast, we hurried to Jal Mahal is a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. Though we can see its beauty from a distance, it was really soothing architecture J We had booked train to Jaisalmer via irctc, the previous day; the instant planning. So, we decided to spend time at CCD at ginger hotel and then, took uber to catch 4.30 pm train to Jodhpur. We met around 6-7 soldiers, our real heroes. Everybody warned us not to visit as its tensed situation at the border; but we were sure we will be safe. And the entry of soldiers assured it again 😉
It was a weekend.. I had already prepared the list of to-do-items that I wanted do on that weekend.. Most importantly, “have a good late morning sleep after an oil massage hair wash! A dump of clothes for wash was already waiting for me..”! Thursday evening my mom calls me to inform that a guy is coming to meet me at my cousin’s place on that Sunday morning! What else could be the most irritating thing to a girl…other than…spoiling her planned-Sunday?!
I shouted at my mom, but had no-choice! Sacrificed my plans and prepared mentally for the meeting. Prepared in the sense, don’t imagine that I have been preparing a list of questions to ask him when I meet him, or what to ask, what not-to-ask! I was actually consoling myself, “Smitha, just one Sunday, let it go faster so that, once that guy goes off, you can enjoy rest of your upcoming Sundays peacefully.. 😉
Finally, the day arrived and the guy came.. I had to wake up at 7 and wait, as they had mentioned time as 9:00 AM for the meeting :p.
He, his friends arrived and, my dad, bro started to speak…as if they know each other very-well! I was just waiting for them to actually “get lost”, Sunday spoilers!. Funny part was since the guy has mentioned he has a meeting at 11 AM in office, (on a Sunday!, that too a US based company! Gosh!), me and my sis-in-law assumed, he is going for a date with his girl friend (unknown to his parents, by force he is meeting me, with no choice left)!
Now, the time has come! We both spoke to each other, more than speak, I only listened, except few basic questions (so called to-be-asked questions when you meet the guy first time it seems :P). It was a casual chat and they left for the day (by 11 he has a meeting, of course ;)).
Actual problem started only now..once they left! Everyone started asking how did you like him? Are you okay to go ahead with this proposal? Etc. Etc. I got irritated to the core and wanted to run away from all these. Simple solution was saying, “I don’t know, let me think, let’s meet his parents, let them get back, I have no idea, as you say – these kind of escaping answers. (It is like – placing a lamp atop a partitioning wall, ADDA GODEYA MELE DEEPA ITTA HAAGEY).