Ways of the Gujjus / Pantlessness in hotel rooms

Gujju-land (let’s call a spade a spade) is the third state I have visited in the last 40 days for work. As for why I didn’t write about the 2 states I visited earlier: (to cut a long story short) I am an idiot. On anti-depressants. That seem to be working. Finally.
Anyway, by now I have made peace with, actually, have started liking road trips; which means getting to know a place based on its roads, how it looks in passing, with close encounters whenever you stop (it also includes losing a bit of FOMO that defines my life).
{Other ways of looking at a place: visiting tourist points (watching sunsets). Just walking around. Food tasting. Living there for some seasons. Living there till seasons repeat. Just chilling by the water side. Shopping.}
As I was saying, I have come to understand places based on their roads. Ahmehabad, for instance, is like a pomegranate. The outer roads, near the bank of Sabarmati are so wide so wide and beautiful, you will think of it as a spoilt child with rotten teeth (strict parents who give chocolates as compensation). But you take a turn, one turn inside and you will see the meandering narrow-ish roads with rickshaws and shops and (Gujju) people. It’s is so normal, so normal that it makes you feel un-uncomfortable. It will give you no dopamine, leave alone adrenaline high of visiting a new city. Maybe you can roam and look at the recently opened (or renovated) pseudo western shops (with American female names and LED light decoration) while you eat meethai.
I ate Ahemadabad’s panipuri. (Not bad)
On my way to Gandhinagar, I saw Gurukul, a school that looks like a palace. So big yet so intricate, you worry it’s fragile. A historical monument to be. In the future of which people will come and guess what things people did here (“students were made to wake up at 4 and bathe in cold water” “no girls” “they had a teacher who played the violin, the one the headmaster’s daughter fell for”. These tourists will wonder how it must have felt to be the students, the headmaster, his daughter, the violin. Tell themselves how much better off they are now. Would click selfies there. And leave.

I also saw a man who sold doors. Old doors. On the side of the road. (Imagine writing a short story about him, the seller. Or the doors, once part of a family, being sold now. On a roadside.)
I saw hundreds of pots. Some decorated. To be sold. And farms. But so many more hotel rooms and bathrooms. I have even come to have rituals in hotel rooms (forgetting toothpaste, reading in the light of the bed side lamp to feel fancy, etc).
But India has won the match and I must try to sleep so I can wake up too late for breakfast tomorrow. Will (try to) write about February project then.

Where I wrote this from: I wrote from the center of a white sheeted double bed of a hotel that gives complimentary comb and hair oil (!!!). I was watching India win a cricket match against England while eating noodles (I know eating salad would be cooler, but I didn’t feel like) and clicking a selfie to send on Whatsapp family group (because you godda do what you godda do)
Where I post this from: window seat in car, on the way to a farm.
Fun facts about Gujju-land:
Gandhinagar is organized in sectors like Chandigarh or Pune mandi.
The nuclear power plant does not look as dangerous as you would have imagined.
People are not as “maja ma” as you have imagined either.
“Su thayu” is the “say whaaa” of Gujjus.


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