Monday, January 19, 2009
From the beginning...
Ok, From this blog post on, i'll be talking of the Tata Jagriti Yatra.
Date: 24th of dec, 2008
Time: Early morning
Place: Outside my building
I'd spent the earlier night ensuring that I'd packed all that I could possibly need for the 18 day Tata Jagriti Yatra. There was still this air of disbelief all around me. Right from the time when I got that mail saying that I had qualified for the yatra and that I had also gotten myself a full sponsorship, I'd been pinching myself a fare few times a day to make sure that it wasn't all a dream. (there still is a pink patch on my arm) And now finally, after all the packing and unpacking, the thinking, planning, announcing and declaring, the time was here to leave.
Mom had to leave in the morning for her school so it was dad who came to leave me. we took a rickshaw to Goregaon and a bus from there to Powai ( I love my Mumbai! Everyone from the rickshaw fellow, the bus people and everyone around took a look at my bags and gently directed us to the right bus stops, etc...)
Reached IIT Powai and the fellows at the gate directed us to the Convocation Hall where we were to gather. We took the internal bus. My heart was thumping so loud, I thought they'd bring in the bomb detection n disposal squad to check for a time bomb!!!!
Then finally we reached!!
And there they were!!! All those splendid people who were going to be with me on the train and who had been in constant touch with each other (including me) via e-mail sharing the pre-yatra jitters!! So it was NOT a dream, finally!!
I went in, registered, got my group and cohort details and came out again to see if I could find anyone from group 'R'..... No-one.... :(
Well, then I spent some time with Disha and the other girls who'd come there before me. We introduced ourselves, had breakfast and some time later, I heard someone talk of group 'R' and I bounced up. "Did you say Group 'R' ?"
"Yes. Those guys out there were looking out for people from group 'R'. Are you in group....."
I'd already dashed away in the direction that he's pointed out.
"Hey. You guys from group 'R'?"
And so gathered the first few members of group 'R'. Then one of the people from within came to ask us o get into our respective groups. What followed was a cacophony of calls for all the alphabets!! I'm sure I heard someone yell for Group 'Y'!!!
Even we began our full throated call for our group, barely knowing that we weren't calling for random other travellers but people who we were going to become fast friends within a question of hours!!
And sure enough, by the time it was time for the initial ceremony, we'd become great friends!
The ceremony was another thing!!
We were told about the last Yatra and other details about this Yatra, but the most interesting part of all, we were taught the Yatri Geet with the actions!!
had fun learning it...
We then had our first Role Model Session with Jyoti Naik of Lijjat Papad. It was amazing and inspiring to see how the organizatin had come about and how they had reached where they are today.....
Well, then we headed for the Flag off ceremony to the Ravindra Natya Mandir. after a series of one of the most inspiring talks by a representative of the Dabba walla association of Mumbai and Mr. T.R. Doongaji :-) of Tata Services, we performed the Jagriti Geet!!!
It was a brilliant experience to see the "Train" being "flagged off" at the ceremony and then, from there, we headed straight for the station, to board the real train and really get going....
And after all the running around, finally, the train took off from Mumbai Central station at 11 in the night on a journey that was to modify all our lives......