The second week at IMNU was coming to an end, people starting to know each other and yes…. getting a taste of the “deadlines”, “pre-reads” and “hectic schedules” the seniors warned us about. We had just finished our IGB lectures and then came a good news along with a not so good one – IMNU had taken the initiative to get us acquainted with the city and our classmates and take us on a heritage walk. So far so good. The news came with a catch – we had to wake up at 5:30 am to go for the walk.
So Saturday morning, 5th July, 5am it was. And all everyone could here was alarm bells ringing. Seniors cribbing and cursing the juniors that what on earth is happening.. The havoc stopped when we were up and running… 4 sections, 4 buses, 1 destination: Old Ahmedabad
We reached Kalupur and were asked to walk the next “few” km (which turned out to be around 2-3 kms from where our buses had stopped). After passing through fafda-jalebi walas of Kalupur, we reached the majestic and old temple of Ahmedabad – Shree Swaminarayan Temple. Apart from the divine darshans, it was amazing to know that the morning nagada was played mechanically through machines rather than people.
Then we headed towards the pols of Ahmedabad. Pols are where people live in Old Ahmedabad – so called because of the narrow streets and clustered houses that one sees. Designed in such a way that every pol was connected with other through secret passages, each pol integrated houses of different styles – Maratha, French, Mughal – with proper sewage networks such that they represented one common pol rather than small diverse units. We also visited the Kaala Raamji temple which is the only temple where Lord Rama is seen in a sitting position. The unique aspect of the idol is that it is made completely out of pure basanite. We also went through Kavi Dalpatram Chowk, named after one of the greatest literary figures in the history of Ahmedabad. Our final destination was Jama Masjid , another 2-3 km walk away, the imposing grandeur of the structure making us understand why it was the final point in the journey. The figure of OM in the windows of the masjid truly reflected the unity in diversity of Amdavad and its people and seemed to call in each one of us the duty to protect the communal harmony of our country.
Well, the walk could have been a bit boring but a group of students out on a Saturday morning knows it better to make the whole experience interesting. For instance, the Kavi Dalpatram Statue sure was wow…. “But first, lemme take a selfie”. Just imagine, girls with shades taking pouting selfies with a statue of someone in dhoti kurta and pagadi. And guys giving ROCK ON type poses at the Jama Masjid. Insane… But fun!! From eating fafdas from stalls visited by Amitabh Bachchan to check-inns at various pols and the masjid. Not to forget having cold drinks and snacks from the Nukkad Gumti and wearing lungi at Jama Masjid. All of these experiences were fantastic and what is more, we got enough material for hashtags and status updates!! after all #YOLO.
Not only did the walk through acquaint us with the city and its people, who were so helping to serve each one with chilled water when we went to their doors, but also what it did was create bonds. All in all, it was a wonderful experience – one which could be written down in the “IGB LEARNING LOG”. Thanks IMNU.
(Content and Photo Courtesy: Parth Patel N Bochare)