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Retired sailor hobbyist fishermen #faces
















Name: Krishna

Place: Mandvi beach, Gujarat

Occupation: Hobbyist fishermen

Krishna, a stark looking 65 year old was silently surveying the sea when I first caught sight of him at Mandvi Beach. In conversation, he tells me that he has sailed across Africa and the Gulf during his early days in the navy.He intently discusses how effortless it was back in the day to become a sailor where education and literacy never mattered to pursue a career in the navy.

As a man of the sea, he has witnessed the hardships of being a sailor. He actively agrees that technology plays a crucial role in aiding captains to avert disasters at sea by almost accurately warning sailors of uneasy circumstances that they may encounter. He narrates about one of his journeys to Mozambique where the entire crew survived on boiled potatoes for almost five whole days to endure a stormy situation.

I asked him how he spends his retirement, to which he placidly gestures at the beach as a hobbyist fishermen. Through Krishna, I learnt that fishing is illegal unless you have the license issued by the government  for which he pays Rs 300 as licence fee to fish at Mandvi beach.

He tells me he two kids, a daughter who works as a principal in a government college and a son working in Saudi Arabia which makes him content to live his life as a fisherman.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.

Shipmaker who traveled across Africa and Gulf #faces

Isa Ismail















Name: Isa Ismail

Place: Mandvi, Gujarat

Occupation: Ship architect [wooden ship]

In my quest to discover how ships are built at the backwater port of Mandavi, I came across this 60 year old stalwart individual.Isa bhai, as I respectfully call him had a flourishing career in building wooden ships, a trait he instinctively inherited from his forefathers. Mandavi is a small township in Gujarat that was once famous for building wooden ships at its serene beach.

Over a cup of chai on a makeshift wooden ship which was currently under maintenance, Isa bhai shared his story with me. He tells me that today the market for wooden ships is bleak and so survives on  maintenance of existing wooden ships that are brought to him for servicing. The maintenance of a single ship can take more than five or six months to deem fit. They only work for 6 months in a year due to the influence of extravagant weather conditions. With a team of 25 odd carpenters and helpers, Isa bhai is currently working on fixing a wooden ship traveled from Oman that is in a sort of pathetic condition.

I was eager to explore the ship, but Isa bhai disapproved my request advising me to do so at my own peril. It was a good forty minutes spent discovering the ship and understanding the craft that goes into making a wooden ship.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.


Brave Young fighter[life] #faces









Name: Mahesh

Location: Gogamba near kalol Gujarat.

Profession: Male Nurse/ helper to surgeon.

I met Mahesh in Gogamba where he was appointed as my local guide. This 23 year old smart young lad with a thin body frame knows everything about surgery/medicine.His current profession is a surgical nurse, assisting medical surgeons and astutely picked up his skills. He can be described actively independent. At a very young age, Mahesh had to leave his studies after the sudden demise of his father and immediately took charge of his family’s affairs. Being the sole breadwinner, he takes good care of his mother and wife.

At the tender age of 20, he married into an inter caste for the love of his life. At refreshments, I asked him about his love story that left me amazed. He always loved his wife and courageously took care of her expenses when she moved to his village. It was not easy to care for his mother and wife, he had work multiple jobs 16 hrs a day.

On on journey around Gogamba, we visited the nearby dam and also waved at the local singer in town who stopped singing and turned it a bus driver now. Mahesh mentioned that the internet and piracy were responsible for this untimely state who had to make ends meet  by driving a bus to take care of his family.

Just before leaving, I informed Mahesh about sharing this encounter and took his permission to publish this post to which he confidently nodded.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.


Meeting a happy farmer #faces









Name: Deepak Patel

Location: Somewhere outskirts  of kalol, gujarat

Occupation: Farmer/land owner

Deepak Bhai is in his mid 40’s, somewhat short with a well built physique whom I met at a party organised at a farm. He mentioned that during his college days he brazenly asked his parents for a MAC which they flatly denied for obvious reasons and financial constraints was not the primary reason. The main reason being the lack of knowledge of using the same was pretty evident.

After pursuing his graduation, he decided to become a farmer instead of following route like his relatives who pack up and move to the US.Curious,I asked why he did not follow to which he wholeheartedly informed me that he wishes to do something in India, why not bring the good of US to India, if possible? I could see that he has carved a niche for himself and his town. With welling eyes and beaming pride, he tells me he started working at this farm with just a bicycle to transport him and now hard work and God’s good will has generously upgraded him to drive cars/vans/trucks.

I was overwhelmed with his dedication to service and could not hold myself back and left after embracing him with nostalgia and pride of this countrymen.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.

Chacha 80 year old with a heart of gold. #Faces









Name: Nadir Khan aka Chacha

Location: Rann, Gujarat.

Occupation: Retired, caretaker of a tea shop.

If you’ve ever been to Rann Of Kutch, Gujarat you would immediately associate this place to the wild west due to its rustic charm and desert ambiance. Surrounded by the mighty Thar desert, there is no dearth in colour. In the midst of the arid air, we encountered a warm hearted individual with a twinkle in his eye, we call him Chacha affectionately named by the locals around. I would say Chacha sits at a small tea shop  just about 5 kms before entering the desert and serves just the kind of refreshment you need before stepping into the desert – a piping hot cup of chai( or tea).

Chacha, a 6.5 foot tall 80 year old gentleman instantly makes contact with us enlightening us with a broad welcoming smile. I walked upto him and instantly greetings were exchanged. He tells me he is enjoying retirement and is now the caretaker of this tea stall owned by his two sons who are gazzetted officers with the Government.

In conversation, I came to know that Chacha is quite a celebrity.  He  worked as a darban(gatekeeper) across major cities in India and sternly believes that home is where is heart is, right here in Kutch. Interestingly,he tells me that he was featured in various documentaries & had short roles in few Bollywood movies. Politicians & superstars know him well as they stop by at his tea stall on the way to the desert.

He is an ardent fan of Modi and thanks him profusely for Runn-Utsav for bringing job opportunites to the desert laden region of Gujarat.He informs me that religion is unbiased, everyone welcomes each other’s faith and lives in peace and harmony with barriers and casteism.I was curious to know his secret to health and happiness, he answers me “I see truth, speak the truth, listen to the truth and then eat the truth” There is no fooling around with this kind of assertiveness for sure.

In the intensity of meeting a man with a heart of gold in the midst of

our conversations varying from politics to life and enjoyment, we hurriedly forgot to pay him for the tea he generously served us. On our return journey from rann-utsav, we asked him why he did not remind us to which he politely says he did not want to stop us after we said goodbyes and all in the name of Rs20.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.


A driver i met in Bhuj. #faces


Name: Ganni Bhai

Location: Bhuj, Gujarat

Occupation: Driver

Story: I met Ganni bhai through his brother who picked me from the bus stand and drove me to my hotel on (date) at (time) of the night in Bhuj. Ganni bhai picked me at 9am the next morning for a trip to the white Rann of Kacchh. That was when we started talking.

Ganni bhai has two daughters and he wants to educate them so that they can do well in life. He is also taking care of his father who has been in a coma for over 2 years & stays with him.

His family lost a lot of their assets during the Bhuj earthquake of 2001. Yet Ganni bhai never stopped smiling, which is something that is very rare these days. Those few days that we drove around Bhuj and the Rann, Ganni bhai was my guide and friend. He ensured that I tasted a variety of sweets from Bhuj while providing his terrific company.

We got talking about the state government and Ganni bhai was all praises for Narendra Modi. Modi’s idea of a “Rann Utsav” for the region has attracted a lot of tourists to the city, thus providing a source of livelihood for many like Ganni bhai for those three to four months.


Here i am for final sign off from Bhuj & Ganni bhai dropping me to bus stand.  If you are planning a trip to Bhuj, Rann of Kacchh let me  know i will give you his number.

Footnote: This post is part of #faces series i am working on.



Tibetan superstitions

I bought book title “Folk Culture of Tibet”, I am done finishing first few sections which mentions about known superstitions prevalent tibetan culture,  some of these seems similar to hinduism.
















I am adding some of the crazy/funny/interesting ones here :

1. A man born with tail [really] is regarded auspicious, considered closer to homo sapiens.

2. Never marry a girl whose front two teeth are separated by an empty space, it is believed they will not make good wife & affect your lifespan. mehh..

3. If your palm itches it is believed someone is back biting you.

4. Wrong news about death of somebody increases life of that person.

5. It is considered auspicious if while starting your journey you see dead body carried for final journey.

6. It is considered inauspicious to leave someones house by having only one cup of tea, one should have at least two even if its just a sip.

7. It is believed food cooked by machines is less tasty rather cooked by hands.

8. Tibetans tame cats because they keep  away mice & rats.

9. Howling of jackals and dogs considered very inauspicious.

10. To break a cup is unlucky incident.




#Faces : Ordinary people with extraordinary efforts.




Before I begin, credit for this goes to my friend Jugal Mody It was his suggestion while i am traveling i should make notes about interesting people i meet in my overall trip.


The route map.















During this 20 days trip I met over 7-8 people, who are amazing in there own ways. I am going to add individual post about each one of them. I will also add why they are awesome. So just Stay Tuned need to add few more here, will do it in coming days.


Ganni Bhai











Isa Ismail

Isa Ismail













Deepak bhai



Mahesh Bhai













2014 passed, 2015 welcome!!

Happy New Year to everyone to start with.


Year 2014 been amazing in following ways :

1. Joined The New Stack, working on building community & writing occasionally.

2. Sister got married to one of the smartest kid I have met so far in 20+ odd years of my life.

3. Moved to Bangalore after staying in Mumbai for over an year.

4. Made few amazing friends & lost some others.

5. Traveled to over 20 cities across 10+ states in India.

6. Finally made trip to Kathmandu to meet awesome entrepreneurs in town written a post on same here 

7. Read over dozen books which helped me in finding answer to “what i really want from my life?”

8. Most of my friends either married or blessed with kids.

What I learnt from 2014 :

1. Its about happiness – We are so busy with so many external needs that we totally forget about our happiness.

2. Love yourself, life depends on it – I read book written by kamal ravikant a must read for everyone. The book tells you one thing, love yourself, your body, your mental well being.

3. Money – It is not everything, it will come and go.

4. Empathy – Before jumping on any conclusion understand the situation of one sitting on other side of table.

5. Love/Relationship – It will never happen the way they show you  in bollywood or in fairytales.

6. Time as a healer – All it takes is some amount of time to fix everything.

7. Do what you love – Don’t live in this world/job/relationship/agreement for sake of it. Move on, get out of it if you are not enjoying it or its only for your EMI or 5 star hotel bills.

8. Mentors – I am lucky to get few awesome mentors who are always there to help me when i am stuck with any difficulty.

9. Ask for it – Last not the least, this i learnt after following  posts, books, podcasts of jamesaltucher You need to ask from them what you need without counting on probability of success or failure.

Plan for 2015

1. Stay happy 🙂

2. Love myself & take good care of my health. If possible loose few kilos.

3. Continue with my traveling spree.

Last not the least 

Trying to eat a raw crab like that man vs wild folk!! Enjoy watching!! 🙂


I hope 2015 brings more happiness to everyone’s life!!




Notes from Mysore Dussehra trip

mysore palace night

I was in Mysore for Dussehra this year. Mysore Dussehra possession is one of the famous events from India, It showcases rich culture and tradition of overall karnataka.  The event ends with elephant march especially Ambari carrying local goddess which is form of Durga for 8 km ride. The whole city gets into celebration mode & you will see light all across the streets. In simple term the city is decorated like a newlywed bride.  I was told over 6000 police were deployed to handle whole crowd. 🙂

Some advice:

1. Avoid autos and try local buses, they have good service.

2. Try to stay outside main city its more peace out there.

My thoughts about it:


The city gave me a nice feeling about the overall harmony between many religions groups, it was welcome change to see everyone visiting the palace and enjoying the celebration.


I loved eating almost available on the street next to the Mysore fort gobi manchurian, papdi chaat, chole bhature, local sweets, stylish cut watermelon, jhal mudi, dosa and many others.


I got to know more about overall culture of karnataka after attending the jhakki. We had  performers across all the districts and departments.


Govt needs to do more

It will be nice if our government does more for the upliftment of these performers, we will forget about them once the event gets over.

Some photos, most of it is taken by shiva and yogesh. I am adding these with their permission.

busy street, everyone is eating.

busy street, everyone is eating.


See the night decoration. looks awesome isn't it.

See the night decoration. looks awesome isn’t it.


Crowd eagerly waiting.

Crowd eagerly waiting.

And it starts.

And it starts.

jhakki 1


Ambari, carrying the goddess.

Ambari, carrying the goddess.

food walk.

food walk.

Clock Tower.

Clock Tower.


Last not the least 3 of us. 🙂



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