Musical trip to Mahakal Nagri via Mecca Madina – 1

Hello everyone, once again, I am here to share my experience. As I was writing my post on Hyderabad – Nawabi nagri, I got the message from my husband to pack our bags for Indore, Madhya Pradesh (Hindustan ka dil) for some work. We went to Tatkal reservation counter at 0700 hrs to book our ticket from Chennai to Indore. We were very hopeful to get tickets in Ahilya nagari express (Train number 16326) which runs every Saturday from Chennai and reaches Indore on Monday. Unfortunately, we didn’t get tickets in Ahilya Nagari express. Next option was NZM Garib Rath train (Train no.12611 )which runs from Chennai to New Delhi with stoppage at Bhopal and we got reserved seats.
we boarded Garibrath express on Saturday September 30, 2012 and reached Bhopal at 0200 hrs. Our happiness over saving the money (tickets in Graib rath train for 3AC is almost half of any other train fare) was turned sour by dirty coaches, cockroaches, rats and unhygienic toilets without water. From Bhopal we had to catch Narmada Express PSG (Train number 18234) at 0435 hrs. which reached Indore 1050 hrs. Ideally we should have taken bus from Bhopal to Indore, but we opted for Train as it is convenient for my kid as well as my father.

My husband had some work in Ujjain, on Monday.We decided to go by train and in general compartment as we didn’t have reservation.I was bit worried as I was travelling in general compartment after about 10-12 years.Travelling in General class was the norm when I was in college, when we never missed any chance to go back home.And ‘chances’ are never planned!
We chose Indore Udaipur train (Train Number 19329). This train runs daily from Indore(0805 hrs) to Udaipur(1900 hrs) and is normally empty. It is a good train but because of its day timings it generally runs half full. We reached quite early at the station; atleast we would get seats to sit. The ticket for Indore to Ujjain in an express general coach costs you Rs 29/- each. So cheap! In Bus you have to pay Rs 45/- each person. We were advised by few persons to take general class ticket and pay some amount to TC to sit in Reservation coach. We were bit confused and decided to sit in General Coach only.

Train from Indore to Udaipur



The train was full at 0715 hrs. First section was full of daily goers. Some were reading news paper, few were sleeping and few others were talking. There were few students also who were studying. The second section was full of ladies. I requested one of the ladies if she could shift and adjust us in one seat. They shifted and we got approximately 1.25 seat to accommodate 2.5 of us (me , my husband and my kid). Then I just turn around and to take a glimpse of train. It looked like as If I have rewinded my life and I had reached 10 years back when I was actually comfortable travelling in General coach. Beautiful ladies, nicely clad in saree or salwar suits were adorned with beautiful bangles, attractive payal and toe rings. All were looking so beautiful and I was feeling jealous as my two gold bangles was nothing in front of their colorful bangles. Being at Chennai Gold always meant a lot . But at Indore I was attracted towards those beautiful colorful glass bangles. Suddenly, I heard a song.

“Dheere Dheere se meri zindagi me aana, Dheere dheere se dil ko churana “..

I was so happy to hear this song as it used to be my school time favorite and I was listening to it after 10-15 years. And sudden “ Hello Kaun bol rahe ho”. It was a ring tone.I was surprised from where these ladies get this ring tone? Do they download ? OR how they manage to get this? OR someone in their family transfers this 90’s song in their mobile.
Once her conversation over, I was quietly watching everyone in a train, their activities and there came a voice
“ Chana le lo hara bhara chana le lo “ and from other side “ Samosa , garam garam samosa”.
We had planned to eat Indore’s famous nashta POHA. But now we were thinking which item should we take . Being health conscious, we opted for hara Chana with Onion, tomato , green chilly , coriander over it. (Rs 10/- ) . WOW , What a healthy option, we were very happy on our decision to eat chana and it was too good. And I was wondering why can’t I get this at Chennai. No salt , no oil, not too much of spices, not fried. It was so good that I am missing it even when I am back at Chennai. When we were done with Chana, both of us looked at each other and appreciated the fact that we had taken healthy food. Then came Samosa wala and we, without looking at each other, said, bhaiya 2 samose de dena…LOL…

The samosa was again too good and it smelled so nice that we couldn’t resist ourselves. And I would say those 2 samosas in Just Rs 10/- was far better than samosa we get at Chennai for Rs 25/- each. We again turned towards each other and said , “ Indore aake kuch khaya nahi to kya kiya”.

View of Indore Railway station from Train

My son tasted samosa, he found it hot and spicy, and started crying and in no time we had water bottle , chocolates and nice Khopra pak(Coconut and rawa sweet) in front of us. All our co passenger has offered us. And my son who is a Chocolate lover opted Khopra Pak instead of Chocolate! Before we could say anything, my son had already eaten one sweet and was in on the way to eat the next. He was actually offered 3 sweets. I asked him to give us one and he somehow not so happily , gave us one sweet. The sweet was home made and very tasty. We were wondering “ Kash ye sab shops pe milta to hum itni acchi cheez kharid ke lejaate”. Also we were looking at each other that what happened to our train rules and regulations a) Not to talk to strangers b)Not to take any food items from any passenger. But all rules were gone and we were behaving as if we were travelling in 1980’s or 1990’s when you could actually trust your co passengers.

I asked my husband to give me newspapers to read. He purchased Hindi newspaper! There was a crossword on second page. I thought of testing my Hindi language proficiency and started filling the crossword. I was feeling good as I understood the crossword clues and somehow was able to solve it. Behind me, few were listening to songs

“ Raah me unse mulakat ho gayi “

I had filled all words that I knew and still 6-8 words were remaining which I was unable to fill. Then a uncle who was sitting on the top berth asked me ‘Should I help you?’ I asked him one word (Very difficult for me, synonym for bat (Chamkadar)and he answered promptly.The person next to him told me word for another clue. In no time my crossword finished and I was happy. In fact I was actually enjoying the journey and was happy on our decision to sit in General Coach. The next song that was playing was

“Tum Kya mile Jaane Jaan Pyaar Zindagi se ho gaya”

The ladies in front of us were discussing on the passport, passport making process etc and two ladies were explaining all these procedures to the third one. (I want to say this ,seeing them I was not sure that they were literate also and actually they were not )I was so curious and was unable to understand why these ladies required passport. In fact I was ashamed of myself that why I am judging passport issues with General coach. Even I had passport and I was travelling in general coach. Unable to control myself, I interfered in their conversation and informed them that passport rates have increased from 1000/- to 1500/- .

The next song was
“ Mauka milega to phir bata denge tumhe kitna pyaar karte hai sanam”

Slowly and slowly I had open conversation with them and I asked them why they needed passport. And here is the answer. They told me that they needed passport to visit Mecca. Seeing my curiosity they started explaining me about Haj Yatra. How to go about it. For HAJ , you have to first apply for HAJ which I think is the VISA process. Once the HAJ committee sanctioned your VISA you need to take Flight for Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). Every year around 40 lakhs people visit Mecca to see Prophet Muhammad birthplace and this holy shrine. Its 40 days yatra in which you perform various Ibadats (Puja).There is also one type of Ibaddat in which you actually have to run. She told me there is so much power in this place that even old people who find difficulty in walking also run and perform this Ibadat. One more type of Ibaadat is there where you throw stones (word used by them was KANKAR) on a virtual ghost which means you are actually asking your worries, pain to go away. There are many tours and travel agents who give complete package for the HAJ Yatra . It ranges from INR 1 Lakhs to 3 to 3.5 Lakhs per person. She also explained the public transport available inside Jeddah, food arrangements, lodging etc. While I was talking to her I didn’t realized how much time elapsed. That means we talked on HAJ yatra for almost an hour and I was just thinking that one day GOD will definitely give me opportunity to visit this place.It was now 0940 hrs and we were reaching Ujjain.

MECCA KABA – Photo Courtesy Dr. Taher

Mecca Haram Mosque – Photo Courtesy Dr. Taher

“ Khwaja mere Khwaja , dil me sama ja “

While getting down I was taking a fond memory of my 1 hour 40 minutes trip and wondering that still there are places, people whom you can trust, you can talk. Behind me again another song was playing and I got down with a big smile on my face
“Mukhda Chaand a tukda….”

We got down at Ujjain and was looking forward to finish our work fast so that we could visit Mahakaleshar temple. I will continue in my next post about experience at Ujjain .

I forgot to tell you one thing.When I returned from Ujjain to Indore, The first thing I did was that I opened Internet , searched Mecca and Haj Yatra and read about it. There are few norms for Non Muslim to visit this place. If GOD permits I will get chance to see this place also.

26 Comments

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi AbheeK,

    It is a WOW post (WOW does not expand into anything, it means just WOW) !!

    Firstly, the heading itself is compelling. One has to read the post to get the equation between Mahakaal and Mecca. Next, the description of the journey and the train – ‘the great Indian train journey’, is so authentic…..

    ” I had reached 10 years back when I was actually comfortable travelling in General coach. Beautiful ladies, nicely clad in saree or salwar suits were adorned with beautiful bangles, attractive payal and toe rings. ”

    So aptly narrated….those days when train journey in general coach was almost the end of imagination/ desires….it is ironical that amount of pleasure remains the same but we have been conditioned to seek it from fancier and costlier (not necessarily better) sources.

    Musical interruptions – should we call them interruption or embellishment to the journey, are equally interesting. Great details,

    Thanks
    Auro.

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Hi Aurojit,

    Thanks for taking time to read my post.

    I am really not sure whether same pleasure we will get from train which runs for 2-3 days like delhi to Chennai, but whatever, we enjoyed this brief general coach journey and I think the people here are very sweet and simple.

    As regards to music, It is my life. I just can’t think my life without music. So this journey was more memorable as it has all the sweet sweet romantic songs of my school and college life
    …For me it was a bonus in that coach…

    Thanks,

    Abheeruchi

  • Amitava Chatterjee says:

    Hi Abhee,

    You narrated the journey so nicely, that everyone will become nostalgic. A very good post indeed…train journey, remembering school / college days while we used to travel by train every day…in my case, EMU coaches…very very nostalgic…

    Even after so many years, whenever we left Dhanbad on our way to reach home (if not going by Rajdhani), the first thing we did is to buy ‘Jhal Muri’ and yes, ‘Singara’ (samosa)…and believe me everything sounds so similar…and finally, at times we do break our own set of rules…

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Abheeruchi says:

      Hi Amitava,

      Thanks for liking my post.

      Jhal muri…Oh its just awesome. With Jhalmuri I have one incidence. Once I was coming from Hyderabad to Kolkata in 3AC. I met one gentlemen , he was from UK but of orissa origin. He came to India for the first time and was going back to Kolkata to catch his flight back to UK. In the in between station Jhal muri person somehow entered in our coach and I took Jhalmuri for myself. I don’t know what was really going on in his mind , I asked him ” Will you taste this, It is my favourite as well as Kolkata’s favourite” . He replied , it must be spicy , I said you can give a try. I purchased one for him. He liked it so much infact he was finding it spicy as well but still he then got this 3 pack of Jhalmuri packed along with him . He told me thanks for introducing me to this. I will have this at airport as well. I liked it very much….

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Abhee,

    It was really a hilarious post. When I read the title I was shocked, Mahakaal and Mecca? What connection between these two places might be? and to find the answer I started reading the post very carefully and eagerly and very soon the secret revealed. You gave this unique title to post so cleverly that every reader will be bound to read the post.

    I have three hobbies without whom I feel myself incomplete and they are Tourism, Music and Literature and your post comprise all these three things. So from my side 10/10 for this post. The songs selected by you are very sweet and all time favourites.

    Thanks.

    • Abheeruchi says:

      Thanks a lot Mukesh ji. You made my day.

      Frankly speaking I was bit scared that someone will comment in my post as well that ” Apka safar ka anubhav to accha laga par ek post ki kimat pe bilkul pasand nahi aaya”

      Thanks for giving 10/ 10

  • Train journeys are always special and to be cherished for a long time. You captured the essence of the train travel very well. I have never visited Ujjain and am looking forward to your post on same.

  • Abheeruchi

    A post with sheer class and utmost passion and ultimate description. I was travelling with you seriously. For me Allah and Shiva is one and the same, so I am totally with you on travel to Mecca if Lord allows.

    Travelling In General Class . I love it. Because inside that class people from all walks of life come together and share their experiences. Just 10 days back I travelled with Sandeep Jatdevta from Aurangabad to Mumbai and we didn’t had place to sit also. We stood at the gate and were having fun with fresh air.

    Waiting for next part eagerly of my favorite jyotirlinga Mahakaleshwar.
    And yaa whenever you find the norms of reaching Mecca , please please please share it with me.

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Vishal ji,

    Thats very nice of u…Surely whenever I will get chance I will let u know.

    Again reminded me my college days what I mentioned in my post. I studied at Aurangabad and used to travel in general class from Aurangabad to Mumbai…:)

    I do not now how many of us know about this. There is one beautiful balaji temple near Aurangabad . The place is known as Mahismal…If the weather is good then this place is like a heaven…I visited that temple in the year 1999.

    Thanks for liking my post

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    ??????? ??….
    ???? ?? ?????? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???? ??? ?????? ?? …..??? ?? ??????? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ??????????? ???? ??? ???? ???? …..??? ????, ????? ????, ????? ???? , ????? ?? ????? ?? ?? ????, ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ……..??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ???? ???….???? ????? ???? | ???? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ?? ??? ????? ???? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? “???? ?? ???” ???? ??? ….Really Very testy, i like it very much…..”

    ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ???? ??? ????? ????? ???? ?? ? ?? ?? ??? ??? ?? ??? ??? ? ???……| ???? ????? ??? ??? …..???? ??? ?? ?? ?? ????????? ??? …..

    Thanks to such a nice post……

    Ritesh…

  • Ashok says:

    “I was just thinking that one day GOD will definitely give me opportunity to visit this place.”
    Wonderful post, just the above wish may never be granted. Because Mecca is and has been out of bounds for non-Muslims for a long time.

    • Abheeruchi says:

      Thanks Ashok ji for liking my post.

      If that is the case then I am happy with the way I visited Mecca Madina in a train…:)

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    The best thing about Abheeruchi is that she encourages and motivates other authors too, through her thoughtful comments unlike other new comers on ghumakkar. Its so nice of you.

  • Vipin says:

    Hi Abheeruchi Ji, what a musical and fun ride it was! Enjoyed it thoroughly, pretty interesting & eye catching title & pics, but deceptive…:)…travelling in general is always full of wonderful experiences & many interesting stories…

  • Nandan says:

    So much has been written Abhee that I would not repeat the same things :-), instead I would add that you have a keen eye to capture the details, brilliant.

    My last such journey was in April 2012 when we took Dhanbad-Kolkata intercity (non a.c. but it is a chair car format) and loved it. I guess I had ‘Samosas’ on the way up.

    The songs from Sanu saheb to Rahman are all super. It is one of those from-the-heart honest travel experiences without the glimmer and glitter of superlative words and splendid poetry. WOW post (Sorry, I had to repeat it :-)). Met Vishal the other day and he had a lot of good words for you. Look fwd to Ujjain.

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Thank you Nandan ji . I am actually wondering (infact it is true) people met on this website are actually meeting…It sounds great. The other day Vishal told us that he was travelling with Sandeep (Jatdevta) and now you are saying…Superb.

    When first time I posted my story in this , my husband was not aware. Once it got published and I recieved comments, I showed him. He was initially worried like who all are viewing , how they are replying. He has gone through complete website, read many articles on travel as well as interview . Once he got satisfaction , he told me I have no issue, you can carry on in this website, this is a genuine website…Same day he also told me that one day this website will be like a family a Traveler family …people will actually meet each other…It sounds me funny that time, but this actually happening…Hats off to you and all Ghumakkar team….

  • Finally the confusion ends after finishing the post :). Initially I thought it was a post on your travel to Mecca-Madina.

    I must say its a superb refreshing post full of enjoyment. How you remember all those songs playing?

  • Abheeruchi says:

    Thanks for liking it….In fact I even remember what all songs I heard at Ujjain Tempo and my return bus from Ujjain to Indore… I am a big fan of all the Bollywood 80’s and 90’s songs and I do not get chance to hear these songs except when I am walking and listening it on my mobile.Thus it was totally a fun trip for me with my favorite music and no one can switch off or stop that song :)

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Your title forced to read the post to know the connection between Mahakal & Macca. :-)

    Traveling in General class refreshed my memories , most of the time due to unplanned sales call use to travel in General class when I just started my carrier in sales.

    Great Job !

  • Abhee K says:

    Thanks Mahesh ji for liking it

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