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Vilas Kale’s book on his hitchhiking trip 46 years back is a must read for travel junkies!

It Was A Happy Trusting World, Then - a book written by Vilas Kale chronicles his hitchhiking trip with his cousins Kumar and Vidula 46 years back.
Vilas Kale at the unveiling of his book – It Was A Happy Trusting World, Then – at Crossword, Civil Lines, Nagpur. (Photo by: Thakur Raship Singh)

 Vilas Kale, 66, leads an active life as a social worker and businessman in Nagpur (Maharashtra), India, where he was born, brought up, educated and is settled. He has been able to successfully balance his business with his social work and activism and also pursue his many hobbies including a passion for travelling. It Was A Happy Trusting World, Then – a book written by Kale chronicles his hitchhiking trip with his cousins Kumar and Vidula 46 years back. The book, which Kale wrote with the help of scribbles in his diary, is a delight in true sense. In addition to being a interesting and detailed travelogue, the book is very well written with pictures from 46 years back. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

The Genesis: How the Travel Bug Bit  

In 1968, when I was just seventeen years of age I got a chance to visit Kabul and stay for a minth with my aunt, Nalini Verma whose husband, AK Verma was with the Indian Embassy. My younger cousins Kumar and Vidula, all of fifteen and fourteen were also with me.  

The trip left lasting impressions on my young mind – the beautiful landscapes of Afghanistan, the rugged, somewhat dusty people, the juicy fruits and addictive dry fruits in the bazaars, the Afghan’s craze for Bollywood films and music. Kabul was a lovely city with its rustic hills, cool breeze, the tall poplar trees, neat roads, gardens and imposing buildings. We were warmly greeted by people as we walked and explored the city – its avenues, bazaars and gardens.

A lunch with the legendary Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan at the Indian Ambassador’s residence was a high point of visit and so was my first overseas on-the-sight landscape, an oil painting.

However, what really intrigued me and left a deep impact was seeing European youth on the highway with backpacks thumbing a lift from passing vehicles. I enquired and learnt that these hitchhikers were not necessarily hippies. Anand Kaka said, “you should do it”the bug caught on; I was fascinated with the idea of picking up a backpack and going off into the wide world and it became my abiding dream.

Two years hence. I distinctly remember – It was the month of February 1971. I was turning twenty in March and was due to appear for my M.Com examinations towards a post-graduate degree in commerce. I discussed the idea of a hitchhiking trip to the Middle East and Europe in the summer holidays with Kumar and Vidula, now eighteen and seventeen. We had got along pretty well during the 1968 Afghanistan trip and they jumped at my suggestion.

We had many questions. How much money would we need Would we manage to get it together? None of us were earning. Would our parents allow us to go off for a trip in this fashionAfter all, I, the team leader was just twenty years of age.

When an action is in your destiny, everything falls in place to make it happen and so it did. My uncle, Appa Kaka who led our family-run business then, said yes and did not further enquire about our planswe may call this lack of interest or faith in our doings.

So, without much ado, I checked my examination time-tables to find out the earliest dates we could travel. My tests were to finish by 1 May, so we decided to take the first sailing after that date. We would sail on 10 May by the British-India Steam Navigation Company’s streamer, SS Dumra.

I wrote to Asiatic Travel Sciences confirming the booking of three passages to the Iranian port city of Khorramshahr by the deck class and sent them the passage charge, inclusive of the return journey.


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The BR Ambedkar you didn’t know… | BR Ambedkar facts | BR Ambedkar history




Suyash Sethiya | Nagpur

Mahaparinirvan Din 2022 is marked as the death anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar on December 6. He eradicated untouchability and promoted gender equality in India. Watch to know more about him.

6 दिसंबर 1956 में डॉ. बाबासाहेब आंबेडकर का परिनिर्वाण हुआ था. आज मुंबई के चैत्यभूमि जहां उनका परिनिर्वाण place है वहां पर पूरे india से उनके दर्शन और उनको श्रद्धांजलि देने के लिए हजारों की तादाद में उनके followers पहुंचते है. 14 October 1956 को नागपुर के दीक्षाभूमि में लाखों लोगों को बौद्ध धम्म की दीक्षा देने के डेढ़ महीने बाद ही उनका परिनिर्वाण हुआ था. आज हम बाबासाहेब के उन rights की बात करेंगे, जो women को दिए गए है.

बाबासाहेब ने India में ऐसा revolution किया, जिसके कारण सैकड़ों सालों की ग़ुलामी और छुआछूत से backward classes के लोगों को मुक्ति मिली. बाबासाहेब के इस revolution को इतिहास में सबसे बड़े revolution में से एक माना जाता है. उन्होंने सभी के लिए equality की बात कही और सभी को समान rights constitution में दिए. बाबासाहेब ने women empowerment की बात सबसे पहले कही थी.महिलाओं को कानूनी रूप से अधिकार दिलाने और खासकर ancestral property में हिस्सा देने की बात बाबा साहेब आंबेडकर ने ही की थी.

बाबा साहब ने Constitution में तीन major बातें liberty, equality और fraternity की बात की, जिसमें उन्होंने fraternity को सबसे अहम माना. बाबा साहब भारत की तमाम महिलाओं के liberator
हैं. लेकिन अफसोस इस बात का है कि आंबेडकर को कई classes की महिलाएं ही अपना नहीं मानती हैं. बाबासाहेब ने अपने life में सभी articles के माध्यम से womens की problems को पुरज़ोर तरीके से उठाया था .Riddle of Women, women and counter-revolution, rise and fall of Hindu woman ऐसे कई articles बाबासाहेब ने समय–समय पर लिखे थे. हिन्दू कोड बिल की मांग को महिलाएं कैसे भूल सकती हैं, जिसके ना लागू होने के कारण बाबा साहब अपने मंत्री पद तक को छोड़ देते हैं. बाबासाहेब कहते हैं “मैं किसी भी समाज की तरक्की उस समाज की महिलाओ की तरक्की में देखता हुं.“ जिस समय india में लड़कियों को पढ़ाना भी गलत समझा जाता था और बेटों को ही पढ़ाया जाता था, उस समय कई बड़े -बड़े नेता भी लड़कियों को education और property देने के विरोध में थे. उस दौरान बाबासाहेब लड़कियों को बेटों की तरह ही पढ़ाने और कम उम्र में लड़कियों की शादी न करने की बात अपने articles में कहते थे. बाबासाहेब ने sc,st , obc सभी को अधिकार दिए, freedom of speech उन्हीं की देन है.

नागपुर और मुंबई से उनके followers का ख़ास रिश्ता रहा है और दोनों ही जगहों से लोग emotionally जुड़े हुए है. नागपुर जहां उन्होंने बौद्ध धम्म की दीक्षा ली और मुंबई जहां बाबासाहब ने अपनी अंतिम सांस ली. आज के दिन मुंबई के चैत्यभूमि में मायें अपने छोटे बच्चों को गोद में उठाकर, जिन बुजुर्गो को चलना नहीं होता है, वे अपने बच्चों के कंधे पर हाथ रखकर, बुजुर्ग महिलाएं हाथ में लकड़ी के सहारे सभी बाबासाहेब के दर्शन करने मुंबई पहुंचते है.

Nation Next की तरफ से बाबासाहेब के परिनिर्वाण दिन पर उन्हें भावपूर्ण श्रद्धांजलि

Script by – Shamanand Tayde

Also Watch: VIDEO: Rahul Gandhi blows kisses at BJP office during Bharat Jodo Yatra

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VIDEO: Rahul Gandhi blows kisses at BJP office during Bharat Jodo Yatra




Avani Arya | Nagpur

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on December 6 morning during Bharat Jodo Yatra made headlines when he gave flying kisses to people at the BJP Jhalawar office’s rooftop who wanted to catch a glimpse of the march. 

Bharat Jodo Yatra is passing through Rajasthan now, it resumed from Khel Sankul and crossed Jhalawar city in the morning.

Just a day ago, Rahul Gandhi targeted opposition BJP and RSS, asking why they were not chanting ‘Jai Siyaram’ and ‘Hey Ram’.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Former Deputy CM Sachin Pilot, Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Govind Singh Dotasra, and several MLAs are accompanying Gandhi on the yatra.

Also Read: ‘Maharashtra government responsive towards issues of traders,’ assures Eknath Shinde

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Nagpur News

Vidarbha’s 1st LGBTQI+ community-integrated HIV clinic opens in Nagpur




Avani Arya | Photographer : Nitin Mankar | Nagpur

SAHYOG – LGBTQI+ community-integrated HIV clinic in Nagpur

Vidarbha’s first LGBTQI+ community-integrated HIV clinic ‘SAHYOG’ was inaugurated in Nagpur’s Mohan Nagar area on December 5. Sarathi trust and Humsafar trust came together for the needful. Sony Pictures Networks India also supported the event. Nation Next brings you some exclusive photos from the opening.

Also Read: Wine connoisseurs come together at Wine and Food Festival 2022 in Nagpur

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