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Old 28th May 2020, 13:53   #1
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Default From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)

You Had Me at Hello - A line from the 1996 Movie Jerry Maguire explains how you are Sold on the Idea at the very moment a person says Hello.

Well this story is about moving to our second home in the Western part of India and the Road Trip we took to getting there.

It all started in 2017 when me and my wife was visiting a cousin in Surat. Although we use to visit Surat Quite Often but kept our visit limited to religious gatherings only, which generally took place in Central Surat area. This area was too crowded and saturated and hardly had enough space for people to even walk. Hated this place to core and always left the city at the first opportunity.

However, this time my cousin invited us to his place and we happen to visit him in southern part of the city. He stays in a Gated Society and this part of the city was a different ball game altogether.

Wow ! i was dumbfounded on seeing the posh society and the absolute peace it offers away from the madding traffic and chaos of the city. Something struck to me at that very moment and i vowed to come back to it someday.

Fast Forward to May 2019. I landed in Mumbai for an event and decide to make a quick dash to Surat and check out if there are any vacant flats that i could take up since property prices were cheap. In a day long visit, i zeroed in on a property which was sort of a ready to move in state. The owners were from Mumbai and were known to me and we closed the deal verbally (Interesting twist here, more on it later) and decided to do the paperwork once i got back to Vizag.

It was Ramadan time and we decided that we would drive down to Surat after Eid and stay over for couple of months. So we started preparing the car for what was going to be a very luggage loaded trip. Got her new shoes and topped up all her vitals. We had a total of 11 Big size bags packed up in the boot as well as in the rear passenger compartment. A Day before we were suppose to leave, the owners called up and informed us that they were changing certain terms of the contract, which weren't in our interest and had not been discussed before. Following which we had to let go of the property and we were back to square one. This at the eleventh hour was very upsetting. Now, with all our bags packed, car loaded & ready to go, we didn't have a place in surat we could call it Home.

From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)-oil-change.jpg
Getting All the Vitals Checked
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Putting on new shoes

That night over dinner, we were getting second thoughts as to why the hell do we even have to go. Probably we should do this some other time or may be the deal cancellation was a sign that certain forces didn't want us to leave Vizag. Called up my Mom, discussed with her and realised we have divine blessings for this. And to question it, would be attracting all the negative energies towards us.

So taking a leap of faith, we decided to go ahead with our drive plan no matter what, and would figure out a place on the move. So with Hope and Excitement, we fired up the engine and started our 1650 kms drive to Surat.

THE DRIVE

Day 1: Vizag to Hyderabad

Plan was to cover 700 kms to hyderabad and take a stopover for the night. Most of you who know me, would know that i start my drive Sharp @ 0400 Hrs. not a second late. Punctuality comes to you by default if you are in the business of organising Motorsports. As we began our drive, the car feels very heavy with suspension bottoming on the slightest pothole. Fortunately the roads are in pretty good shape and we could maintain 70-90 kmph throughout our drive.

From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)-whatsapp-image-20200526-19.55.03-1.jpeg
Starting our Drive
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About 100 kms from Hyderabad, we hear a loud bang and the car steered sharpy towards right. Parked it and check, it was a puncture. Now the spare tyre and jack was buried deep with tons of luggage on top of it. Pulling out all the luggage, taking out the spare, having to change the tyre in Scorching Heat needed another level of will power. Nevertheless, slowly went about changing the tyre and was done in about 30 mins. We reached Hyd by evening and decided to check out the new IKEA store that had come up. Directly headed to the store, had a sumptuous dinner and crashed at a nearby Hotel.

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Entering Hyderabad
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IKEA Dinner
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Day 2: Hyd to Mumbai

I have special place in my heart for Hyd. Have spend a considerable time of my life here 14 years ago. The Irani Cafe culture is something you won't find anywhere in the country. Hyderabadis have their loyalty to their cafes and so did i. Nilofer Cafe at Red Hills was my go to place everyday for Chai & Osmania Biscuits before i headed out to work. Use to have a collection of Rs. 5 coins back then, coz that gets you a 3 re Chai & 2 re for the 2 osmania biscuits. So, next day we wake up, head straight to Nilofer Cafe for breakfast and chai and it feels like home. Remembering old times, i bore my wife a bit and then we head out on the highway on our way to Mumbai.Just outside Hyd a sudden spell of rain greets us cooling down things. Much needed reprieve from the hot Hyd summer. Wife takes over the wheel while i am making some phone calls to find ourselves a place. Through a mutual contact we are told that there is flat which will get vacant in a weeks time and we could have it for about 2 months until the owners are back from abroad. The rest of the day goes mostly uneventful and we stop for dinner at Pune - Mumbai Expressway food court. Being a Saturday night, many Mumbaikars & Punekars are here who enjoy long drives and have a lovely time here. While we were entering Mumbai, most of them were leaving for their weekend homes. A thought crossed my mind "While everyone is looking for a way OUT, i am looking for a way IN" . With that we complete 1400 kms and make it to my Uncle's place and spend the night with them.

From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)-nilofer-chai.jpg
The unmissable Nilofer Chai
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Exiting Hyderabad with a lovely weather
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Wife taking the Wheel
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Entering Mumbai

Day 3: Mumbai - Surat

It's a Sunday morning, we get up lazily, have a late breakfast and off we are to visit some places in South Bombay. Since we are just 250 kms away from Surat, we decide to spend half a day shopping for stuff in Mumbai, have a typical heavy Mohammad Ali road types lunch and then say goodbye to the city. Cities around Mumbai like Pune, Nashik, Surat have become an extension of it. People are now moving out to these cities for living per say but have their business interest in Mumbai. Cost of living is almost half of what you would pay in Mumbai. So, it makes sense to have a home in these cities while commuting to mumbai for work. Infact, ever since i moved to surat, i have been going to mumbai almost twice every week. Anyway, we finally complete our 1650 kms drive and stay over for a week at my cousin's place before we move in to our own home.

From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)-whatsapp-image-20200526-20.05.21-2.jpeg
Yours Truly
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Somewhere after crossing Mumbai
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The Happiness of Entering Gujarat
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Awesome roads greets us once in Gujarat
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Reaching our Second Home.

Present Day

It's been a year now in Surat, and it's an absolute bliss to be here. Life`s been busy hustling between Surat & Mumbai (Ahh but grounded since 2 months as i write this). Infact, seeing me make the move to Surat, 4 more families have moved here and i am happy that i have influenced them in someway. Vizag still remains an integral part of me and i shall will keep going back there at every opportunity to be back to my Home, Friends & My Father who is resting there peacefully.

Epilogue

They say, the Earth has music for those who listen. I am in my Balcony overlooking the central lawns of the society, sipping my morning coffee while listening to the music of the Birds Chirping in the background. There is a knock on the door and it's my cousin. He is a man of repute and a custodian of the society. We remember the time when i first visited here in 2017 and how he showed me the place around. He asks me how i feel about the place and about being in Surat now. And all i could tell him was.........

"You Had Me at Hello" !



Our New Home The Burhani Centenary Park
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From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)-bcp2.jpeg
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From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)-bcp3.jpeg

Last edited by ajmat : 31st May 2020 at 14:31. Reason: Adding Text
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:23   #2
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Default Re: From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)

Nicely written travelogue Abbas.

Quote:
Most of you who know me, would know that i start my drive Sharp @ 0400 Hrs.
Early mornings are the best time to start a road trip. I do that as well. Start between 4 and 5 am. You dont have to battle traffic and cover good distance.

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About 100 kms from Hyderabad, we hear a loud bang and the car steered sharpy towards right.
Glad there was no major lose of control.
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Old 29th May 2020, 18:02   #3
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Default Re: From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)

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Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Nicely written travelogue Abbas.


Glad there was no major lose of control.
Thanks. And Yes, by the time we rolled to a stop. The tyre was shredded. Probably because of the load and tarmac heat. Fortunately, Vrs is a pretty stable car and with ABS kicking in, didn't have a wheel lockup .
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Old 29th May 2020, 18:57   #4
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Travel is in your blood. You never told me about the Surat dash when we were together for the Mumbai event. Congratulations on your new home.

Last edited by Aditya : 30th May 2020 at 07:09. Reason: Typo.
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Old 30th May 2020, 10:36   #5
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Travel is in your blood. You never told me about the Surat dash when we were together for the Mumbai event. Congratulations on your new home.
Remember it was Ramazan time. So, that night post event tagged along with my cousin who was going to surat. Thought i would be back in time to catch the flight back home. But, then eventually rescheduled it for next day.
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Old 30th May 2020, 12:02   #6
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Got her new shoes and topped up all her vitals. We had a total of 11 Big size bags packed up in the boot as well as in the rear passenger compartment.
It's sounds amusing that a sedan can carry such a load of luggage during such a sudden travel. It's pretty encouraging what our vehicles are capable of during a need. I have a plan next to travel from Southern part of India(Kerala) to Eastern India(Bengal) hopefully during the coming months if everything remains alright including the covid situation. I already have plan to pack my all essentials in the boot and in rear seating space as you did, in my ecosport. Your travelogue giving me encouraging ideas about it.

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Directly headed to the store, had a sumptuous dinner and crashed at a nearby Hotel.
The food looks palatable. Would love to visit the restaurants you mentioned someday.
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Old 30th May 2020, 14:44   #7
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Default Re: From East to West - A new beginning (Vizag to Surat)

Our family usually avoids long drives in the summer. The heat just gets to us. But you did it without breaking a sweat! Respect.
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Old 30th May 2020, 15:10   #8
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I lived for around eight years in Vadodara from 2011 - 2019. It was the best place among all where I have resided in past. I can feel the emotions. Short commuting time, Cost of living, Safety, Friendly people, connectivity, food etc. everything was just great. I miss Gujarat.

One thing however I didn't liked was that there are different societies for different communities. You can not buy flats if you don't belong to the community for which society is built.
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Old 31st May 2020, 11:07   #9
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It's sounds amusing that a sedan can carry such a load of luggage during such a sudden travel.
Infact the Vrs has a huge Boot. The boot opens along with rear glass which gives you greater access and if you remove the parcel tray, it gives you even more space. I had a total of 6 Big Bags just in the boot.

The only thing about the car is that it has the lowest of GC. I had to drive over diagonally over speed breakers at some places.
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Old 31st May 2020, 11:14   #10
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One thing however I didn't liked was that there are different societies for different communities. You can not buy flats if you don't belong to the community for which society is built.
Absolutely True ! I am new to it myself and over the past 1 year, it has come as a rude shock to me when i was turned away at some societies.

And i have travelled to the most interior parts of Guj and the situation is worst there. But that's the story for another time.
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Old 31st May 2020, 12:16   #11
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Great travelogue there.

Any reason you have not transferred the car in your name? Driving interstate without proper documents could expose you to risks of insurance company declining your claim should something untoward happen to your vehicle. This is something that must be avoided.
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Old 31st May 2020, 12:46   #12
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Originally Posted by octane1002 View Post
Great travelogue there.
Thanks

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Originally Posted by octane1002 View Post
Any reason you have not transferred the car in your name? Driving interstate without proper documents could expose you to risks of insurance company declining your claim should something untoward happen to your vehicle. This is something that must be avoided.
Wow. You took sometime to Dig. Anyway, just to clarify, i don't own this car and its not with me anymore. Travelogue is new but the trip happened last year.

Hope you enjoyed reading.
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Old 31st May 2020, 13:21   #13
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Nice travelogue, lovely memories of the vRS. Enjoy your new life in Surat!
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Old 12th June 2020, 12:28   #14
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Nice travelogue. It captures the essence of your road trip amazingly.
And yes! Welcome to Gujarat.
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