Food & Love in DNA in People living in Gujarat
Tell a person living in Gujarat that you love the local food and you will be loved truly and taken care of really well. Well, that is my experience with people living in Gujarat, whether they were born in the same state or moved from a different state or country. I must admit my ‘beanie’ which has ‘horns’ definitely vibrated happiness and created smiles and joy around me and wherever I went. But, the love for the food people living in Gujarat are no match.
Stop for Lunch | Highway Dhabba | Unlimited Thaali
The staff were so patient and did not get angry for the number of times my friend and I called to serve the rotis and dishes. They were happily serving. But, at one point of time, when I asked for Rotis, they said “it is over” and for an instance I went into a shock. But, within few seconds, this lad in the picture said “Rotis are back, my colleague went behind to refill.” If you notice the picture closely, you’d find literally ruins in the background. Well, the eatery or the building hasn’t completed. But, business as usual is active and serving customers i.e. travellers like us, farmers in the neighbourhood et cetera. I was so happy with the food and service that I requested one of three chaps to pose for a photo with me. The other two were shy and one of them was focussing in serving the customers too.
Stop for Chai (Tea) After A Long Drive | On The Highway
I met this chap on the way to #Bhuj in Gujarat. We stopped our car to have a chai. But, quickly I changed my mind to have a cuppa coffee. This chap said “no, it would take time.” So, I decided to drink chai. But after 3-4 minutes, this chap i.e. the owner of the shop said he has prepared coffee. Haha. Now, I asked how can I have the tea and coffee? He kept saying ” I prepared the coffee because you asked to.” I was a little confused why he made the tea then. Clearly some communication mistake or he was trying to sell the coffee too haha. Anyways, I liked the persistence. Since he was not all smiles, I decided to bring in my PR skills, take a selfie with him and made him smile before I exited the place.
PR Technique —> At the end, I said “you’re cute” and requested him to pose after thanking him for the wonderful and tasty chai.
Fantastic Hospitality in Bhuj | VRP Guesthouse
My friend and I stayed at VRP guest house, the least expensive accommodation we found online in Bhuj, upon arriving in town. The booking and decision to stay was all spur of the moment. We had no clue of what to expect. We were ready to explore. More information about the guest house is on my next blog.
If one needs hot water to bathe, a request must be submitted the previous night. Or, one must wake up at 6am and go to the floor near the reception with a bucket, and fill running hot water from the tap. On the first day, I woke up second and my friend then indicated that he had a cold water bath. I was not prepared to have a cold water bath in fairly cold climatic conditions. So, when I went to the ‘common toilet’ to find a bucket, there was none. Apparently, my friend had a bath under a tap. Since I had experienced bathing under a tap earlier in Rajasthan in 2011 during my friend’s wedding, I chose to not repeat it this time. So, I called out for help and this wonderful bloke in the photo, came to me and said “Sir, there is no extra bucket, you’ll have to wait.” I was not ready to wait as I could lose that hot water, as it is available only for a short duration every morning. So, I requested him politely and also said “I don’t mind even if it is a makeshift bucket” and within a couple of minutes, he brought me a bucket that looked typically like a dustbin, well it was clean, so it was fine. I happily had the hot water bath. So, I must thank this bloke who went out of his way to help me. I did tip him on our check out from the guest house.
I in fact forgot to take a picture during our check out process. After going down to our car, I then requested my friend to stop so I could quickly go up, take a selfie and few photos with the staff haha. I just did not want to feel bad by not taking photos.
The staff were so loveable. They even shared some stories and helped me in giving directions and travel tips.
Stop for Coconut Water Outside Bhuj Museum
Outside the Bhuj museum, we consumed fresh coconut water. While I was drinking, the curious old gentleman asked me “what is this you are wearing on your head” and I replied “it is a hat with horns to make me and others happy.” He laughed and I immediately asked him about himself, and what he did for a living. He said “I am a lorry/car driver”. And then I asked him few questions about Bhuj and its history. He politely answered too. Interesting conversation.
Surprisingly, we met him at Rann of Kutch that evening. Yes, he was driving for few tourists.
These 2 make a cute pair innit??
Stop for Purchasing A Bell | Outside Aina Mahal in Bhuj
Once we finished touring the Aina Mahal, we saw this corner shop with bells. While I was seeing the bells, the owner was sitting on the floor. He came up to me only when I asked him what the price was of a particular bell was. His appearance and height reminded me of the late Osama Bin Laden. Who knows? It could be him too.
I loved the bell and furthermore I was happy to see him using Paytm. So, without wasting time, I purchased the bell after a quick negotiation, paid through Paytm and the money was instantly wired. My conversation with him was so minimal and fast. But, I liked that chap instantly. He had a small and old mobile through which he got the SMS confirmation of the payment. He did not make a fuss about me paying through Paytm. As I took the bell in my hand, he politely asked me if I needed a bag. Without hesitation, I agreed, truly because of his kindness.
Stop at Chhatedi | Tailor/Playboy/Potential Groom
We visited Chhatedi after someone’s recommendation. This place was once upon a time beautiful but has become less attractive after the earthquake that shook Bhuj. We came across Vishal Parmar, a tailor who was being photographed by his friend. When I approached him and asked if he was a model, he said “no, I am a tailor and taking these photos to give it to my potential wife and/or her family.” He is 24 years old and ready to get married. His community or family does not like his Facebook photos or the ones he has clicked earlier as it gives a rosy picture about him. Many assume/presume that he is very good with the women and if that continues, he would end up loving someone or having many flings. So, they want him to get married soon and to someone they come across through their network or matrimony.
While conversing, I was telling him how photographers in urban cities now use drones in weddings. And spontaneously, he said “oh yes, we too use it here in some of the big fat indian weddings and the photography service with latest technology usually costs over Rs 2.5 Lakhs and many people spend large amounts of money for weddings.
Stop for Chai | On The Way To Rann Of Kutch
This chap was initially hesitant to take photos, God knows what reasons for. But, after pestering him for a couple of times, he was happy to pose. He lived in a nearby village and comes to work here daily.
Children Selling Snacks | At The Kutch Toll
Children are so beautiful and lovely. Their presence vibrate a lot of happiness. These children were requesting me to buy few snacks from them. I refused to buy. Their perseverance continued but tweaked after a point of time and requested me to give cash so they can buy biscuits. This time I didn’t refuse and was happy to give them some dough. They were instantly happy. And throughout the time they spent with me, they said many a times how nice my hat with the horns is and asked me too if it was a “singhda”. For that, I said no but they tried to convince me that it was one. Haha. Sweet cutiepies. Singhda is apparently a turban or a helmet to protect one’s head.
Selfie With A Bike Rider/Tourist | At Kalo Dungar
Since he too wore an interesting head gear, I politely requested this young chap to come and sit with me and take a selfie. During that time, I asked him what he did for a living. And he replied “I work for the Indian Government in IT.”
Stop for Morning Breakfast | On The Streets Of Bhuj
A street vendor selling fafda, jalebi, et cetera for breakfast at rock bottom prices. He was so sweet. His philosophy in life is “Be content and happy with what I have. I am an entrepreneur and I live the way I want to. I come here every morning to sell food to the locals and tourists. I make enough to be happy and to make my family happy too.” Because of his kindness and cuteness, and not to forget the tasty food, we ate breakfast at his disposal on consecutive days.
People are awesome. Each one of us have different tastes, preferences and behaviour patterns. Accepting and adjusting helps people to come together and live with peace and harmony. We human beings must love and be loved.
Do you have any stories about people living in Gujarat? Comment below and share with your stories.