Friday, May 26, 2006

Surat, Gujarat.

As I stared out through the door of my compartment, colourless buildings and busy roads greeted me.There was a different smell in the air, something that made me want to go home. It was 3'o clock in the afternoon of 14th May,and the place was Surat, Gujarat.I have come to this city/town (don't still know if it's a town or city) for my Internship at Reliance Industries.

It was a 24 hour journey by Navajeevan Express.I had a 2nd AC berth and hence escaped the wrath of sun, though I was missing the diversity and vibrance that is normally found in non AC compartments.A family travelling along with me in the same coupe prevented my boredome. Whenever I travel, I generally keep observing people and their mannerisms or engage myself with a book.So, I speak less frequently to my co-passengers. But here, I had nothing to observe but these three people sitting around me and the book I chose for this journey was slightly boring,forcing me to talk.

The couple were very homely and the way the spoke made me feel good.So I spent my time in conversation with the family and hence was able to pass most of my time. The dinner and lunch in the train left me feeling odd, chapathi and curry, that papad and others.

As soon as I got down at Surat, a car picked me up, along with two others and carried us to RIL guest house. The city seemed strange. Most of it was filled with colourless buildings, rusty shops. I had an eerie feeling and an urge to go back home.

Welcome to Gujarat, the land of sweet curries and baked papads.This was my impression after eating the dinner at the guest house. Curries were sweet and after a week I understood that curries are sweet. The papads,I felt were rivals of our appadam/appalam (as we call them) baked directly in fire without oil, tasting different when eaten. The greatest shock however was when, something I took for Sambar tasted sweet.

However I had a pleasant surprise when two sparrows came, early the next morning and sat on the window of my room. Their chirpings carried me down the memory lane, to my childhood days when there were sparrows in coastal Andhra. They used to come everyday, sit on windows and chirp, gather a few grains of rice we occasionally threw at them and fly off. Those cute little things, I love them so much. Due to the
excessive use of pesticides in fields,they gradually disappeared from coastal region of Andhrapradesh. It was very sad, and the feeling of guilt still haunts me. So, you can probably imagine my happiness at finding these little friends in an unexpected place.

Surat is an industrial city and towards Hazira,its all petrochemicals and other related stuff. I was really wondering how these sparrows could survive in so harsh surroundings, with all those hydrocarbons and other odd gases in air.

Anyway, I had a great fortune to be able to see them again, thank GOD!


Shankar said...

i haven't seen sparrows in a long time actually.....enjoy your stay!!!

Know-all said...

did u do any thing wid d sparrows??