Sabarmati Ashram is a pilgrimage. No visit to Ahmedabad can be complete without spending at least a few hours in the Ashram.
When I lived in Ahmedabad, way back in the 90s, very often I would find myself at this sacred place on the banks of the Sabarmati. I could feel an energy indescribable sitting on the steps of Hridaya Kunj, the Mahatma’s cottage. Scenes of history would begin to unfold before me and I could hear the voices within and without moving us towards freedom.
Work necessitated a transfer towards North India and it was not until January, 2016 that I found myself again in Ahmedabad. We were there just for the day but the short stop had to begin at the Ashram.
The Ashram, since I had seen it last, had seen a complete makeover. For one, the premises were under better maintenance. The Sangrahalaya or the Museum had been revamped. The Museum shop was better equipped. Last but not the least, the Sabarmati waterfront was akin to a promenade with lights and boat rides.
Did that take away from the power the Ashram exudes? No! Despite crowds and visitors it was easy to find a corner to disappear into and feel the presence of those who had walked these grounds. Sitting at the charkha and the table of the Mahatma was a moment which has to be felt.
My most special memory, however, will always be of standing at the Prayer Ground just past the Hridaya Kunj. This is the spot from where the Dandi March had begun on March 12, 1930. This is the place where Gandhi used to meet with people and address their issues and questions.
Today, on the 147th birth anniversary of the Father of our Nation, I wish all my readers to find a life which is joyful, peaceful and meaningful.