Friday (Day 4 – 15th August 2014)
Every time I thank in the end of my post for taking out time to read the experiences and sharing with others but this time I want to thank you guys before hand for taking out time to read the following experiences and this time is a long post! As I am on the journey to experience the generosity of the world, by reading this post you are actually being generous to me by default. And I really appreciate that and feel honoured by the same.
So now back to the real word from the online world hahahaha…
I left last time with a goodbye evening from Hotel Shimla Inn on Manor highway, a lot happened that night (14th August). I happened to make friends with the security guards, who faithfully heard my journey and reasons behind the same. As the night was falling, one of the security guards – Mr Asgar Amir – mentioned that the owner of the hotel is really nice human and I should meet him to explain him about my journey as he might help me. I could see the owner was busy in work so I approached the manager and told him, “I am hungry but I do not have money!” He said gently, “The owner is not here, so please let him come.” I smiled at him and went back to the lobby where I was resting earlier. Mr Asgar came to me asked me, “What happened?” I told him that the manager said that the owner is not around. Mr Asgar said, “You know he is lying, you should directly approach the owner!” I smiled at him and said, “Yes, I know he is lying but if now I approach the owner and if owner agrees to help me then the manager will get conscious till the time I am around and will have fear in him mind of me asking him about, “Why he lied to me?” It’s ok that the manager didn’t helped but I don’t want him to feel bad or generate fear him. Not happening me doesn’t make him bad person. Mr Asgar said to me, “I don’t understand you! What are you made of?” and I laughed.
After sometime I went to Mr Asgar and Mr Sakher Nohdi (another security guard) and wished them good night. Both of them to me, “Please have dinner and we will pay your bill!” There words were enough for me and they touched my heart. I had dinner and took out my sleeping back to sleep in the open lobby area of the hotel.
Before I could sleep, I met Mr Hakim Nohdi – younger brother of Mr Sakher – who also works at the same place as security guard. He said to me, “Don’t worry I will wake you up in the morning and get you lift in one of the trucks for your next destination.”
Saturday (Day 5 – 16th August 2014)
I woke up with the noise of rain and it was 6am. Coincidentally, Mr Hakim was standing next to me and asked me, “If I want tea?” He asked me in such an innocent way that I couldn’t refuse. After I finished the tea, I went to washroom for the morning drill and I could see that I have to pay if I need to use if after a set limit. I was in two minds what to do. Mr Asgar approached me and said, “You wish to get fresh? Don’t worry, I will tell the cleaner to let you use the services for free. He smiled and went back to his work.
In half an hour, I was all set to leave for my destination – Mr Hakim approached me said, “Come to the highway with me, I will get you sometime to travel.” He stopped a jeep and I was 40 meters behind him so I couldn’t hear the conversation he had with the driver. As I sat in the vehicle, Mr Hakim paid money to the driver and said to me “Enjoy your journey to Vapi!” I was thrilled and started crying.
I reached Vapi around 9am and learned about a Gurudwara that was 3 kilometers away. Before I could walk towards Gurudwara, I saw a very old couple who approached me for food. I gave them the last protein bar I had on me. Of Course I was could make them understand about my journey but I could not leave without giving something while I am looking for generous people to feed me. I walked for 2 kilometers and then managed to get lift from Mr Sandeep Naik till the Gurudwara. As I reached there, I learned that it is very small Gurudwara they serve free food on Sunday. I requested them if I could rest as it was hot to walk in. They said, rest as long as you wish.
By the way, the reason I wanted to get down in Vapi was because the previous night as friend – Salomi Gupte – whom I didn’t see in last 3 years, desired to host me in Daman. Daman was of course not in my route but I couldn’t say no to her. As I have learnt that when generosity comes to you, it comes to you with the approval of the universe.
Around 1pm, I left Gurudwara for Salomi’s house. As it was too hot, I decided to take a lift. After requesting several bikers, finally Mr Anil Yadav gave me lift for a kilometer. I said thank you to him and started walking further. After 500 meters I saw a man who was sleeping right in the middle of the road and there were people around him. As I went near, I learnt that he has fallen down due to too much of alcohol drinking. I requested people to help me so we can move on the side of the road. No one came forward after several request. I was told by everyone, “Do not help him because he drinks and falls down everyday. Helping him is waste of time. “ I was blank! I was thinking and saying to myself, “What have happens to us! Why people are saying such things! This guy is also a human! Where is the humanity?”
Finally, a man – Mr Sanjay Jaswal – came forward and helped me to walk the unconscious man to the side of the road. I thanked Mr Sanjay for the help and we started chatting. I told him about my journey and I learnt that he just came to Vapi in search of his younger brother, who is not happy in work, and he is not able to find him. And he need get back to work in Mumbai or else his one day’s fees will be deducted. We started walking towards the highway and he started telling more about his life to me. Mr Sanjay is a migrant from Uttar Pradesh and moved to Mumbai few years back after people in his village didn’t want to help him to get any work. “I do not have any grudges against my villagers for not helping me but for me saying there doesn’t make any sense. I do not wish anything bad for anyone. I just want to work and feed my family.”
By 2pm, we were by the highway and went to our respective routes. By this time I was starving as since morning I only had a cup of tea and Salomi’s house was still 15-20 kilometers away of walk. On my way to the Salomi’s house I met two fruit sellers and told them that I am hungry but I do not have money to pay. And the response was, “What can I do!” I smiled at them and went ahead. After 5 minutes, I went to a fast food stall. Told him the same thing about hunger and no money. He started telling me several things in a language, which could not understand. Before leaving, I said politely – It is uncle. It is your stall and you have right to say no. Do not worry. As I turned, I heard – WAIT! Have two vadapav and go. As he – Mr Shankar – agreed to feed me, I told him about my journey. As he was busy in his work, he didn’t pay much attention. I took his picture in the end, said thank you and started walking again.
Around 3 pm, after 5 kilometers of walk, I crossed Daman check post. I hear a voice from the back and a man requested me approach him. He asked me, “How much I paid for my backpack?” I told him the price and he further asked where did I get it from Vapi. And I said, I got it from Mumbai. And the next question was – Where I am going? I told him about my journey and he – Mr Salim – was quiet for 5 seconds. We chatted for 10 minutes and I learnt that he likes to visit Ajmer Sharif. I gave him contact of a dear friend Mr Syed Salman Chisthy – who is spiritual descendant of Khawaja Gharib Nawaz – and asked him to connect with him when he visits Ajmer Durgah next time.
I said goodbye to Mr Salim and started walking. And the voice comes from back, “Let me drop you on my bike to your next destination.” He went 10 kilometers out of his house way and dropped me to Salomi’s house. He was in a hurry so he said take care to me and went away.
It was 4pm, cloudy and hot. I went to Salomi’s house and met her mother. I know Salomi when I used to live in Ahmedabad and she shifted to Daman with her husband post their marriage. Unfortunately her husband – Rohit – was not in town but I hope to meet him soon.
We chatted for sometime and went to sleep after getting fresh. As I woke up for dinner, I was served delicious home made. There is altogether different feeling having home food with a family. Post dinner, we spoke for sometime and I went to sleep. And yes, as I was so comfortable in bed and tired that I slept for around 10-11 hours.
Sunday (Day 6 – 17th August 2014)
As I woke up, I was served with a yummy South Indian breakfast and Salomi’s dropped me in a car to the highway in Vapi on her way to some work. I took her blessings and started walking.
While crossing the road, i met three cute kids – Radha, Gita and Vikram with Angry Birds!
The pain was still there in my leg, so after walking around a kilometer I thought to take lift. I requested several vehicles but I was reminded again that walking is easier than hitchhiking.
Finally a car stopped, the driver – Mr Nilesh Lad – put the car window down and asked me where I need to go? I said till where you are going but I do not have money to give you. He said, “No problem, I will drop you.” After setting in his car, I learnt that he was going to Surat to pick up a client and he works as a driver with a taxi agency. And whatever money he earns when he goes to pick up clients actually belongs to him. So I told him to let me off whenever he finds someone who can pay him. He smiled and said, “Do not worry! I am fine.”
We started chatting and I told him about the penniless hitchhiking journey from Mumbai to Delhi. While listening to my story, he was reminded of his friend Mr Tiwari – who walked from Vapi to Vaishno Devi just because Mr Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India. I also learned that his friend walked penniless and reached his destination in 45 days. So now in India worships walks are not only limited to Gods!
In all our talks, we didn’t realised when the destination came from there I have to goodbye to each other. He dropped on the highway of Kadodra and went to Surat city.
I walked a kilometers from there and saw a McDonald’s on the highway. I am currently writing this post from McDonald’s and as I finish publishing this post online, I am going to approach the manager and see how the corporate set up reacts to my hunger.
Until next time keep it generous