Our online writing program student, Munira Dalal, takes us on a memorable photo essay on a trip her hometown Dahod, in Gujarat, that she and her family travelled to attend a wedding.
Text & Photographs by Munira Dalal
I had been awaiting the arrival of 23rd December 2017 from 1st September 2017. (That was the date we had booked railway tickets for 17 people from my family). Although the tickets had been on a waitlist, we were sure that since we had almost four months left, they would get confirmed.
But alas, how was I to know that it was not. Until 5.30pm on 23rd December, our tickets had not been confirmed. But 17 strong headed individuals of varying age groups (the oldest being 80 and the youngest aged 5 years), had made up their minds that they would be going to Gujarat for this wedding, come what may.
Thus began a journey that would remain with all of us for a long long time. Unconfirmed tickets weren’t going to stop us and so we decided to undertake the 567kms journey by road. The estimated travel time was close to 12-15 hours.
Here is a peek into what ensued…
A software Engineer by profession and a mathematician by passion, my cousin decides to take on the task of being our luggage loader for the night. Photo by: Munira Dalal
Our 17 seat tempo traveller is packed to the brim. But what is a little discomfort when the heart is already overflowing with love. Photo by: Munira Dalal
The loader is exhausted after a long tiring day. 1.00 am in the morning, sleep eludes me. Photo by: Munira Dalal
A majestic sunrise greets us en route… Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
The kids have catnapped throughout the night and we are all now ready for some hot tea and breakfast. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
That is our majestic ride in the background. My sister, I and my cousins may have been borne by different mothers, but we are as thick as any other real siblings would or could ever be. The tales of our mischief and escapades run through the family. We have now passed on the mantle to the next generation….our children. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
It can’t get more organic than this. A roadside dhaaba served us tea and snack made on these earthen stoves. I was so fascinated that could not resist the urge to take a photo. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
Enjoying the traditional village food; samosas, malpuas and omelette. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
An exhausted sleepy lot finally reaches its destination. Sleep and more sleep was on the minds of everyone alike. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
The next morning, the celebrations begin with the Mehendi function. The laughing faces are proof of the happy atmosphere in the room. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
Wedding celebrations are incomplete without henna adorning our hands. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
When in Rome, speak Roman. Any trip to this town of Dahod, Gujarat, would be incomplete without sampling its famous bottle masala soda. Every time a bottle is popped open, it lets out a shrill whistle sound. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
Three Generations in one frame. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
Age is only a state of mind. It is good to relive the childhood…just for a few moments. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
The wedding festivities seemed to be taking a toll on these two. It is time to go home. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
The beautiful brides- These two shared their mother’s womb for 9 months and now they will share the same wedding anniversary date for the rest of their lives. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
Thankfully, the return tickets were confirmed and we would be travelling back in the relative comfort of the AC berths of an Indian Railway Boogie.
This bunch is going to cherish the memories we had on this trip for a long time. Photo courtesy: Munira Dalal
Munira Dalal is a content writer, a storyteller and is also involved in theatre for children and she loves to travel. She is a Graduate in English Literature and a Diploma in Mass Communication from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
You can read one of her previous write-ups on the mighty Kanchenjunga published on The Mountain Walker. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is one of our students at The Lifestyle Portal Online Writing Program.
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