Beautiful Jaisalmer…

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When the walls become alive….

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Have you recently passed by the university ground road on ring road, Ahmedabad? If not, take a walk on the sides of the ground this sunday and enjoy a without ticket art gallery….

Walls of university grounds have been made alive by several artists with their imagination and vibrant colors…. All the walls are painted with beautiful and lively scenes… Somewhere you will find magnificent valleys of Kashmir and somewhere glorious Sand Dunes of Rajsthan…. You will see one part of the wall portraying simple village life of Gujarat and another will be covered with Sky Scrappers of Ahmedabad…

Almost all of these paintings have some social message or the other, starting from save a girl child, save water, save trees, save environment to save electricity, obey traffic regulation, remove corruption and so on…

So park your scooter, bike or car and enjoy the vibrant colors of Ahmedabad….

Just a glance of some of these beautiful paintings 🙂

A new experience in Dining at Souq

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It’s always fascinating to try something out of ordinary routine. One such experience was having dinner at a unique restaurant in town… Souq The Restaurant…

Though the ambience and surrounding of the place is completely contradictory, one would feel like entering a completely different world, once entering the restaurant.  Theme of the restaurant takes you to an ancient Arabic Market… Cozy atmosphere, unusual yet rhythmic Arabian music would make you easily engrossed in the experience. One of the things I liked was seating was very comfortable and spacious, though being a comparatively a compact restaurant.

The restaurant serves Persian, Lebanese and Moroccan cuisine.  It was a first of its kind of experience for me to have tested this cuisine.  We started with Philadelphia Saj, little bit spicy but oh so delicious…. I loved the thin bread and yummy cheese toppings. We also had Spicy Cheese and Aubergine Manakeesh, bit of sour for my test. We also tried Stuffed Zucchini with gratin vegetables and Virgin Mojito.

One thing on which they can improve upon is Service at Ahmedabad. I have had very good examples of finest services. Service at Souq did not meet standards set by these restaurants.

If you are bored with usual Punjabi, Chinese or Thai food, then you must try Souq once.

Address:

Souq The restaurant,
1, Aarohi Complex,
Vijay Cross Road,
Nr University Plaza,
Navrangpura,
Ahmedabad – 380009

વરસાદના પહેલા છાંટા….

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Conference રૂમમાં Monthly Review ચાલી રહ્યો હતો અને મારું સંપૂર્ણ ધ્યાન Screen તરફ હતું.  એટલામાં જ રૂમ માં કોઈક આવ્યું અને પહેલા જ વાક્યએ મારું ધ્યાન મિટિંગમાંથી બીજી તરફ દોરી દીધું. વાક્ય હતું, “બહાર વરસાદ આવી રહ્યો છે…” મારી નજર તરત રૂમની બારીઓ તરફ દોડી ગઈ, વરસાદની પહેલી ઝલક લેવા માટે… પણ અફસોસ, રૂમની બધી જ બારીઓ પડદાઓથી ઢંકાયેલ હતી પણ ત્યાંજ મારી નજર એક નાનકડી જગ્યા પર ગઈ જ્યાં પડદો થોડો હટાવેલો હતો અને જ્યાંથી મને બહારની દુનિયાની નાનકડી ઝલક મળી. રોજના ધગધગતા તડકાની જગ્યાએ વાદળોથી ઘેરાયેલા આકાશની નાનકડી ઝલક મને દેખાઈ.

કેટલા દિવસની અસહ્ય ગરમી પછી એક હાંશનો અનુભવ. બંધ રૂમ ના બંધનમાંથી જેવી હું બહાર નીકળી તો મારું સ્વાગત ભીની ભીની ધરતીની મધુર સુવાસે કર્યું. ઓફીસની બહાર આવતા જ સોનેરી સંધ્યાના કિરણો ભીના રસ્તા પર પડતા જોઇને કૈક અહલાદક અનુભવ થયો. લાગ્યું કે જાણે ધરતીના હૈયાને કેટલી ટાઢક વળી હશે!!! રસ્તા, વૃક્ષો, વાહનો બધું જ વરસાદના પહેલા પહેલા છાંટાથી ભીનું…. ઠંડો ઠંડો પવન… અને એ ઠંડા પવનમાં ભળેલી મીઠ્ઠી મીઠ્ઠી ભીની માટીની મહેક… જીવનમાં આનાથી વધુ સુંદર શું હોઈ શકે?

દુપટ્ટાના બંધન વગર મારા રાજરથ (Activa ) પર હું ઓફિસથી નીકળીને અમદાવાદ તરફ આગળ વધી. ગાંધીનગરના રળિયામણા રસ્તા આંખોને ઠંડક આપી રહ્યા હતા. ગાંધીનગરથી અમદાવાદનો રસ્તો આમ તો હંમેશા થાક્દાયી લાગતો હોય છે પણ આજે રસ્તામાં રાહતનો અહેસાસ હતો. લીલા લીલા વૃક્ષોથી છવાયેલ રસ્તા અને ધીમા ધીમા વરસાદના છાંટા જે મને ભીના પણ નહતા કરી રહ્યા અને કોરું રહેવું પણ મુશ્કિલ હતું. શરીરને ભીંજવતો વરસાદ અને મનને ભીંજવતા ગીતોનો સાથ…

જ્યાં પણ નજર જાય ત્યાં લાગે કે આખું અમદાવાદ માત્ર પહેલા પહેલા વરસાદને જ માણી રહ્યું છે. એક નાનકડું બાળક નાના અમથા ખાબોચિયામાં છબછબીયા કરી રહ્યું હતું. તેના મોં પર નું હાસ્ય એકદમ માસુમ હતું. એના માટે વરસાદનું પાણી એ વરસાદનું પાણી જ હતું, તેના માટે તે શુદ્ધ કે અશુદ્ધ નહતું, દાળવડાની લારીઓની આસપાસ ઘેરાયેલા લોકો અને ગરમા ગરમ તેલમાં તળાતા દાળવડા, ભજીયાની મોંમાં પાણી લાવનારી સુગંધ…. શું સાંજ આનાથી સારી હોઈ શકે!!!

Gujari…

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Gurjari Market

Few days back I read in the newspaper about a Public Interest Litigation of Navdeep Mathur, a professor of IIMA.  The reason, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is in process of developing Sabarmati River front and in this pursue, they want to replace the local market of Gujari with 615 constructed stalls. Although currently there are more than 1200 members part of this market.  Further hearing will be on 23rd June.

But what is this place all about??? Living in Ahmedabad, have you ever been to Gujari??? I am born and brought up in Ahmedabad, I have heard a lot of this place but never been there till now. I finally visited the place on a recent sunday.

Gujari, on the river front of Sabarmati, nearby Swami Vivekanand bridge is a market which becomes alive with hustling and bustling of vendors and shoppers on every Sunday. You will find everything starting from books, toys, utensils, lamps to wooden and metal furniture. What attracted me the most were the bronze utensils and statues. Intricate design on them just gives them beautiful antique look.

My visit had left me with mixed feelings. My expectations were different from what I actually experienced. I was expecting an organized line of stalls with everything beautiful and traditional. While reality is a place filled with all sort of things, some useful, some junk, some beautiful, some secondhand stuff and more… You will need to go through all these to find what you want.

Some alerts before you actually visit the place. Do not wear any kind of jewellary, do not carry too much of cash and lookout for those perverts who may intend to take advantage.

Source Code – Movie Review

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This fellow, Jake Gyllenhaal  just keeps  surprising with each of his new movie and new role. When you thought he is a cute romantic boy next door (like in The Day After Tomorrow), he surprises us with a mature and serious role in Brokeback Mountain… And then on to a sword-and-sorcery action film Prince of Persia with a complete new hunky look. And now he is back in Sci Fi thriller Source Code.

Jake stars as Captain Colter Stevens, a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown person, travelling in a train heading for a bomb blast. Later he discovers that he is part of a military mission. He again and again lives last eight minutes of life of a commuter on the train to discover the bomber and stop future attacks on Chicago.

Michelle Monaghan’s character brings fresh breeze to the intense plot, while Vera Farmiga plays a military officer guiding Colter Stevens through this mysterious journey.

Movie is a good thriller and will keep you glued to the plot. However, there are few loopholes in the movie which may drift your mind towards justifying the twists of the movie.

Those of you who like Sci Fi genera, enjoyed Bourne Identity series would like this one as well. So, go watch it while it’s still in theatres.

Cast

Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens/Sean Fentress

Michelle Monaghan as Christina Warren

Vera Farmiga as Colleen Goodwin

Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Rutledge

Cas Anvar as Hazmi

Russell Peters as Max Denoff

Michael Arden as Derek Frost

Scott Bakula as Stevens’ father (Voice cameo)

Frédérick De Grandpré as Sean Fentress’ Reflection (Body cameo)

Has Ahmedabad lost compassion?

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It’s very difficult to write about negative aspect of Ahmedabad, but with an endeavor of showing a true picture of the city, I am writing about a bitter experience of my city.

While a visit to one of the renowned shopping mall today, I saw a security guard of the mall dragging a boy by his collar and hitting him by newspaper!!! This boy would not be older than 6 or 7 years.

The mall was overflowing with people, enjoying their Sunday. Out of hundreds of people around not a single soul found this act to be inhumane!!!  After stopping this cruel act, when I confronted the guard, asking the reason, an indifferent answer came, “The kid is disturbing all the shoppers… we told him many times, not to come nearby mall, but he comes and bags for money and harasses people.”  The crime of the kid was that he was disturbing enjoyment of those who are blessed with luxuries unlike him. Was this guard’s act justified?

Bigger questions are… How can we amdavadis just stand, see the cruelty and do nothing? Has Amdavad lost compassion?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. But I hope that Amdavad is still full of people who will not tolerate inhumanity or injustice and will rise to stand against it.

What do you think? Have lost our compassion? Do we care about what’s going on in our city? Do we fight against the cruelty of such sick people? I urge you to share your thoughts or experiences.