While traveling within India I mostly travel by air to major cities but whenever I get a chance to go by train, I grab the opportunity. There are several reasons to do that which I’ll speak of some other time. Here I am talking about something else.
I have noticed that Gujaratis have very strong family ties. They are much more bonded than any other. I’ll tell you my reasoning.
I very frequently travel from Mumbai to northern part of India and the train passes through Gujarat. Come Surat, there would be a family waiting at the station exactly in front of the coach to meet and greet the passengers with a tiffin box with freshly made breakfast. The food would indeed be prepared in keeping mind the taste and eating habits of the passengers.
The local family on the entire route is informed about the journey (train, coach/seat no, no. of passengers). Not even that, this precious stoppage time is utilized for introducing the new members in the family on either side.
One sample – “Oh, this is your newly wedded wife ? Sorry, we couldn’t attend your wedding. Our Dipak’s exams were on na” Out come some notes/bills to be given to the bride as a token of gift or muh-dikhai.
Or “Hey, Jignesh, you have become quite tall compared to last year when we met here at the station. Which class are you studying now ? ” and suchlike.
At times it is interesting, entertaining and very envious.
Come Baroda, a family of 10 members is waiting to meet the passengers. Of course, they also have a large sized lunch box containing everything till the last detail such as papad and pickle. Greater care is taken to prepare food as per the eater’s choice or eating restrictions.
For example “You are diabetic, so I have prepared this dessert with sugarfree. Let me know if you want me to put some more next time.”. Proper instructions & guidance are also given as which box contains what.
I have never seen such strong bonds in any other region. They indeed know how to bond in a big family tie.
I can see some rewards coming out of this arrangement.
- The families don’t have to wait for some occasion to visit or to get updated about each other.
- They save on time to visit each other.
- They get home made food which is more nutritious and healthy.
- They save on money spent on junk food available on board & also on visits.
Do you agree with me ? Do you know of some other people doing this ? Can you recount any such incident ?
P.S.-This article belongs to Le Monde-A Poetic Travail. If you are viewing this on a website instead of your RSS feed reader, then that website is guilty of stealing my content. Kindly do me a favour. Please visit my site and help me taking action by letting me know against this theft.
If you like this blog, I suggest you to connect with me through Facebook fan page and Twitter.