It's been a routine for me to visit Sabarmati Ashram on every Sunday for some time now. I have an off on 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month in my office and Usually I travel to Rajkot on those weekends. But wherever I am here in Ahmedabad on Sundays, I go to Sabarmati Ashram, observe other visitors, thinking on random subjects, refreshing mind from day to day issues, relaxing and sitting back while watching my own life flowing.
In those days when I didn't own a bike, I used to come to ashram by BRTS bus service. I would walk to Memnagar BRTS and take a bus to RTO circle. From RTO circle, again I walk and reach to Ashram. I would take a book or two with me. I would sit near the exhibition hall and read my book. When it would get dark, I would stop reading and join evening prayer with Ashram people. After prayer is finished people are not allowed to be on ashram premises, security persons request people to leave the premises and then ashram is closed. I would then start my return journey by walking to RTO Circle BRTS bus stop.
There are many Khadi vendors on the ashram road selling Khadi products at 20-30% discount prices. One shop located on opposite side of the road demonstrate how the Khadi fabric is handcrafted from yarn of cotton. There are many sharbat walas on Ashram Road. Mostly they are selling lemonade with pudina flavour. They don't use ice to keep sharbat cool. they tie a wet cloth around the vessel and as the wind blows, the water gets cooler. On the same road from ashram to RTO Circle, there lies "Abhayghat". The memorial of MorarjiBhai Desai - former prime minister of India. And to the few steps away from there, there lies the famous Sabarmati Jail.
The atmosphere at ashram is very soothing. Still It is not any far from city, it feels near to the nature. I mostly sit at the back side near the river. there is a riverfront well developed on the both side of the river. The water is very clean. The wind is refreshing. It creates waves on the water and the sight is picturesque. The intense sound of bird chirping seems the music for meditation. I sit there observing other visitors. Visitors from different states speaking different languages. Sometimes they are foreigners. One thing is common among all - the respect for a person who lived his life like nobody ever lived. There is a statue of bapu in the garden. People happily take photos near the statue in whatever pose they want. People bring their children to see the exhibition. Curious children ask questions and get answers and get more questions. It reminds me my childhood. It makes me feel good.
Ashram evenings are become an important part of my connection with the city. They inspire me to live in a city which feels like summer on almost 10 months a year. There is one more thing which keeps me linked with the city, - The PVR nights. I will talk on this some other time. Till then cope up with life and enjoy...