Beyond us lies the wide, beautiful world which we need to embrace and explore. God would have given us roots if he wished that humans and animals stay in one place and not explore anything. The feet given to us are a sign that we need to run away and not meant to be in one place. Not only humans even the predators, amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects and mammals that exist with us make a subtle, sometimes fast movement from one place to another in search of newer insights. Migratory birds search food and shelter, predators hunt their prey and others keep on moving for survival and protection in some or the other way.
It is indeed a charisma of nature that causes all this change naturally. Last year I travelled to many places and crossed off many of them from my bucket list. This time I wanted an offbeat location, never heard of by many, never travelled to by many and the one that did not have many grandeurs to boast of, but a simple and serene place with lots of sunlight, good vibes and illuminating rays of the sun that would fill the whole region with golden hues and as the sun would set down a fantastic panorama of orange, violet and yellow would be seen reminding us of the colours that fill our lives at different moments. Everything we think, do and act has a direct effect on nature and beings. It is totally a fact and I speak of this from experience.
We took off for Gulf of Cambay, early afternoon so that we could catch the beautiful evening breeze along our way and also binge on some Gujarati snacks. The villages of Gujarat are simple and succulent unlike any other village in India. They have this sense of homeliness and what we call in German ” the Geborgenheitsgefuehl” , that makes me connect with the streets and highways of Gujarat which are a blend of modern and traditional. The four of us Kris, Mahi, Neelam and I with a little bundle of joy and naughtiness Chiku made this short little trip, something that we would want to do time and again. The road to the Gulf was sort of a mixture. This place is situated around 100km from Baroda. The initial stretch was interesting where trees filled the roads on both sides and the rays creeping in through the leaves, the rustle that passed our ears made it soothing. Also to mention the highway was long and well maintained. As we neared our destination, cows and sheep made their way with us, slowing down our speed at times.
We also entered into the city of Khambhat through Google maps, and saw long, old havelis of Khambhat that spoke of the yesteryears. Mahi dreamt of building such a grand home in his home town Chennai and I awed at the color combination the walls carried explaining to Chiku what each little thing meant. The best part on this trip was taking a little kid along with us, because he made us remain careful and childish. That is how trips are supposed to be right. Letting go off each inhibition. As we neared our first destination, the Sikota Mata Temple we were guided by experienced seniors who sat on the benches of these roads and helped lost souls like us to go to the Sikota Mata Temple each day. It seemed like their daily bread after retirement and the reward they got was so many affectionate thank you-s.
After we reached the temple, we sought blessings and discovered that there also existed a Shiva temple with a huge shrine of Shiva and his third eye right opposite the Sikota Mata temple. At the back entrance of the temple the road to the gulf started, of the one I wanted to be, sun rays of yellow and golden hues spreading across the gigantic Gulf. As we walked by the mud started becoming mushy and wet. It gave us the feel of walking on rain water. As we went inside our shoes started getting stuck in the mud and we could see a whole spread of white mud until our eye could see. It bears great resemblance to Rann of Kutch at this point of time. Because it was the low tide we were able to go inner and closer to the sea, during high tide the waters of the Arabian Sea will occupy this whole area.
This area is a treat for photographers because you can shoot in many different lights at the time of the sunset. We had a relishing photoshoot and also blazed ourselves in the sun and then wrote and created funny images in the wet mud. We had a little picnic of our own sorts, with Jeera rice, parathas, corncobs, and chicken biryani on the plush brown sand and then set off on the plain path of sand back to the destination where we had parked our car, singing” on the road to Mandalay”, murmuring and humming any mad tune that came to our minds. Our brilliant photographer Kris, meanwhile, took candid shots of each of us, and then Mahi took it for him.
As we were going back and the night cold set in, the breeze on our faces through the car window was a bliss. Literally breathed in the freshest air that evening, as usual it is incomplete without soulful as well as bashing music to set your heart and mind on fire. We ended by dozing off in the car, as we were tired with all the days ” masti”.
Coming to this place was special as we celebrated one year together,of promising to be life partners forever.
For a next time!
Rucha S Khot.