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Baroda delights - Gujarat Diaries

Baroda is a sheer delight. It's classy, and is the cultural capital of the state. The old and the new sit cheek by jowl here. It feels like Mysore in some respects, thanks to its royal heritage. We went to the awe-inspiring Laxmi Vilas Palace, where some members of the royal family still live. The palace is in great condition; a nicely presented audio tour is also available. We also visited the museum, which is housed in a beautiful red structure. But for me, the piece de resistance was the Tambekar Wada, a 19th century structure belonging to Bhau Tambekar, the erstwhile diwan of the princely state of Baroda. It is an old wooden building hidden in Raopura, in the lane opposite Dhuli Ram Pendawala, a famous vendor of sweets, and am sure the cab driver was amused to see us enter that crumbling old building. Wadas are typical Maharashtrian joint family homes, much like the waade manes of North Karnataka. This Baroda wada (traditional home) is in a state of disrepair. One of the portions is covered in mud, has bats inside and wooden planks have crashed onto the floor. The other portion has brilliant murals in vivid colours, and is a treasurehouse of all that is brilliant in terms of art and architecture.

Everywhere you look, you see old structures with intricate jaali work, window shutters with ornate work on them and balconies with floral motifs on their grills. Raopura is a great area to go to if you want to look for such structures. Also, many offices and educational institutions are housed in heritage buildings.


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Let me know if you need help or something like that!

I have spent time as an attendant to a family member on more than a couple of occasions, for at least a fortnight or more each time, and am just recording my thoughts, in a random fashion.

When you are a caregiver, you often get offers like, "if you want help let us know". But how often does a caregiver remember your offer, especially when he or she is caught up with taking care of the patient? How does the caregiver know what kind of help you are willing to offer or whether you are reliable? The burden of providing you with opportunities to help can be too much for the caregiver, especially sitting in an ICU waiting room or a ward with a patient in pain. If you really want to help, show up, find out how you can ease the burden off the caregiver in little ways. And act. Often, you could be offering help just to satisfy your conscience or as a nicety. You move on, once the caregiver says, "Thanks. Will let you know." The caregiver doesn't know if you really wan…