Freedom from the communication gag


Day 195 of circumnavigation trip
Location: Perth, Australia

I have crossed over to another continent for the first time in my life. Thank you so much for being a part of my journey and helping me reach here.

Social media was banned in China, as was access to Gmail, Yahoo and Google. Microsoft Word too did not work. I felt alienated with my communication with the rest of the world being restricted massively. All I could access was Outlook mail. My friends from India managed my social media accounts and forwarded every message to me on Outlook mail so I could read and respond. Thank you once again for keeping my lines of communication alive.

In China, there was barely one English newspaper and that too wasn’t available on stands. I had no clue what was going on in the world. The only piece of news that came my way was that the Olympic games were on and China had bagged a lot of medals (plenty of advertisements on television and the metro).

Special thanks to Rajesh Pawar, a Marathi manoos in Australia, whom I met online after he read a newspaper article featuring me. Rajesh and his friends helped me apply for an Australian visa, booked flight tickets and a hostel room in Perth for me. Travelling to Australia would have remained a dream had Rajesh and his friends not helped me out on time.

I must also thank Mayor of Mumbai, Snehal Ambekar, and the Mumbai Press Club for their reference letters which helped me get a visa quickly. I can’t thank Dr Sangeeta Kamble and Dr Rucha Lahane enough for their medical advice that kept me fit. Many thanks to all those who donated monetarily plus those who painstakingly researched so my journey would be smooth. I’m indebted to you all.

I must mention that except for freedom of expression/the concept of liberty and forms of communication/media such as television, newspapers and the web, China is way ahead of India__ at least two generations ahead. Chinese citizens are very disciplined. I did not hear anyone complain about his/ her liberty being infringed. They are very patient and queue up for everything from bakery products to security checks. Everyone has a job, a house and one child (the one child rule has been relaxed for parents who were only children themselves).

Will post more often now on.



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