One day while munching Momo, (a Chinese dish) with my university friends, at Sikkim House, my mind started wandering to a distant unknown place. When I told my friends what is cooking inside my head they gladly agreed to be my partner in crime. There were three major obstacles:
First, consent of my parents. This consumed lots of my energy and time. For them I’m still a kid, who can’t take care of herself. However, through emotional blackmailing, I won the game!
Second problem was to convince other friends to bunk their classes and office to join us. I applied “senti” strategy here and I failed miserably. Except three friends, everyone else refused to come with me.
Finally, short-listing a beautiful place, that would not make big holes in our pockets and which is not that far away from Kolkata.
After overcoming all the above-mentioned hurdles, we booked our train tickets for Puri, for 2days.
Puri is approximately 670 kms from Kolkata. Bus, train, and taxi are the transports available to reach puri. It does not have its own airport yet. Puri attracts thousands of tourists every year for its beautiful beach (Best in India) and temples. There are many places to explore in Puri like world famous Jaganath Temple, Konark Sun Temple, Chilika Lake etc.
|Puri Sea Beach|
19th July 2012, Day 1:
After a weeklong preparation for our journey, the day had finally arrived to leave Kolkata. Four of us were super excited since, we woke up in the morning. We were sending text messages to each other to express our enthusiasm. Packing is a challenging task. I wanted to put everything into just one backpack so that I can carry it myself easily everywhere. Travelling light is the mantra of every successful traveler and I am not good at it.
I left my house at around 5pm. I had enough time in my hand to reach station. I left home early to spend more time with friends. I turned down my father’s proposal to accompany me until railway station. I wanted to cover this journey all alone with only my friends.
My bus ride was o.k. Bus was overflowing with people. I did not mind the crowd as I was in good mood. Weather was just perfect. Roads were wet with monsoon raindrops. Air was filled with pleasant smell of wet soil. I sat buried under my own luggage beside the window. I covered two hours long bus ride by enjoying cool soothing wind on my face and hair. Happiness was written in all over my face.
My friend, sam (Name changed), was waiting for me at Howrah Station. We had coffee to kill time while waiting for our two other friends Rash (Name Changed) and Ash (Name changed). They are Husband and wife. I know them since 2004. Rash is my college friend and I know Ash through Rash. They got married last year. They joined us almost after 1 hour.
We had dinner at Howrah Plaza, a multi-cuisine restaurant, only decent place to eat in Howrah railway station. Food was delicious. While we were relishing Fried Rice with Chilli Chicken, suddenly we realized that we have only half an hour left to catch our train. At once we ran like Usan Bolt towards our train. The Howrah Puri G Rath left sharp at 9pm. G stands for “Garib” which means “poor”. Ironically, all the coaches in “Garib” trains are equipped with A.C unlike others non-garib trains. Our arrival time at Puri was 6am.
Fifteen minutes of frantic search led us to our respective seats. We again made calls to our family members to say second good-bye over phone. They reminded us repeatedly to inform them once we reach our destination. My parents warned me against misusing my freedom. While, we were waiting for T.T to re allot our seats, I started jumping. An unexpected person called me for the first time (I will write about this unexpected call someday J).
Once we settled down, we started building castles in the air about love, life, marriage, future etc. This is what we do most of the time whenever we are together. People find it useless and wastage of time and prefer to do something “creative” which is good. Nevertheless, we enjoy it. This way we have bagged enough memories to cherish when we are old.
At 11 pm, our co passengers started retiring to their one night bed. One by one everyone was switching off lights. Reluctantly we climbed up to our respective berth to sleep.
Around 3 am, I needed to use bathroom but refrained myself from going alone. My parents and Rash’s warning rang on my mind. We had decided never to go alone anywhere in this journey. Therefore, I woke up, Rash, Ash and Sam. After appointing Sam to keep eyes on our luggage, we left to accomplish “mission loo” which later turned into one of the memorable moment of our life.
We spent an hour standing at the door area after we finished our bathroom work. We talked about childhood. This was unthinkable in our parent’s presence. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was breathing “air of independence”. I became nostalgic. Some thoughts started clouding my mind. Someday I will leave my parents house and start a new life. Would I really enjoy this freedom? Do I really want to grow up?
I came back to my berth, leaving Rash and Ash behind at door. They came back after sometime. Rash was not sleepy even at 4am and wanted to talk all night. I advised her to save her energy for tomorrow as we had planned lots of sightseeing. We dozed off after sometime thinking about an eventful day ahead.
To be Continued...