8TH NOVEMBER- THE MAJOR LANDMARK DAY-MY ENTRY IN TO INDIA
Many says on 8th November the landmark day of my life and for India. On this day two Guajarati created a history. The honourable Prime Minster Mr Narendra Modi who created history by calling a snap demonetisation to tackle corruption and black money, and
I became the first woman in the world to drive solo through the Arctic circle and 32 countries. The journey was unsupported and unassisted, and completed in 57 days. Needless say, I am the first ever-Indian origin person and the first British person to complete such journey. I drove alone but my family, my sons and my husband were always there with me in the spirit, giving me strength and supporting me. The journey started from the Neasden Mandir with abhishek was blessed with Bhagwan’s aashirvad were with me as was the protection. No doubt I was dedicated and determined but God’s blessing gave me strength and sense of directions to remain focus and determined.
I entered the border of my mother land India at approximately 11am on 8th November 2016. Upon my entry in to India, first thing I did was touched my head on the soil of my mother land. I have always felt that “one who is born in India will always remain Indian, even after roaming around the globe. This is how I have always felt any ways….. There are always positive vibrations as soon as I touched down on to the Indian soil but this was a special moment.
With support of our family friend Mr Meena (IAS office in New Delhi), our DIG friend Mr Sahgal, our army officer friend Mr Sood (Lt Colonel of Indian army), our Brigadier friend Mr Bainsla and our friend Mr Sohan Roy, the retired Lt Colonel of Indian Army made my arrival in to India very safe and smooth. My security was put in place on my arrival into one of the disputed state of India and one of the notorious borders. The Indian army at the border received me and Colonel Manoj was waiting for me with flowers. The Major of the army escorted me and accompanied me to the relevant overland immigration and custom formalities. Mr Amit, the trusted gentleman of the Indian army was put in place to escort me safely(from the remote border in the mountain region) in to the city. The Colonel Manoj had organised refreshments for me. The officers were keen to listen to my experience of the journey but in order to reach the Imphal city in daylight I could not have left after midday.
After the refreshment it was a time for me to waive good-bye to the extremely humble and supportive officers of the Indian Army. I was very impressed with my very first ever and first hand experience of dedication of Indian army officers. Despite, they had their chief visiting the border on the day, they did not compromise at all in welcoming me in to my native country, providing me the necessary support and assisting me in any manner that was required in terms of my safely and security including making arrangements for refreshments before I departed from the border.
Needless to say, neither the army officers nor I were aware of the demonization to take place on the same evening. I had small amount of other currencies with me but had no Indian rupees. I attempted withdraw some cash at the ATM inside the Indian border area but the ATM did not recognise my international cards, or possibly I was not allowed to take any cash at the border on International cards. I did not have even 10 rupees to purchase bottle of water until I was able to make a withdrawal at Imphal city. Needless to say Army officers at border and Amit ji had taken care of all my requriment in absence of Indian Rupees on me, but by the time I reached Imphal city the ATM had stopped dispensing money. I felt there was possibly something wrong with my cards and I needed to speak to my bank but I now know the reason............ The colonel Hajarnas was aware of my drive and him being a Maharashrian, he was very proud of my achievements. I was invited to his home so visited Colonel Hajarnas at his home in the evening over a lovely coffee and a chat. This was followed by my coffee visit at our DIG friend’s Mr Sahgal’s house. I was hosted by The Brigadier Bainsla and his family at their home so Mr Sahgal accompanied me, as Mr and Mrs Bainsla are close friend of Mr Sahgal. We had a lovely dinner with the Bainsal family and Mr Sahgal.
What a welcome to my home country India, which made me very proud of my roots, heritage and culture.
It was certainly very emotional and overwhelming day with mixture of emotions when I had officially completed The Artic Cirlce and 32 contires drive completely solo, unassisted and unsupported and had become the first women in the world to do so………
My sincere gratitude to all my supporters for supporting me, encouraging me, blessing me and guiding me time to time.
I am grateful to both of my best friends Anne and Purvi for always standing by me.
I would be forever indebted to Mr Meena, Mr Sahgal, Mr and Mrs Bainsla, Mr Sood in UK and Mr Sood in India, Mr Sohan Roy, Colonel Manoj, the major on duty, Colenel Hajarnas, Amit ji and all officers of the Indian Army on duty on the day. I salute your dedication and loyalty to our motherland………….
The above write up is certainly and example of friendship, kindness, helping nature which is very much found in India and in Indians. I am truly humbled with love, affection and support I received in my native country.As aways I am proud to be Indian......Jai Hind.....Jai Gujarat......Jai Maharashtra.......