Another few hours on the road and we were in Ahmedabad in Gujarat for a reunion with friends after four years. I noticed that it was clean and traffic-jam free. Oh, how I wished I lived in a city like this but my life is in the metropolitan city right now so shifting will only waste another few years of my life before I settle and make friends, which I’m very slow at. Before the rest landed, my friend (who lived there) and I went to KFC; the meal I needed after all the Rajasthani food I shamelessly devoured in the past few days. We drove through Old Ahmedabad which was separated by the huge wall built by Sultan Ahmed Shah. I imagined how it would have looked years ago with no buildings around it. It was long and apparently symbolized the heart of the city.
Once we joined the rest of the gang, we went browsing through Dili Darwaaza and then visited the Adalaj Step-well that my friend so wanted us to see. I did not know what a step-well would look like but when I entered the gates, I was awestruck! There was water only in the lowest levels so we were allowed till a little before it. It was a huge well with amazing architecture on the pillars as well as on the walls and ceiling. It was a marvellous sight of a five-storey structure that was completed by the invader of the city, Mahmud Begada, for Rana Veer Singh’s wife. Many battles and love stories later, here we were trying to draw it or take photographs of it from different angles. Naturally, the pictures won’t do justice. You have to see it for yourself. I wanted to sit there and inhale the majestic grandeur for a little while longer when I realized I couldn’t spot my daughter. Whacked back into the present, I went looking only to find her enjoying the views, from above the step-well, along with her father. We walked around it and then headed to the famous Swati Snacks.
My Hush Puppies had to walk into some water on the road but they were alright. After enjoying some delicious chaats (Indian savoury snacks), paanki chatni (rice pancakes steamed in banana leaves) and sugarcane juice, we got up to go home. My daughter and her friend finished around twenty paani puris between themselves. Then a friend’s friend took us for a crazy drive, around the city, in her open jeep. It was perhaps the first time I had ever sat in a vehicle without a top so I absentmindedly placed myself in the middle. Yes, I still think I’m thin and feather weight and may fly off and I also do things like I’m 16.
The day and drive was over and we called it a night after chatting (not on devices), drinking and eating at home. We celebrated a birthday and had some famous sponge cake from Pune’s Kayani Bakery. Next morning, we were again up by 1000 hours to drive to the last leg of our journey.