Monthly Archives: May 2015

Jagriti Yatra | D +15

Day 16 (08.01.2015) It was really hard to wake up with a feel that, this journey is coming to an end. Having only a few hours to spend in the train which was our home for last 15 days, A feeling of emptiness creeped in. After spending some time packing my stuffs, I went around to bid farewell to my friends on board and click some pics with them. One best thing about yatra is, you get introduced to Yatris even on the last day of the journey, 15 days are not enough at least to meet those 450 on the board. While roaming in the train, I noticed Mr. Kishore Mandhyan who spoke to us yesterday at Ahmedabad, talking to few fellow Yatris on board, Again a good opportunity to listen and interact with an enlightened person like him.

Our train being a low priority train, it halted several times and ran slow as we near  the busy lines of Mumbai. When train halted in a suburban station for a long time, our Chennai gang decided to get down in the midway and reach our boarding place by taxi. While I was waiting for their final confirmation, the train started moving and later realized that everyone got down except me. Again our train halted for a long time somewhere near Ghatkopar station, As it would take a long time for the train to train to reach LTT (Lokmanya Tilak Terminus), few yatris including me decided to jump down the train with our luggage. Reaching the main road was bit painful with heavy luggages and few metres of walk, Then I hired a taxi to Dongri, our boarding place.

Got down the train and walking with  heavy luggage and heavy heart,

Got down the train and walking with heavy luggage and heavy heart,

The 1st thing I did after reaching the room was to take a hot water bath, one thing I missed lot while on board. After getting freshen up, the gang decided to roam around. As it has ever been, our top priority was to find a better place to eat. We were craving for some non-veg food, as it’s been veg food for last 15 days on board. After a swift search, we narrowed it to nearby Shalimar Hotel which is famous for its Biryani. After having a sumptuous meal there, we decided to visit the famous Juhu beach. It wasn’t as good as I imagined, the water was brackish and the sand was  dark. Will those stop us from having fun, definitely not. We had Panipuris and Gola Ice, I had Kalakatta flavor, which made my mouth look like a blood sucking vampire. Then, some time passed blowing bubbles and clicking all our footmarks on the sand, It turned out to be a fun evening. It was already midnight by then and the cops nearby requested us to kindly vacate the beach. On our way back we went via Worli Sea Link Road and stopped by Antilia, Mukesh Ambani’s home ( $1 Billion worth World’s most expensive residential property). By the time we reached our room, I was sleepy and tired to death, this time I slept on a bed, not on a train berth and it felt very strange.

To Be Continued…

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Jagriti Yatra | D +14

Day 15 (07.01.2015) I woke up with a really strange feeling and with realization that yatra is on its verge, yes, this journey officially ends today. Today will be our last role model visit and we were all asked to wear traditional dresses, and that’s one reason that actually cheered me up. My initial thought was to opt for Veshti a.k.a Dhoti, but considering the risk factors involved and my inefficiency to properly drape one, I opted to wear Kurta. I still felt strange with the Kurta too, cos that’s the 2nd time I am wearing one, and the 1st time was at the trial before buying it. When the train stopped, we were at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. While our disha team driving us towards the busses, we spent some time clicking pics, and that’s when the iconic bogie 8 pic was clicked. It was awesome to see most yatris in traditional attire.

After a short ride in our busses, we were at the entrance of a museum, a national monument, for our very last role model visit. Our role model of the day have been a role model of many prominent person in the history, he is predominantly known for leading india’s Independence Movement and for showcasing the power of nonviolent civil disobedient to the world. His absolute dedication to the ideals of truth, non-violence, self-respect, human dignity, peace, intercultural unity and secularism has led him to be recognized as the Father of Modern India. Yes it’s Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi a.k.a Mahatma Gandhi and we were at one of the most significant places in his life, The Sabarmati Ashram – Gandhi Memorial Museum. It’s not only significant places in his life but also in Indian Independence Movement, It’s where the famous Dandi March against the British Salt Law had started.

We were divided into groups and few volunteers of the ashram volunteered to show us around. Our group had Anjali Desai of Manav Sadhna who explained us various functions of the ashram and Gandhian values. Best part of the visit was, having Nimesh Patel of Empty Hands Music Singing for us at the ashram’s unique Toilet Cafe, his songs were filled with Love, Faith, Hope, Gratitude, Compassion and other heart soothing things. Do watch his inspiring TEDx talk below.

Every nook and corner of the ashram was filled with quotes and values by Gandi. It was really a great experience being there.

After our lunch, we headed to Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India for our final panel discussion and valedictory function. This PD was on “Education” and as usual it’s set of eminent panelists. We had Shaheen Mistri, CEO – Teach For IndiaVijay Barse, Founder – Slum Soccer and Chetna Gala Sinha, Founded Chairperson – Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank.

Then the Valedictory Ceremony which marks the official closure of the yatra. Yatra Team Members, ERC Members and Facilitators were felicitated in the ceremony. We also had Mr. Kishore Mandhyan, Former Director – Executive Office/ Cabinet of United Nations Secretary General to address the gathering and It was awesome listening to him. We all danced for our favourite yatra geet (yaaron chalo) for the very last time to end the Valedictory Ceremony, which was an emotional moment for us. Not too far from EDII, we reached Gandhi Nagar railway station shortly. Few yatris decided to end their yatra at Ahmedabad itself, while most of us decided to extend it till Mumbai. After bidding adieu to the departing friends with a heavy heart, I stepped back into the Jagrit Express to spend my last night in it.

To Be Continued …