The author and his book…

ADAM GUJU BOOK

“Travels through Gujarat, Daman, and Diu” by Adam Yamey is a personal introduction to a part of western India far less well-known than its neighbour Rajasthan.

First, a bit about the author:

Adam Yamey is the author of several books, including: Albania on my Mind, From Albania to Sicily, Exodus to Africa, Rediscovering Albania, Aliwal, City on the Hooghly, Buried in Bangalore, Bangalore Revealed, and A Boer in Bangalore.

Born in 1952 in London, son of South African parents, he attended Highgate School, and then University College London. After a doctorate in mammalian physiology, he became an undergraduate once more and qualified as a dental surgeon. After 35 years in general dental practice in Kent and London, he retired in September 2017.

Amongst his many achievements, he has been Chairman of both the Maidstone Recorded Music Club and the Medway Association of Dentists. In August 2008, he gave an Independence Day speech to pupils of a school in northern Kerala. Some years later, he gave a presentation at the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Bangalore. More recently, he has been editing the newsletter of the Anglo-Albanian Association.

Adam married Lopa, from India, in 1994, and, since then, has been visiting her native land very frequently. India has become his second home. He is a keen traveller. The periods between his journeys are usefully and enjoyably employed with: family, cooking, writing, editing a newsletter, theatre, and exploring the many delights that London has to offer.

 

Here is the list of the contents of this profusely illustrated travel book:

The Firozpur Janta Express (‘p.’ = page. 7)

DAMAN: (p. 11) A Portuguese fort; Cutting chai; In jail

BOMBAY: (p. 28) A shortage of vultures

KUTCH MANDVI: (p. 31) Kutchi beer; Highgate in the heat; Marriage in Mandvi; Dhows

BHUJ: (p. 51) Palace of mirrors; The dairyman; Leaving Kutch

RAJKOT: (p. 65) Gandhi lived here; A famous pupil; Reserved for ladies

GONDAL and VIRPUR: (p. 80) The Buddhist caves

JUNAGADH: (p. 88) A lively bazaar; Fantastic tombs; The citadel; The Nawab’s dogs

PORBANDAR: (p. 108) City by the sea; Gandhi’s birthplace; Something fishy; A floating stone; Another bus

SOMNATH: (p. 136) The Queen’s temple; Krishna stood here

DIU: (p. 150) A border crossing; Portuguese traces; The Governor’s grandson; Towers of silence; Four bangles; A Governor’s insanity; Laxmi Park; The fire temple

BHAVNAGAR: (p. 193) A silver bracelet; A royal encounter; Constructing a cobra; Graveyard for ships

Leaving Saurashtra (p. 219)

BARODA: (p. 222) A market; Floors of glass; A deserted city; A voice from the depths; A military base

AHMEDABAD: (p. 257) Tree of Life; Lunch in a graveyard; Before the Taj Mahal; Books under a bridge; Gandhi and Le Corbusier; The heat of the day; Music at sunset

Epilogue (p. 297)

Glossary  (p. 299)

Potted history of Gujarat (p. 304)

Books consulted (p. 306)

Acknowledgements (p. 308)

Index (p. 310)

The book is available from on-line stores such as:

Amazon, bookdepository.com, & lulu.com

There is also a Kindle version called:

“Travelling through Gujarat, Daman, and Diu”

On the bus in Gujarat

Hop on a bus and travel through Gujarat: see the country and enjoy the people

More excerpts from “Travels through Gujarat, Daman, and DIU“, a travelogue by Adam Yamey, available HERE IN PAPERBACK and HERE ON KINDLE

 

BUS 0
Narendra Modi on the bus

During our eight weeks of travelling through Gujarat, Daman, and Diu, we made much use of public transport. We used mainly buses. As in other parts of India, some buses are run by private companies, and other by the local state, in our case Gujarat, which operates under the name ‘Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation’ (‘GSRTC’). At the outset, we made the assumption that privately-run buses are bound to be better than those run by the state. It was only near the end of our travels that we discovered that we had made an erroneous assumption.

 

BUS 1 Daman
Local bus in Daman

Here are some extracts about buses in Gujarat from my book “Travels through Gujarat, Daman, and Diu”:

On a private bus between Junagadh and Porbandar:

BUS 4 to Porb

Our vehicle stopped frequently. Whenever the conductor saw someone standing by the side of the road, he leaned out of the open passenger door, shouting our destination repeatedly: “Porbandar! Porbandar! Porb…” More and more people boarded our small bus. All the seats became occupied as did the space at the front of the vehicle around the driver. As the bus picked up even more people, even the standing room became used up. People were jammed against each other and their arms and baggage invaded the seated passengers’ space. A lady began resting her bag on Lopa’s head. When she objected, the woman said: “Where else can I put it?” Another person almost sat on Lopa’s lap.

There was hardly any room for the conductor. He spent most of the journey leaning out of the passenger door. When Lopa asked him whether this was dangerous, he responded cheerfully that it was part of his job. After about an hour, when the bus was already incredibly crowded we stopped in a village where a large group of people were waiting for our arrival. The bus driver told the conductor that there was no room for any more people. The conductor ignored him and squeezed many new passengers on board.

BUS 2 Daman

Our fellow passengers were a varied crowd. They included men with curling handle-bar moustaches wearing turbans and loose-fitting white kurtas with baggy trousers. Their clothes were often stained probably because they were worn whilst doing work on the land. At many rural stops, women wearing colourful garb boarded. Many of them were tattooed on whatever parts of their bodies that could be seen and probably also on parts that were not visible in public…

bus 6 Diu
Diu bus station

On a GSRTC bus between Diu and Bhavnagar:

We boarded a bus belonging to the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (‘GSRTC’). This and other buses belonging to the state-run bus company are superior to any of the private busses we had travelled on. The GSRTC vehicles: are cleaner and more comfortable than the private ones; only stop at bus stands with good facilities; do not tout for business at random wayside stops; and do not admit more passengers than there are seats to accommodate them. We wished that we had not assumed, wrongly, that privately-run buses would be better than those run by the state.

BUS 7 Bhavnagar
Bhavnagar bus station

On a GSRTC bus to Ahmedabad:

We boarded the newest and most comfortable bus of our trip at Baroda bus stand. Part of the GSRTC fleet, it was a Volvo vehicle. These buses are held in high regard by Indians. As far as buses in India are concerned, they are regarded as Maharajahs amongst the myriad of road transport vehicles. The coach driver asked Lopa her relationship to me. She replied that I am her husband. The driver shrugged his shoulder and replied in Gujarati: ‘It happens’.

BUS 5 Veraval

Whether the bus is privately, or state operated, a ‘back-seat driver’ like me cannot avoid being aware of the adventurous driving  of the bus drivers:

BUS 8 Pavagadh

Our driver sped along the good roads leading towards the eastern edge of Saurashtra. He overtook frequently and usually hazardously. Often, he had his head turned towards the conductor sitting left of him, chatting with him, rather than looking ahead along the road in front of him. He also made frequent ‘phone calls to people with whom he was doing business, buying and selling vehicles.

 

BUS 9 Volvo
A GSRTC VOLVO bus

Why Gujarat?

AHMed 4

In Ahmedabad

Before and after our 8 week journey through Gujarat, Daman, and Diu, many people asked us why we chose to visit the region.

Ahmed

In Ahmedabad

Here is my answer.

Compared with other places in India (for example: Agra, Rajasthan, Kerala, Kashmir, the Himalayas, and Goa), Gujarat is relatively unvisited by Indian and foreign tourists. We saw no more than about twelve foreigners during our eight weeks in Gujarat and its two former Portuguese enclaves. Most of those whom we saw were in Diu. As I enjoy exploring places less-visited, Gujarat appealed to me.

Ahmed 3

In Ahmedabad

Another reason for visiting Gujarat is my wife’s heritage. Her father’s family originated in Gujarat, and her mother’s in formerly independent Kutch, now a part of the State of Gujarat. Lopa and I had never visited either of these places.

Ahmed 2

In Ahmedabad

Yet another reason for our trip was to see the two former colonies of Portugal: Daman and Diu. India is dotted around with territories that remained in foreign hands long after Independence in 1947. We had already been to Pondicherry and Mahé, both formerly French Colonies, and Goa, which was capital of Portugal’s Indian Ocean empire. Each of these places retain a colonial European charm of their own despite having been part of India for several decades. We wanted to discover what is left of the Portuguese influence in Daman and Diu, and we were not disappointed.

AHMED 5

In Ahmedabad

Would I recommend others to visit Gujarat, Daman, and Diu?

My answer is an unqualified YES!

The region is rich in  historic sights and history, handiwork, folk traditions. There are unspoilt beaches. The people are friendly and welcoming. Places are well-connected by public transport and accomodation is good. What more could you want?

Find out more by reading my book!

GUJ KIND COVER

Available on KINDLE, click H E R E

GUJ LULU PIC

To get the paperback, click H E R E