Uttrayan in pictures!

One of the best times to be in Gujarat is during Uttrayan. This festival is celebrated with full gusto by people here.

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One of the most important reason’s this festival is so popular here are the kites! The colours of these kites will fill the skies and there is a mad scramble about to get the kites!

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On the 14th of January the terraces wear a festive look all of a sudden with umbrella’s, tents suddenly being set up on the terrace! Music blares from roof tops and those who don’t fly kites will sit and joke or dance! :D

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There are kids who will throw tantrums, there will be husbands who say their kite got cut coz the lady holding the reel made a technical error, there will be friends who will fly with turns in holding the reel and yes, almost all the terraces are full of ladies as well. This festival is a full blown family affair celebrated by young, old, man, woman and kids all alike! :)

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And when the whole family is celebrating the festival, can bollywood be behind?! There were all sorts of actors, actresses on kites. Here one of my friend is happy to let Katrina fly away into the sky, poor soul doesn’t realise that elusive women like her should be held on to tightly! Btw, you know even Salman came to Gujarat to fly kites, err… well he came to promote his movie Jai Ho! Smartly or co-incidentally he was seen with Narendra Modi of all people to have the tongues wagging in the media, their pictures grabbing headlines and I felt neither Modi nor Salman would have complained one bit! Both got enough mileage out of the kite flying! :mrgreen:

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I say both of them blew their trumpet to their hearts content, one projected his secular image and the other sought enough attention to keep people aware of the movie he is coming in near future! :P Oh and yes, New folder1there were kids too who blew the trumpets with all the wind in their lungs and made life unbearable on the terraces with the unbelievably irritating noise! To cater to kids there was Chota Bheem too to adorn the skies!

Too bad was the fact that I forgot to click a picture of the actual food we had, being busy with kites myself I was late for lunch and by then the presentation was just not possible. However, I do have this one image of ‘Undhiyu’ which is a must eat on this day. Generally the lunch consists of Undhiyu, Poori, Jalebi. Lots of chikki, Til-gud and all sorts of possible goodies you can imagine will be eaten. Its a kind of pot-lunch (actually a full day meal) that everyone brings from their houses to the terrace they all decide to make their base for the day!

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The seasonal subzi ‘Undhiyu’ aside its kites, fun, frolic, food, crackers, hot air balloons, music on the terraces all day long!

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Apparently these days a lot of people also burst a lot of cracker’s and here is one shot I managed to click of it and I loved it and hence I must share it! :D

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This year there was an amazing sight in the night, these chinese miniature hot air balloons were left in the air in thousands by all terraces and the night sky was a sight to see… unfortunately I could not capture a picture that would do justice to that sight. It was an ethereal sight, that can only been seen and not captured or described!

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Imagine the night sky illuminated by thousands of such balloon’s!!!!! The vast dark night sky was adorned by thousands of such balloons flying about! Until next year then I guess! :D :D

The non believer in me…

This actually stems from one sms and one fb post and some discussions I was lately having with Jay during our Udaipur trip. This might be a long post so if you want an alert, treat this as one. A sort of a Khichdi post…

First I will share the sms I received today morning at 6.45 – “Jai Jinendra – Bakri eid nimitey lakho abol jivo ni katal thashe. Abol jivo ni aatma ne shanti ane moksh maley mate navkar mantra no jaap karva vinanti.” – Translated – Jai Jinendra – Since its Bakri eid lakhs of lives who cannot speak will be killed. For the peach and attainment of Heaven (moksha) of these aminals who cannot speak you are requested to recite Navkar Mantra.”

Admittedly my reply sms to my Jain friend was, “Jain Jinendra, people who drink milk from other animal’s mother and call themselves vegetarians should not question other people’s belief, thousands die everyday so keep reciting your prayers everyday for them. Don’t join the bandwagon think or else don’t send me such messages.”  I felt it was completely insensitive to bombard another set of belief’s. I also admit my reply too was perhaps naive and an angry one.

Second is this update by Sagarika on Facebook. It is a public post and everyone will be able to see the post.

How does a girl not believing in Ram and why women are being raped are connected I will never be able to comprehend. I mean give me a break, the guy is probably the sickest mind going around or a religious fanatic perhaps !? I leave that for you to judge.

Anyways, about my thoughts about religion and God’s well…

Lets start the story from a recent trip when I was travelling with my friend Jay, with us escorting about 60 school children on a trip to Kumbhal Garh and Udaipur. Kumbhalgarh is an interesting place, a fort built by Rana Kumbha and has so many tale’s it fascinates me. Let me share a small story about the history of Kumbhalgarh that we heard from a guide -

When Rana Kumbha started building his fort he encountered a strange problem, all walls that they would build in the day would fall by night and not stand. Eventually he consulted a saint who said that a human sacrifice was needed for the fort to be constructed, when no one volunteered one traveller priest volunteered and said that he would start walking in the morning on the mountain terrain and that where he stopped first the king should make the gate of the fort, the place where he second stopped the king must behead him and build a temple there and then his body would walk without its head and the place where the headless body would collapse he should build his palace. Now the palace and the temple are so far even a man with his head firmly on his shoulders cannot walk the distance without huffing and puffing !!!

the falling walls of Kumbhalgarh needed a human sacrifice or they would not stand… !!! Interesting story… :) and a fact that this is the second longest wall in the world after the great wall of China.

The kids of 10th and 12th class with us couldn’t really digest the story and there was massive disbelief as well as amused intrigue at the story. Everyone rubbished it as only a flowery story or just mere exaggeration. Now this story happened in the 14th century. We are easily able to rubbish the story as exaggeration are we not !?

Now that evening I and Jay, who is as non-religion as me were discussing various religions and sects. Starting from Rana Kumbha’s stories it was about the disbelief among the students and then eventually to how I thought religions have evolved.

Recently I had been reading a lot about operation blue star and from reading one thing to another I went about finding more and more about Sikhism and I read about how it evolved and read that Guru Nanak who is attributed as the man who founded Sikhism was as Wiki puts, ” It is believed that Guru Nanak is the second most travelled person in the world; most of his journeys were made on foot with his companion Bhai Mardana. He travelled in all four directions – North, East, West and South. The founder Sikh Guru is believed to have travelled more than 28,000 km in five major tours of the world during the period from 1500 to 1524. The record for the most travelled person is held by Ibn Battuta of Morocco.”

Now, we started understanding how Guru Nanak travelled so much and probably got to see so many cultures, different people, different customs etc. probably making him all the better at understanding human mentality and its fallacies.

Now one very important thing that Guru Nanak says, god is neither Hindu nor Musalman, that there is only one God.

I do have a slight question for Guru Nanak too though, even Islam says there is only one God and that all others are prophets, even Adam, Noah, Jesus or Mohammed were all prophets (messengers of God) but there is only one God. So why did he establish another religion ?!

No, I am no historian, I read bits and pieces and try to tailor my own understandings. Did Guru Nanak establish a religion at all ?! Was he not the ultimate traveller who understood or a person who thought he understood things better than most and was just trying to spread his gospel on his many trips ?? Was he not perceived as a very wise man and a person who understood things better than most ?? Eventually granting him God like status ?!

I for one understand this, Guru Nanak is not so distant in history again 15th century and perhaps at his time literacy had spread more, there are more records of that age and era and hence we understand that he was a Guru, certainly a human and not a God and that he founded some principles, probably his disciples after him spread it as Sikhism establishing themselves as the close one’s to the Guru and the one’s who understood his thoughts the best and went about spreading the religion.

Take for example Ramayana, now, it is universally accepted it was a poetic epic written by Valmiki. There are several other versions too but that we leave for some other day.

Now my argument is, how is Rama a deity or a God. Is he not just a piece of fiction !? Don’t crucify me for this, just listen…

I have this theory that probably in the Vedic times when Ramayana was written it was a great story of a great dynasty about defeating a demon king in the southern India. I understand also that at that point of time not many would have understood written literature and hence possibly the story of Ramayana had to be read by some few people who could read. Then probably some of these few men, probably financed by a king, set about travelling and spreading the literature around and possibly conducted gathering’s and recited the poetry and then explaining to the layman what the author meant. There was no TV then so maybe the evening entertainment was reciting these stories. Ramayana I simply love as a story, it has everything does it not ? Now what is a story that does not have exaggeration. Would it be so interesting if they would just say that Rama and Ravana fought for 14 days or a month and Rama won !? But the author or maybe his translator(s) made it such a wonderful story to listen to…. A boring story would not attract crowds, but an interesting one surely would. Humans have always been fascinated by fantasy…

A prince exiled, his wife kidnapped by a demon in a flying chariot, a vulture tries to fight and protect, the elusive search by the exiled prince, aided by monkey’s, a flying monkey burns the whole golden city of Lanka, an army of monkey’s and bear’s gathered, a bridge of floating stones to Sri Lanka and a fight full of stories, one as impossible as bringing Sanjeevani Booti from Himalayas to Lanka in the middle of a battle at a time when no ship’s existed leave alone jet’s !! Well they had a Hanuman then…

I mean people can’t really believe all this happened did it !? Because it is so so back dated old and so little literacy and records of that age are with us we can believe that Rama was a god and Guru Nanak was a mere traveller who spread his gospel that God is one !?

Guru Nanak is perceived largely as a Guru, a human not God whilst Ram is a deity. Nanak started a religion, whilst Ram was born in an existing religion… strange na !?

Why is God anything else but a mere belief !?

Have not religions just been propagated mainly by disciples of great travelling men. Leave aside Guru Nanak and take a look at Mahavir Swami or Buddha both of them travelled about crazily. Amazingly if you notice they too happened during an era of which we have more literary records and hence they are shown as saints with lil superpowers, they didn’t have Sudarshan Chakra’s or they couldn’t fire Brahmastra’s. Also they were aided by strong Kings who probably financed the spread of the religion by sending their disciples far and wide with messages. I firmly believe that probably these all (Mahavir, Buddha, Guru Nanak) were people who probably understood the nuances of human life and psychology a lot better and had remedies when people had problems. They preached their experience and not some religion. They were men who were probably learned and well travelled. However, I feel the disciples of these great men were actually even wiser, read shreweder, then these great travellers because I think they used the knowledge of the discoverer’s to great personal benefit. Religions massively seem to be spread by the disciples who made the rules and regulations as per personal benefits.

Sometimes I really cannot understand why don’t people question things, why do we follow without asking ? Also rules framed somewhere in the 14th century cannot always be relevant in the 20th century can they be !? A lot of customs have science associated to them and I can understand the logic. When I understand the logic behind a particular ritual or ceremony I can follow it so much more with my free will. Please respect my right to not believe as much as you respect your right to believe.

For me actually there is no God, no one has seen him and he doesn’t exist, but, in the minds of people. Have your own belief, and let me have mine.

til ka laddoo and the joy in it ! :D

Picture Courtesy : Deepak Amembal

Waking up early is a bad habit these days… I get up at 4 sometimes at 3 but now with Internet back at home… its not so bad… it gives me enough time to blog hop and that in return gives me more idea’s for posts.. !

Having gotten up at 5 I was blog hopping and I realised so many people help rekindle so many memories… and that is the most beautiful thing about blogs… its real people with real life experiences… !!

Just this morning I was blog hopping and I came across this yummilicious picture by Deepak of Mumbai Daily. Now pause a moment and just look at the picture …. tell me doesnt that look totally delicious ?? drool anyone ?? drool all you like… !! :P :P

I am not having any of those laddooos at home at the moment, but it reminded me of golden old days as kids, when my Granny and Mom wanted us to eat Til Ka Chikki or Til ka Laddoo in winters as it was very good for health and in those days, now dont get shocked, I and my bro’s used to almost desist eating !!

Eventually my granny suggested Mom put coins of 10 paise and 25 paise in the laddoos and tell us that we could spend the money the way we liked… ! 10 paise and 25 paise dont sound a lot do they ?? lol… but in those days you could easily but a kite for 25 paise, also you could buy 4 marbles for 25 paise… !! Infact the laddoos became so popular that even our friends wanted the laddoos !!!!!

My Granny had us eating out of our Mom’s hands, literally !! Even today when I munch at a laddoo there is always this anticipation in my mind, maybe just maybe there might be a coin inside ! (it always crosses my mind) :) :)

Folks today is Makar Sankranti.. and this day marks the beginning of longer days… change of seasons… though its pretty cold today !!!

Wish you and your family a very happy Makar Sankranti !!! :D :D

My heart really  misses being home in Bharuch today, this is the third consecutive year … it would have been great fun to buy kites on 13th, getting manja (thread) from Surat… some friend would rent huge speakers to ensure our music is the loudest in the neighbourhood, someone would be arranging for jalebi’s, some would arrange for Undhiya & Puri for lunch, caps, tapes … more than half the night of 13th would be spent tying the kinna, a process of readying the kites for flying with all friends having gathered at home and my mom assisting also throw in the batata wada’s at midnight brought from the railway station…

And then for the d-day get up early and bath and rush to my friends house and straight to his terrace (my house has too many trees around so impossible to fly kites) throw bits of paper in the air to gauge the air… like the cricketers almost… and then for the thumka’s to have the bird flying in the air… soaring, then making it to dip below the neighbour’s kite and then the adrenalin khench (pulling as fast as you can to cut the thread of another kite) and screaming at the top of voice

 “Kaipo Che…… Lapppetttt…..” :mrgreen:

 

I promise to none other than myself… next year I will be there to fly kites at home !!!!!! :D :D

Dilemma’s

 

Boss : There is a training by Cotton Association of India attend it… !!

 

Me : Oh wow… !! (  Mumbai aha… chance to meet Crafty… !!!  Maybe Zinggy Mum too.. )

 

Suddenly I notice the horror of the date its on 26th !!!! Saturday… !!!!

 

India take on Pakistan in Champions trophy that day !!!!!! EEEEEEKSSSS mind is working fast to find excuses…. !!!!!!

 

Went home and told my wife… and she was like… Think it over… you get to meet your friend in Mumbai… sunday and monday is holiday… go to the training on the way back you can drop down at Bharuch, you can enjoy garba… !!!!!! 

 

:mrgreen:

 

Bharuch Navratri… alone… without wife… Ol’ girl friends in Chaniya Choli !!!!!!!! (Backless   TOOOOO   Smi you hearing ???)

Oh boy !!!!!!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

 

but the scheduling of the trains is quite bad… I finish the training at 6pm at Cotton Green Station (remember Kaminey climax) then have to catch train to Bharuch 5 hours in a manner that I reach by 12 so I get to go to the garba’s for atleast 2-3 hours… !!!!!!! Only one train Avantika… but they dont issue tickets for Bharuch… :( all other trains from Bandra… which I can never reach in 1 hour… I m in overdrive trying to find options… General Compartment is looming large for journey to Bharuch…  

 

but that means India Pakistan match goes amiss… !!!!  Geez…. you cant have everything can you… ????

 

So I took my wife’s advice… I always do… No life without Wife and her advice… you see….

 

So I am now extremely keen for my training… and side by side also meet Crafty, go to Bharuch for Navratri, meet a few old girl friends, listen to Garba’s, have Apna ka Masala Chicken at Bharuch & yes Thakkar ka Khaman / Ameeri Khaman, Sev Usal.. oh God… !!!!!

 

Never mind… I gotta rush… boss calling….

garbas are here…

 

Its Garba time… I saw posters of garba happening everywhere in Indore… and suddenly realised… its been 3 years since I went to Bharuch for Navratri…

 

This is one festival that is most most most fun…. !!!!

 

Oh, how I miss my days in Bharuch in garba’s they were fantastic to say the least.

 

In college days Garba’s would start at around 11 in the night in Bharuch and go on till 6.30 in the morning. Yes, you read that right till 6.30 am in the morning the sun would rise but the garba dancers would refuse to stop. Some elderly people would be on their morning walks and we would be going back home to sleep… !!! :P :P :P

 

Those were the days when there were no bombs and security problems and every one just wanted to revel for 9 nights. The youth literally had a ball and the parents had a hard time controlling kids. Well I am not going to start the social debate. The one great thing about Gujarat is the amount of freedom girls enjoy… they can roam the streets alone in the nights… at 2 am or 4 am… any time… !!!!!!! and in Navratri… its bliss… !!!!! all are ready and maked up to kill !!! ;)

 

I just want to remember those days when we would go to our place, Patel Society all dressed up in kurta pyjama. Although I was a shy & a pathetic dancer always worrying people were watching me and laughing as years went by even I gave into the beat of the garba’s. I truly love the garba songs and have lots of favourites. Just to listen to them the whole night was in itself a revelation and a joy.

 

Add to that the girls!!!!!!!! So many, with backless choli’s dressed to play the perfect seductress, painted in make up and jewellery, roaming around in the night without their parents. Wow !! The girls largely preoccupied with dancing would still find time for people like us sitting in the audience.

 

For us rowdy non dancing  guys it was always great to sit in the front rows and make fun of the guys who would dance probably because we couldn’t dance. Than spotting the girl of the navratri. Than finding out more and more information about her.

 

In the more younger days (coz i m ever young) even fight with a guy if he spoke to a girl we liked, as we were the kings back then… !!

 

[ Psst some times even we were fought with for speaking to a girl who was liked by an even more powerful king!!!! Part of growing up eh!! ]

 

The nights were full of life, lights, lots of food and colour filled with music.

 

this one is one of my most favourite garba’s…. !!! there are many more… and I am going to load them up one by one…

“Taara vina shyam mane ekaldu laage, raas ramva ne vehlo aavje”

 

here is one..

no logics…

 

I am a Jain by birth, by “Karma” though I dont qualify for any religion.

 

I simply need a strong logic to back up everything and unless there is some really logical scientific reason to explain, why I am supposed to do so and so… I wont do it… However if my free mind wishes to do it I might as well do it…. So basically I do what I like and what I feel is right and cannot toe a line… just coz a Jain is supposed to do it…

 

I am thankful to my best friend Vijay for introducing me to the world of eggs and flesh ! I simply love eggs and chicken and am a proud meat eating Indian !! naa… I dont care about jain or hindu or muslim !! never have, never will !!!

 

I am more than happy to eat cakes on christmas at my friend Vaibhav’s (christian) house and most most most pleased at the lovely Chicken Biryani Asif’s mom makes on Eid!!!  She is my favourite cook !

 

Now… I married a non jain girl…. who also used to love eating chicken ! In her house they dont cook nonveg, as mom in law doesnt eat or cook,  but they always indulge outside in restaurants….

 

Now strangely, my girlfriend who loves eating chicken, suddenly marries me and decides to quit eggs and non veg !!

 

No in my house this is not allowed most definitely… If my mom comes to know about this post… I am banned from entering her house… !!  :(  thankfully she doesnt read my blogs

 

But I still eat, never let my mom know ! My wife was to do the same thing, eat and not tell at home,  but she quit ! why ? i dont know !!

 

Than my wife does “ekashana” (eating just once a day and consuming only boiled water, water is only allowed between sunrise and sunset, after that no water either) in our festival “Paryushana”, this festival comes once a year for 8 days in the monsoon.

 

So she ate only once for 8 days, now I have never done half a fast or even an attempt ever, nor has my mom ever done a fast, nor has my dad done a fast ever !! Neither my brothers… who both are also not jains by “karma”

 

Maybe she was trying to impress her mom in law, this was just after our marriage, who was very proud of her Daughter in law doing all the tapasya…. but the fact remains she was not forced, my mom herself could never fast !

 

Two days back, was “Mahavir Jayanti” … our samaj in Indore had a function and we were invited, the moment I read the invitation, I announced, we or atleast I are not going.

 

But missus, non jain by birth, decides she has to go… I live with my brother who is married to a jain girl, this jain girl says she doesnt feel like going to the function and will stay home and eat….

 

My wife accompanied by a cousin’s wife… This cousin is also my boss… goes to the function, please note, my jain cousin is married to an assamee again a non jain !

 

So eventually these two Non Jains go and attend a jain function while I and my cousin are at office on a Jain holiday, not just do the ladies go to the samaj function which are not parties by any means, lots of silly bhajans and a few games… these ladies then come to office and advise us that we should go to such functions… or we will be left out of the samaj !!!!

 

I rarely visit any temples or derasar’s (jain temple) …. the last I can remember is going to an Ayappa temple about a year back, coz my son dragged me to it as he had been to the temple from his school and he loved the decoration !!!! (amazingly all that my mom or wife cannot get me to do, my son can easily )

 

Very often I am given a lecture that I should be visiting derasar’s and samaj functions more often by missus citing or else our son will not become jain !!! (I aint a jain you aint a jain than why do you want to make your son a jain ? Cant we be Indians ? no religion ! )  

 

When I try and feed eggs to my son, my wife objects ! She wants me to allow him to select his own religion ! She says he is a born Jain you should allow him to grow up as a jain and than he may select his own religion !

 

I am like whats the logic behind all this ?? 

( i can understand if i want my wife to change etc… but when I am least concerned why is she so concerned… no matter how much explanation… she thinks she is a jain, that I am a jain and I must try and be a jain and most importantly my son must be a jain !! )

 

Over the years, I have been hammering away at my wife and now I have got her to slowly start eating eggs and the gravy from the chicken… but I can never stop her from stopping eating roots and greenery during “Paryushan” or from her wanting to follow all Jain customs…

 

Religion is a highly complicated matter isn’t it ? Why people do certain things is totally beyond me… as my wife’s logics…. which I have questioned many times and she just doesnt have any answers…. just like that she says always !

 

What also strikes me is the uncanny ability of women to accept changes and try and adapt to different things… Would a man do these things… even if he were asked ?

 

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Bura Na Mano kya ????? WTF

This is in response to Ritu’s post here . She is describing all sorts of Holi players and I thought what the heck there is one tribe of holi players, rascals…. i experienced and I was so pissed off …. grrrrr…..

There are rascal holi player types tooo !!!

Dhuleti or Dhulendi whatever you want to call it was over,

it was Rang Panchmi,

you are going to mumbai… you are bored sitting in the train you plug your ipod and decide to go and stand at the door… looking out at MY INDIA … watching my country from the train… trying to think and conjure a post

suddenly near ujjain a group of men with buckets full of colour filled balloon…

decide to pelt the whole train..

and you find your clothes all coloured… my favourite trouser… !!

all gone.. Some older people with gray hair suddenly had their hair in a new colour !! pink…

Some small kids were so stunned they wouldnt stop wailing….

Some rascal supporters keep smiling and keep saying more to themselves i think, “Bura na mano Holi hai !!”

What the heck….

Suddenly you also find your sweat leather cream coloured shoes have got some huge pink coloured spots on them and you are to receive a delegate from turkey at 8 am next day morning so you have to wear the same darn shoes as no shop will be open to buy new ones !!!
now you tell me to appreciate holi and how ??

I always unwillingly have always played… I liked the balloon throwing that happens in Mumbai… but suddenly… err… my perception is totally changing !!!!! yuck yuck grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

How Valentine’s day has become symbolic not for love but for hate…

Until college Valentines day was not very popular amongst us, infact I myself found it particularly silly to be gifting greeting cards and flowers. Those days were also the no lover days so it didnt particularly matter. We used to think its the Archies Gallery sort of people who are promoting the festival just to ensure their card sells. A lot of us thought that for expressing love why just one day, the lovers always express their love and gift each other.

However one event in our college changed Valentines for us in a strange way, thought I should share… Heres how it goes… this happened in 1998

Part – I – the scene -

We used to study in Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda which is India’s single largest standing university. We do not have colleges but we have faculties. We would have all sorts of rose days, chocolate days, traditional days, musical days and what not. Similarly each faculty in our University would celebrate the Rose King and Rose Queen on Valentines day. The idea was to bring lots of flowers at 10rs. count them and sell in the college at 25rs. when you bought the flower you would tell for whom you bought it !!!! so they would note it down and then at the end of the day the Rose King and Rose Queen would be announced. Where the money would go no one knew !!!!!

My group never much celebrated as we were always broke for money, rather we would buy cigarettes and chai’s and nashta’s then spend on roses and cards.

In the second year of our college some Bajrang Dal people had ransacked a few shops and also warned the university not to celebrate.

Part – 2. – the Bapu’s -

In our university there were huge number hostels and hostelites. In our university hostel campus there were atleast 8 to 10 huge halls in the boys section and similarly in girls section. My roll number in FY Bcom was 4827 !!!! so you can imagine the number of students….

In all the boys hall, room no. 51 & 52 would be occupied by Bapu’s. They were all from Rajasthan, Rajputs and they were Dada’s of a sort. Most of them were huge in size and we Gujju’s would look like dwarfs in front of them. A lot of them were illegal residents in the hostel, but who would take on them or stop them. They would come and exchange their old beds for your new ones, their broken buckets with your new ones and what not….

They would always be in denims, they would only drive Enfield bullets and not a lot of people would be allowed in their groups easily. They would eat like crazy, drink like crazy and if any one came into a fight with them they would beat them like crazy….

We would always hide our things when they would come to our rooms, especially ghar ka khana, soaps, deodarants etc or they would just ask, “Arre Can I borrow this ?” all of us were in such awe usually would never refuse and they would take it away. They always had the most beautiful girls as their girlfriends and even if they broke up no one would dare to get tooo cosy with that girl fearing the Bapu back lash !!!

They had a customary style of greeting, ” Khambhakhani Bapu” and they were truly the kings of the college.

Main Story -

Our commerce faculty is on the main road and very near to the outside world, Most of these Bapu’s are in commerce. The faculty was celebrating Rose Day on Valentines… making rose king and queen… The Bapu’s were sitting at their customary place outside the canteeen and every one was watching the proceedings…. We rarely attended lectures as attendance was not compulsory in our college. The campus was abuzz…

It was at this point some 8-10 Bajrang Dal activists came in college campus to stop the rose day celebrations… the guys who brought the roses and were going to earn from it were the G.S (general secreatary etc the election winners) they were powerful and our number was huge… those 8-10 activists were beaten up !!! They were sent out of college… they ran…. for their lives we thought !!!!

But in another hour they returned with hockey sticks and atleast 50-60 people…. the scene was set…. for the collegians to now run….

This was the time when the Bapu’s stepped in and told all, not told actually warned every one, no body will run, we are more then 1000 here… these 50-60 and they are no match for us… the Bapu’s even warned us the one who runs… ” Koi nahi Bhagega, Agar Koi yahan se Bhaga to Uski kher nahi, Inka college se koi lena dena nahi, Inko hum sabak sikhayenge !!! “

What ensued there after was unbelievable, those 50 -60 people were bashed up like anything…. most of them ran away but 3-4 were caught and they were given a bashing of their lives….

The Bapu’s (Dada’s of that time, some called them goonda’s) became the heroes of the college… Every one from that day onwards had a sense of respect towards them…

The next day again was celebrated as the Baasi-Valentines Day. In Gujarat there is a system of Baasi-Uttrayana, Baasi Eid etc… meaning the day after is still celebrated as people are not content with just the one day !!

Not one Bajrang Dal activist dared to come near any faculty there after…. It actually was very symbolic the next day for all to celebrate Valentines day just to show to these goons that they don’t matter…. For many years it was like that, in my mind too that I should celebrate Valentines day, not just for it is a day to express your love, but more so to show that Shiv Sena’s, Bajrang Dal’s etc cannot control us.

It is strange that since the last few years we almost had forgotten to celebrate it, but it was this idiot from Mangalore who again aroused the same feelings of our college days.

I would like to tell all don’t run and don’t take the beating from any one if you are innocent. We are too many and the goons are too less…. Some say this Pink Chaddi is vulgar, well it is a lot lot better… Our Bapu’s campaign would probably have been to give the Mangalore goonda’s even worse treatment then the one they gave to the innocent girls in Mangalore.

And by the way -

” Happy Valentine’s Day !!!!”