I'm overwhelmed with the kind of love and affection m getting from the people of Gujarat. It is the state known for its hospitality. I'm not sure how one can return these favours.
Story 1: Took a hotel room in Baroda, from the staff I got to know that their owner is also into cycling. Met Mr. Shah (see pic 1) in the eve, he suggested..that he will be accompanying me for my next day's ride. He came to hotel at sharp 5:45 am, we had pre-ride breakfast and started at 6 am. It was raining crazy, if I had an option i would have taken a day off. He helped me to keep up with my pace. Accompanied me for 40 kms (almost half of the distance I was planning to cover that day). Around 8 am we had proper gujju breakfast (methi thepla, lemon chatni, fafda-kadhi and tea) which was delicious. (P.s. Mr. Shah is above 50 and also a certified yoga teacher.) Tell me how many times you wake up this early to see-off the person u barely know. We live in the era of uber/ola where we give priority to our personal convenience over dropping someone to airport/station and see them off properly.
Story 2: Started from Bharuch for Navsari. The rear tire got deflated three times in span of three hours. For first two times I have changed the tube on my own and hope for the best, but when tire got deflated third time.. I decide to go to the mechanic. After initial inspection only..he found a very fine metal wire stuck (hardly 3mm) in the tire which was invisible to my inexperienced eyes. Punture Fixed. Further, he denied accepting any kind of renumeration for this job. He said "you are the guest of Gujarat, I won't be accepting any money from you". When I further insisted..he said give this money to some poor guy. He also offered me a tea.
I have cherished my stay in Gujarat over the last few days. Couple of days more..n I will be in Maharashtra.