My sojourn to places – I

As I woke up, my father apologized to me for the inconvenience. He apologized so sweetly and genuinely that I felt bad. I told him that I had a good night’s sleep but he wasn’t convinced. I smiled genuinely under a drowsy feeling and he hugged me. I have been there before but I hoped this time my trip would be good. My second visit to Bihar was a good one. People who haven’t come here will criticize the place but in reality it’s a state worth visiting. I was at Motihari with my mother and father. We don’t belong to Bihar but we would come here on vacation. The second day, my father woke me up with a good news. We were to visit Mayur Bihar in Madhapur. We took the National Highway and I was beginning to feel sleepy on the smooth road when the driver took a turn and entered a narrowest lane possible. It led to a massive village and I was pretty surprised to see patches of poverty inside. The roads were narrow and rough but the road was flanked by farm fields. It took us around one hour to manoeuvre through the rough lanes. We stopped in between to ask the exact location of spotting the peacocks. The villagers were very helpful. We halted the white Scorpio car and alighted. We started off into the jungle. I could see huge ravens around. They looked scary in real life. They were staring at us. It was a bizarre place. We dodged the slender branches hanging loose, the dry soil cracked under the midday sun. The villagers told us that the peacocks sit in between the crops for shade and are visible only at dawn or dusk or when the farmers chop off the ripened harvest. This did not put our spirits down. We traversed through the jungle for more than 30 minutes and finally gave up on our pursuit. We detoured to the Kesaria Boddh Stupa and crossed huge acres of paddy fields on either side of the road. The stupa is a massive circular structure with statues of gods visible only from one end. The villagers said that there is a tunnel below the structure that leads to river Gandak and others say that there are three floors buried below the excavated site and it may not be possible to excavate furthur because it is a flood prone area.
 After admiring the piece of history, we dropped by a village, on our way back home and visited Durga Mandap on Mahanavami day. There we met my father’s colleague and he offered us tea and snacks. The serenity of the place touched the land and I could hear birds calling out. The simplicity and the hospitality of the folks was heart warming. When we bid adieu, the villagers offered us a few varieties of vegetables harvested on their land. We were amazed at their generosity and reception to us. They had directed us to take a detour through villages on our way back home. We crossed village after village and saw the smoke rising from the cattle sheds and the freshness of the landscape had engulfed me. I was not disappointed a bit.  The roads were smooth and there were palm trees on either side of the roads. It seemed as though we were not in Bihar. We could see the prosperity of Bihar in contrast with the earlier opposite belief.

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