Project 365: Day 71 – Stuck in a round square

10th September 2014 – Kozhikode, India

Some people just need a reason to stop life.
Maybe a special day, maybe a dark way, whatever is fair.
In India, when someone calls a hartal, everything stops.
And I find myself moving around in circles. Or wait, is this a square?
mananchira square in kozhikode kerala

Here, I am on my hands too. – Kozhikode, India

It can be a little frustrating at times to travel through India, because things never go exactly as planned. I should have planned my whole bike trip a week ago, but the stranding episode in Kashmir prevented that. And then, I should have started riding to Kochi, 2 days ago, but the bike needed servicing and it could not be done in one day.

All said and done, I was to pick up my motorbike from the service centre today. I called in around noon, if I could pick it up. Nobody answered. I tried a different number. Nobody answered. I finally called the cell phone of one of the employees there, only to be told that the shop was closed today on account of a hartal.

This bike would go on to take me till Bhutan! Click here to read about it!

A hartal is a political equipment that is unique to India. A leftover from the British colonisation days, when the strike action was used effectively to deter the colonialists from running their business, it has now become a totally useless political tool. Almost all parties in India wait for some reasons to put up a hartal. And when it happens, everything in the locality stops, and there is a total shutdown of offices and shops. Today’s reason for the shutdown near the service centre, was that some political activist stabbed another one. The one who got stabbed, got a hartal in his name.

I’m tired of this nonsense by now, so just decided to head to the Mananchira square again, where I stared at the statue in the middle and calmed myself. We both had some thing in common. We were unable to move at the moment.

Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here

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Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval.



About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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