I walked from my room at Ellis Bridge, past the Town Hall to the Gandhi Ashram. The road had a wide sidewalk on one side of the road. I walked here. I walked a little more than 4 km with just Gmaps to give directions and using the amazing tracking service to spot where I was. The roads were empty. There were very few cars.
I reached Gandhi Ashram, visited the place where he stayed till about 1930. I saw the Sabarmati, now embanked with concrete on both the banks. It was somewhat representative of the rest of Gujarat. They have not let nature be. Rivers are dry, canals are full. But, where they have let nature take its course, the beauty is unparalleled.
There was lots of water all over the stoned walkway that leads to the Gandhi Museum. Artificial lawns, the trees with a low wall built on their base so that people could sit. Clearly not necessary. The lawns are so clean that it does not invite one to sit there. The whole atmosphere seemed more artificial than it should have been.
I visited the Store, purchased three books – two related to local government and one related to vegetarian diet. I have no idea when I will get around to reading these, though.
I was here for a reason – self-introspection. I sat there and wrote for an hour – maybe two. Then, I packed up and left. The only part of the Ashram that I loved was the river proper. It looked more like a canal now but somewhere it had some part of its natural beauty left.
I was disappointed by my self-introspection. It was not as fulfilling as I hoped and it got over rather too quickly. But, I had reached the conclusions that I wanted to and so in that respect, it was successful. Like the Ashram now, my life too is more artificial than natural. This is a thought that could have come only in that Ashram. It was the correct place to reach the conclusion. It stands up, all-in-all.