September 24th, 2011
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Chicken Soup for Porbandar




nadeeras note book

“Do we have a direct flight to this place?” NOP!..Howbout direct train??hardly any….bus???c’mon..v’ll drive down..!!wooooowww..long drive….can I drive??!!

Welcome to Porbandar!..Whaatttt????that was my first reaction from the driving seat. I was waiting for this moment…hours after hours of driving…I was amazed by the impossibly well maintained one time I felt the scenery reminded me of the farms in Farmville-one among the many of my addiction ….-fields of cotton, tobacco, red chillies, some ready for cropping..some half done..some already sown…some with yellow flowers..magnificient. but as the time elapsed I slowly realized the green colour outside is slowly slowly giving way to brown and dusty colour…

How can I forget  Porbandar….years of mugging up those history lessons…every year Gadhiji made a re-entry with Dandi march,independence struggle, non- co-operation  movement…the list goes endless…Never ever I thought that I would be living this close to history….Thanks to my husband’s job profile ,which keeps me on the move very often.

Listed as one of the 17 heritage cities by govt. of India, major plans are on the pipeline to bring a sea change. But surviving here has become almost close to impossible for a pure red dot inside a square[ according to govt. for a non-vegan] like me. Infact , we got a house only when they made sure that we are “pure Brahmins”!!!! Had gandhiji been alive, he would be busy waging war against his own people for being hypocrites.

If you find lanes of paan shops in every third shop[the spellings will hold your attention-paan soap,pan shope!]  you are in Porbandar!.Once a milkman delivered our milk packets in the next door,when we were away,they refused to take it saying we consume eggs! But the next day I found the uncle of the same house in chicken shop, giving me a ‘you caught me ,now please don’t tell anyone’ smile! Atleast one member of almost all family has a U.K connection, where they eat  even beef, come home during winters and spend a month  as pure veggies! No wonder here people chew pan 24 x 7..just to get rid of their chicken smell and an angry lady at home!

Am I making this place ‘not to visit even by mistake’ in your wishlist of places to visit? This isn’t as boring as it sounds. Apart from gandhiji’s home,where he spent his early life till 6 yrs, there is Kasthurba Gandhi’s home also- behind his home. There is a ghadi mandir[ big clock]-where you pray to ghadi baba, make a wish and if your wish fulfils, bring a ghadi for this mandir. Jambvan cave, a tara mandir[planetarium]-which has only Gujrati explanations, haunted palace – Hazur Vilas Palace and umpteen number of temples dedicated to various Gods in every nook and cranny..and a lake full of pink flamingoes…not bad. Surprisingly enough there is a Chawpatty beach here and also an M.G. Road!

Backless cholis which I have seen only in our bollywood films is a daily wear here. I was shocked to see HEALTHY aunties wearing them! sorry guys I cant upload a photo for you … All the cities I have visited sleep by 12…here the nights are looong…you could see girls riding bicycle in the middle of the starts late..dont try calling anyone before 10 is the afternoon where the entire gujjus take the famous ‘Saurashtra Siesta’ from 1 pm to 4!

If you want to feel the India 25 years before, come to porbandar. People still use bullock carts, local mode of transportation is chakda-a saurashtran innovation- petrol tank of bullet, with a bullock cart carriage painted in different hues. After heavy trucks, bicycles are the kings of the road. You give the way to them! You can find them riding through the centre of the road.

I am  happy living here … after all I am living in the city which U.S President Barack Obama wishes to visit…so when someone asks me kem cho? [how are you]..I always say majaa maa che [ I’m fine!] – not the ‘che’ of Cuba


7 Responses to “ Chicken Soup for Porbandar ”

  1. Muhsin

    Hi Nadeera..
    Very glad to c with ur cute wordings… I am from Neerad, Kondotty.
    I can c a wonderful writer behind the lines…..Expecting even more good ones from u

  2. Vijichandru

    Wow!!!!!!!!! That’s really a well written piece!!!!!!!!!
    Reminds me of the wonderful 2 years I spent there and of course who can forget the non aggressive and easy going people of porbandar

  3. Major Biju S

    Entertaining reading for the one who knows about Porbandar and the facets of life here. True to an extent regarding the non veggie culture here but was a bit harsh the way you put it even though the opinion is based on your own experience.

  4. Nadeera

    Thank you Muhsin..I am glad that you liked my article..

  5. Nadeera

    Thank you so much for the encouragement Mrs.Vijichandru..I know it pretty well we realize what we have been getting, only when we miss it.
    I am sure you will also have a truck load of stories and memories about porbandar where you spent your 2 years..

  6. Nadeera

    Thank you Major Biju…as you have mentioned..the entire article is based on my own experiences during the past one and half years…didnt want to stress much on historical importance and religious aspects much bcz those are all much known facts…it’s just an attempt to throw light on the other side of Porbandar, which the world is not aware of..

  7. Sabita

    Nice work Nadeera.


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