Thursday, 27 May 2010

A journey to Rural Bengal

In the sultry summer of Kolkata, a family event ushered as a relief to leave the city for two days. Not far, just a few hours journey from my place. A village near famous Tegor's "Santiniketan" was the venue. The journey by a over crowded train in reserved seats brought consolation. Embarking the train from a small station always puts you in humiliation as you look for your reserved seat; as always someone is found sitting so confidently to turn you confused! The blemish look that they throw on finding that you are legitimate claimant is sometime unbearable; at least I find so. This time they were girls at their teens and while reposing my seats to me the spew venom through their beautiful eyes. Little later I found their mother occupying a seat (not of her own) just in front of me. She was a nice lady and having missed her connecting train at Howrah, she resorted to this venture (adventure!) with her daughters. They were tourist from another Metro i.e Mumbai, visiting Darjeeling this summer. Madan Tamag's murder on previous day frustrated them a lot as they are not sure what awaits them there. Anyway I tried to console them about the plight of those tourists touring Mumbai on 26/11 (the day Azmal Kasav massacred). The result was not very encouraging. My journey was short and over by two and half hours. So I took leave of her and apologized for robbing the company of her daughters who were lurking by my side with all the eagerness to see me quit early.

With election in the corner the development works were visible all around with colorful posters of different belligerent political parties. Road to my destination is under patch or repair works, as declared by my car driver when he proposed to take longer rout. With my consent he pressed the accelerator, first time I traveled keeping the district hospital on the road side. Found several small nursing homes have mushroomed around it. The driver commented "Doctors here use the hospital as showroom, deliver the service from these nursing homes"; I understand that ,everywhere it is so. Government hospitals are just a platform provided freely to those medical practitioners to find business. Alas! doctors and medical practitioners are synonym ! So hospital derives from the word "hospitality"! All the medicinal shops were over crowded as I watched from running car as speed was low as people crossing road like buzzing bees. I thought about the road; the road to hospital is so inhospitable! Anyway sooner the ordeal was over; my car took a sharp left turn and took a hardly 8 feet wide metal road. The driver moaned the latest gift of development fails for two vehicle pass each other safely. However the road looked constructed recently and seemed to last at least the next monsoon. By then the election will be over.

I thought my next trip should match the time of next election!

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