Skip to main content

Three Decades Of My Nomadic Experience

I recently read the novel "Pyramid of Virgin Dreams" by Vipul Mitra. He affectionately described the pains and pleasures of multiple transfers because of his father’s job as DSP and later himself as an IAS officer. While reading it occurred to me, I have had a similar life of changing a place many times nearly every alternate year. So why not narrate my story and the article is here!
A nomad means someone who lives by travelling from place to place - moving around all the while.
I was a nomad for the initial 28 years of my life, staying and studying at more than 15 places. A year or two and change of the place again! 

My father was a government officer, starting his career in 1946 at Khara Abrama (Dist. Navsari) in the Animal Husbandry Department, followed by Agricultural Department and finally retired at Chikhali in 1983 as Head of Benor Scheme for three tehsils. The job demanded frequent transfers for either promotion, mutual transfer or a legal compulsion after a certain period. So, he, being the head of the family of 10, opted to shift after every transfer. 

Starting from primary school to college, I had to change places several times. Let me tell you the story with full details of my first 28 years of a nomadic life wandering and changing places at regular intervals. 

Primary education began in 1957 at the age of seven in the standard I at Gujarati medium government school in Khara Abrama (Dist. Navsari). After three and a half years, we changed to the second half of the academic year of standard IV at Parujan (near Maroli, Dist. Navsari). Here I could complete the IV and first half of standard V. Well, the third school was at Mahemdavad (Dist. Kheda) where I was in the second half of standard V, VI and first half-year of VII. And again, I had to leave for Khara Abrama to complete the standard VII! Thus, the seven years of primary school education showed me four schools. 

Four schools to complete standard I to VII, that too, at the mid of the academic year on three occasions! Every time not only the school changed, the neighbours and friends also changed to leave behind the old ones for new ones. Well, it was certainly a pleasant experience to have a new circle every time at school and at home. 

 My secondary school education began at D S & B B Model Multipurpose Govt. High school, Khara Abrama. The student joining this school had to choose one of the subjects out of Technical, Agriculture, Commerce, Drawing or Music. I opted for ‘Commerce’. But after half a year of study, I had to leave for D C O Highschool, Killa Pardi. There was no provision or requirement of special or different subjects there, all were taught the same subjects. If I had continued my study, I would have become a person with commerce skills and possibly become a Chartered Accountant. Yes, but I would never have been a doctor. Here I did my continuous study for three and a half years to complete my S S C. 

Your reading this report with interest might have shown you that I had to change the schools five times half ways, without completing the academic year. You would certainly appreciate that studying half a year at one school and the second half elsewhere is a great task. With full humbleness, I must tell you that with all those inconveniences I was always the topper. 

I stayed at Paria (near Udvada) for two months to prepare for SSC examinations. My father was doing a job at a newly begun Paria Block Development Office. 

Later, I got college admission at N K M Science College, Valsad. Here I studied for two years to get admission at Government Medical College, Surat. I did my preparation for the F Y, B Sc examination at Koparli (near Vapi) to get the best possible result for the medical college admission on merits. 

My six years (1969-1975) of my medical graduation were at Surat. After passing M B B S, my merit could set me for M S and D O M S in Ophthalmology at M & J Institute of Ophthalmology of B J Medical College, Ahmedabad. (1975-78) 

After the completion of studies, I took up a job at Rotary Eye Institute, Navsari. Leaving the job not suitable for my inherited nature, I started my private practice at Desai Eye Hospital, Bilimora. That was the last stop of my nomadic life – the great nomadic journey. I have been in Bilimora for the last 42 years. I cannot accept the fact for myself that I am stable at one place for such a long duration and counting continues. Why I have not moved – changed the last place till today despite all odds is a subject of speculation and analysis. 

Wife of a nomad cannot be different! 

Dr Bhavana (Devyani) Desai and I got married on 04-Mar-1976 at Vapi at her residence and her nomadic period began. After completing her M B B S at Goa Medical College, she opted for an initial internship at B J Medical College, Ahmedabad and completed the terminal part in Goa again. Lately, she took up a job at Ramaben Hospital, Navsari. She started her private general practice at Pandya Street, Navsari and later at Jagvad Street, Khara Abrama. Her nomadic journey also ended in Bilimora in 1979 when she joined Mengushi Hospital, Bilimora as Honorary Medical Officer. Goa-Ahmedabad-Goa-Navsari- Abrama and finally at Bilimora. Six places in just two years! 

To conclude, if I deduct the first 10 years of stay at Khara Abrama – my birthplace and native, I have seen (and lived at) 15 places in the following 18 years being a wanderer till the age of 28. Khara Abrama-Parujan-Mahemdavad was the northward first journey of Gujarat. Later travelling again to the south at Khara Abrama-Killa Pardi-Paria-Koparli and Umbergaon. Here my second round began to travel to North from South, from Valsad-Surat to Ahmedabad and the return journey again to South to Navsari-Khara Abrama and ultimately, Bilimora. I can say maybe all are not so lucky to have a wonderful nomadic first life.
All in all, staying at fifteen places in eighteen years in itself should be a record of a great nomadic event!


  1. U wonder so much,,, so u got so much experience in ur early life,, that's why r seems very COOL in every situation KAKA..... commendable......

  2. This is very informative and interesting for those who are interested in blogging field.. Best of Luck from Gruhkhoj

  3. In spite frequent change of schools and unsteady initial years of education, you remained topper, got admission in MBBS and then MS really deserve appreciation and heartfelt congratulations.... your writing style is interesting impressive and effective...����

  4. Due to my fathers transferable job I also studied in12 different places till m s ophth and cornea.
    And it was so common at that time.
    Bharatbhai, my schooling at Tadkeshwer ,khergam, chikhli twice vansda, killa pardi. Twice palsana billimora.medical collages surat vs .bjmc and m&j fellowship at Baltimore, Rochester, Gainesville and visiting fellowship at Barcelona, London, Philadelphia, Houston and Morgan town till became professor continued with lecturing tours all over the country and abroad. Meetings and conference apart all these at a rate of one per month at least only this covid has given complete enjoyable rest for 4 months first time in life. But i really enjoyed all that.

  5. You really deserve congratulations for progress even during nomadic status in important years of student life. Frequently changing schools disturb education of anybody but inspite of that, you were topper and got admission in MBBS and then MS.
    It shows your perseverance, commitment to fight out any adverse circumstances and strong desire to build up career.

    1. Dear Narendrabhai,
      I agree with your observations.
      Yes by changing School.. because of parents transferable Job will lead to change if
      Place, Environment, friends n school teaching staff..
      Just imagine.. How it is giving impact on child ...

  6. Congratulations to such a kid for remaining topper against all odds.
    Congratulation to Dr.Bhatatchandra Desai. ������������

  7. Hats off. all odds and financial crisis you faces in childhood and survive.u r truely inspiration for today's kids.nowadays students can't achive their goal with all facilities.

    1. Thanks for reading the article. Yes, there was great struggle and poverty in childhood. May more the struggle, you develop better!! Thanks for appreciating the issues.


Post a comment

Optionally, you can also email your feedback directly to the author.

Popular this week:

Pyramid Of Virgin Dreams

This is a novel depicting the story of an IAS officer’s life. Author Vipul Mitra is himself an IAS officer serving in Gujarat and living with his family in Ahmedabad. This book could take birth after ten years of thinking, writing and rewriting!  The title pyramid was derived from an Egyptian pyramid with a gigantic structure, a symbol of power stretching higher and higher into the sky. The author compares the pyramid with bureaucrats. He says the only difference was that one housed deceased Egyptian pharaohs while other housed living, conniving, tattling officers. There is a long (300 pages!) story of dreams those are virgin like unconsummated physical relation! You will read this novel to know what happens to Kartikeya Kukereja who meets his first failed love Revati Kapoor after both married and long gap of time passes. Revati desires to re-unite but does Kartikeya have the courage to hold on Revati? Honest? Mediocre? Coward? Does he ultimately succeed in fitting her in his life?  Th

મારી આત્મકથા - ડો. ભાવના દેસાઈ

આત્મકથા લખવી મતલબ આપણને આપણા જન્મથી અત્યાર સુધીની દરેક હકીકતો તથા પ્રસંગો, અનુભવોની ખબર હોવી જોઈએ. મારી (સંક્ષિપ્ત) આત્મકથા જરાક જુદી લખાશે એવું મને જણાય છે. શરૂઆત મારા જન્મથી કરીશ. મારો જન્મ ૨૧/૧૧/૧૯૫૦ દિને વલસાડ કસ્તુરબા હોસ્પિટલમાં થયો. મારી માતા ૨૪ વર્ષના હતા. મારા મોટાભાઈ મારાથી ૬ વર્ષ મોટા અને મારી મોટીબેન ત્યારે ૩ વર્ષના. મને ધરાઈને રમાડે અને જોઈને ખુશ થવાના સમયે જ મારા પિતાનું અવસાન થયું. હાર્ટ અટૈક થી. મારી માતા સ્ટ્રોંગ - હિંમતવાળા - સમજી ગયા હતા કે કઈક ગડબડ છે. કારણ હોસ્પીટલમાં લિમિટેડ સગાઓની આવનજાવન અને દીકરીના પપ્પા કેમ આવ્યા નથી એનો અણસાર આવી ગયો હતો. સમાચાર સાંભળી દુ:ખી થયા. રડાય એટલું રડી લીધું. પછી મારા પિતાના વાક્યને સાર્થક કરવા કમર કસી. મારુ મોસાળ વલસાડમાં નાની મહેતવાડ ફળિયામાં. મારા આજાબાપા ડોક્ટર. મારા દાદાનું ઘર સુરત - કાળામાતાની શેરી. મારા દાદી, મારા નાનાકાકા તથા કાકી બધા જ ઘણા સારા અને પ્રેમાળ, છતાં અમે ત્રણેય બાળકો મોસાળમાં મોટા થયા. કારણ જણાવું - મારા મામા મારી માતાથી ૧૦ વર્ષ નાના. તેઓ મેટ્રીક પાસ થયા બાદ ડોક્ટરી કરવા ઇચ્છતા હતા. એમણે જ

મોરારજી દેસાઈ

ભારતના ભૂતપૂર્વ વડાપ્રધાન શ્રી. મોરારજી દેસાઈ આપણી વચ્ચે જીવ્યા અને મર્યા. તેમને માટે આપણને સૌને ગર્વ છે. કારણ તેઓ ગુજરાતી હતા. આપણી જેમ અનાવિલ હતા અને ગરીબ પરિવારના સભ્ય હતા. તો પણ ભારતના રાજકિય સર્વોચ્ચ પદ વડાપ્રધાન પદે સ્વબળે પહોચ્યા હતા. તેઓ આપણા હતા આપણી સાથે હતા જીવ્યા હતા. આપણે તેમને સરળતાથી મળીને વાતચીત કરી શકતા હતા. છતાં તેમનો પરિચય મને કહેવા દો. મોરારજી દેસાઈનો સ્વભાવ સાચો પરિચય ખૂબ ઓછા લોકોને હતો. આથી તેમના વિષે ઘણી ગેરસમજો પ્રવર્તતી હતી. તેમના વિષે પૂર્વગ્રહથી લખાતી માહિતીઓ દ્વારા આપણે તેમને ઓળખતા થયા હતા. ત્યારે તેમનો સ્વભાવ જીદ્દી, તુંડમિજાજી, અભિમાની કે ખૂબ જ કડક હોવાની ખોટી માન્યતા હતી. તે દૂર કરવાનો અને સાચી રીતે તેમને ઓળખાવવાનો પ્રયત્ન અહી મેં કર્યો છે. મોરારજી દેસાઈના સ્વભાવનો પરિચય કરાવવા અને તેમને થતો અન્યાય નિવારવા હું તેમની આત્મકથામાંથી દેખાતા અને ઉદભવતા તેમના સ્વભાવની વાત કરીશ. ચાલો, પહેલા ટૂંકો પરિચય જાણીએ. ટૂંકો જીવન પરિચય ૨૯.૦૨.૧૮૯૬ વલસાડ જીલ્લાના ભદેલી ગામે મોસાળમાં જન્મ પ્રાથમિક શિક્ષણ : ભદેલી અને સાવરકુંડલા માધ્યમિક શિક્ષણ : શેઠ આર.જે.જે.હાઈ સ્

Anavils - An Endangered Community

After Parsis, Anavils ( Anavil Brahmins , અનાવિલ બ્રાહ્મણ ) are the fastest decreasing community. The total population of Anavils around the world does not exceed two lakhs figure and that is also fast reducing day by day. Days are not far, beyond a century or so, when they will have to be seen/found in records, photos and videos. Why? Because,    - they get married too late,    - many are dying unmarried,    - they wait for the career to be settled before the first (and maybe the only) childbirth.

Janki Van – A Nature Retreat

If you want to be alone to be with nature, it is an ideal spot. But if you enjoy crowds with your group this is an equally important place to visit. 42 km from Bilimora on Vansda Road, we reached Janki Van in less than an hour. Dr Nayana Patel, Dr Bhavana Desai (my wife) and I visited the place impromptu on a weekday. The name Janki  is related to Sita Mata of Ramayana and it is believed that at a certain point in the history, Sita Mata did stay here. The garden, a great picnic spot (16 hectors big), is situated 5 km away from Vansda, 6 km from Unai and 42 km from Bilimora. It is developed by the Gujarat Forestry Department under social forestry action and was inaugurated on 02-Aug-2015 while celebrating the Forest Day. Please, keep in mind it remains closed on Monday and visiting hours are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Jainism: Simplified

I am introducing here world spread religion having 5.5 million followers, mainly in India and abroad like USA, UK, Canada, East Africa and many other countries in one of the six greatest religions. Word "Jain" is derived from "Jina" meaning conqueror. "Arihant" is one who has destroyed his inner enemies like anger, greed, passion and ego.

અંગદનો પગ - પુસ્તક પરિચય

એક જ બેઠકમાં કે પછી સળંગ વાંચવાની ઉત્કંઠા જાગે એવી આ નવલકથાનો પરિચય કરાવવાનો નમ્ર પ્રયાસ કરતાં ખૂબ આનંદ થાય છે.  ભુજ રહેતા, હાલ 74 વર્ષીય, આપણાં લેખક શ્રી હરેશ ધોળકિયા જિંદગીના 25 વર્ષ શિક્ષણકાર્ય કરતાં હતા. અને આદર્શ શિક્ષકના એક લક્ષણ તરીકે પુસ્તકો વાંચવાની સરસ ટેવ ધરાવતા હતા. તે કારણે 1945 માં લખાયેલ 1930 ની કથાવસ્તુ ધરાવતી લેખિકા ઈયાન હેન્ડ દ્વારા લિખિત બે નવલકથાઓ વાંચે છે - 700+ પાનાંની Fountain Head (ફાઉન્ટન હેડ) સાત-સાત વાર સળંગ વાંચી તો 1150+ પાનાં ધરાવતી Atlas Shrugged (એટલાસ શ્રગ્ડ) પણ સળંગ અવારનવાર વાંચી. 1988ના વર્ષે થયેલ આ અકસ્માત(!) આપણી નવલકથાનું જન્મસ્થાન છે.  ફાઉન્ટન હેડ અને એટલાસ શ્રગ્ડ નવલકથાઓ રશિયન લેખિકા ઈયાન હેન્ડે અમેરિકા જઈને લખી છે અને બન્નેની 64 લાખ થી વધુ નકલો વિશ્વભરમાં વંચાય ચૂકી છે. બન્ને માં લેખકને “માનવ શ્રેષ્ઠત્વ” ના અદ્દભૂત દર્શન થયા છે. આ ઉપરાંત પ્રતિભાશાળી અને સામાન્ય (First Raters and Second Raters)નું તેમાં થયેલાં વર્ણન તેમણે આત્મશાત કર્યું છે.  પહેલા લેખકશ્રીના મિત્ર શ્રી સુરેશભાઈ પરીખે એટલાસ શ્રગ્ડનું ભાષાંતર કરવા સૂચવ્યું. ત્યાર પછી તેમના કોલેજના

History Of Muslims In India: Hindu-Muslim Relations

With this article, I would like to tell you about three things: (1) History of Islam and Muslims in India; then I will try to elaborate, specifically telling (2) What went wrong; and finally I will conclude telling (3) The future of relations amongst Muslims and Hindus. Although it is routine to give references, in the end, I shall start with the list of three reference books in the beginning. All these details are not mine, I’ve only summarized them from these books.

When A Daughter Gets Married... Against Parents' Will...

Generally, the wedding of a daughter is event parents plan from the day of her birth. They start saving money and dream about the son-in-law to be. But all these have one condition tagged – “Consent of Parents”. Or say a final decision has to be with and as per the will of the parents. When this does not happen and daughter decides to marry at her own will – against the consent of parents, they get shocked emotionally to its deepest level and this is the subject of my discussion.

Karmic Theory (Law Of Karma)

“Facing Challenges and Creating Destiny” by BK Shivani, Gurgaon National Conference on Mind-Body-Medicine, Mount Abu. August 6-10, 2010 What is Karma? Karma is work or energy going out in the form of 1. Thought, 2. Word and/or 3. Action. Resultant return of energy is in the same amount known as Bhagya (Destiny). The role of God is to ask you to do Karma and to help you to do RIGHT karma. Then whatever good/bad karma you do, the result is accordingly and entirely your responsibility. Because the result is Destiny (Bhagya). So don’t blame anyone else or God for anything bad. Do not try to blame someone responsible for your own deed and its result.