Mundra

Author: 
Arun Jain

Arun Jain has been working with Customs and Central Excise since March, 1992 and is presently posted as Superintendent of Customs at Ahmedabad. He is a post draduate in Physics (specialized in Electronics) and also did his Masters in Business Administration, both from Gujarat University.

He has been writing small anecdotes in a Facebook Group called Anand Sabha and has come forward with similar writings to be disseminated by the readers of this esteemed and widely read E-Magazine under inourdays.org also.

कच्छ नहीं देखा तो कुछ नहीं देखा – अमिताभ बच्चन

That was well said by Shri अमिताभ बच्चन जी during promotions for Gujarat Tourism, but for us, Kutch has been a significant part of itinerary in our postings – sooner it comes, the better. Mine came at such a phase of life when I did wanted or did not want to be away from my family. I wanted because of the reason that I was fed up with monotony of working in the same field for a quite few years and wanted to venture in the areas where I was supposed to be on my toes and that too on major Sea Port.

And the reasons I never wanted to be out, was my bed, which gave me the ultimate of comforts. At 45 you don’t seek other resources to keep you happy. It may be my perception but my bed remained a priority. What ultimately did Ambani’s have - an air-conditioned bedroom fitted with TV and Telephone along with Sedan parked in one’s own Garage? I was not deprived with any of them in short. Well, some or the other how, I was despatched to Kandla/Mundra, with Kandla in first year and finally at Mundra for 2 years.

 
Customs office at Mundra.

Customs office at Mundra.

 

Mundra, my recent place of posting and a tiny hamlet, is 70 kms ahead of Gandhidham. It looks like that the town is on the transition mode from a rural to a more developed economy. No resident of Mundra wants to be left behind it seems and hence you have Vadilal Happinezz Parlour, Havmor Ice cream Parlour, Steaming Jodhpuri Samosa and Jalebis, and last but not the least, the food court (recently happened) with a vide gamut of all sizzling varieties. The shops trying to emulate the urbane way, full of glaze and the road side try to emulate with steaming hawkers. Evenings are windy and pleasant and you feel like strolling just to have a good night sleep (if you are without a family).

 
A view of Mundra.

A view of Mundra.

 

What Mundra complained and that too prior to us were the sound roads. Though this place may boast of smallness, but every place was reachable. The roads were concrete ones, although wearing off but usable. Mundra’ites like to had a flair of tobacco Masala and Mobiles. The ample number of Pan & Mobile Shops suggest that every house hold in the Mundra would like to use tobacco and its derivatives, along with latest updates on mobiles. Beware of the supari seeds as they (panwaalas) seem to neglect it before and after cutting the same. Ironically, if they fall on your tongue and are not able to handle it, swear it on god that you are rushing to Gandhidham after that event.

The port area is full of wind, enough to sway you. You have your bedroom air conditioned; otherwise, face the damp and dusty - after evening hours. The wind seems to be catching but than if your room is in isolation than face the one (evening). One can have the glimpse of Sea-Port and you going to fall in love for all the cleanliness it maintains. The Port alone boasts of umpteen numbers of flyovers, all overlooking a mix of backwaters, sand and railway tracks.

It’s a pleasant place after all. You can have corporate food/hi-tea at Adanis or can mingle with truck drivers at an Ashapura Dhaba, but, once the access is granted. The Vada Pavs at Ashapura in the port area sets you drooling for more. To keep it simple, you need to know some official from Customs or Banks or Police or Adanis. Adanis seem to encourage school/college or academic institutions of eminence and entourages include fleet of buses thronging to Port and ship disembarked, but after ensuring that work of no any agency suffers.

The distance between the starting point of port and the town/hamlet area seemed to be reducing. Now it seems to be in meters than kms. You are greeted with Lord Shiva Temple and than a garden surrounded by Shamsaan (resting grounds), no sooner you leave the port area from the North gate and few star hotels if you leave from South Gate. The town is guarded by an evident fortress but in a dilapidated stage. Looks like the bordering areas within the fort are not interested in remaining guarded and are on verge of blowing their share away.

I don’t know why I have written so much on Mundra, but this place has surely has its effects on me. I dedicate to all my dearest departmental brethren (after all it’s our moral responsibility) but at the same time do not deprive others who have already planned Gujarat Darshan with Kutch.

Comments

What a description! Very interesting and pleasurable read.

Thanks for showing us hos small town India is moving into urban style and amenities.

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