Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Sundarbans - Reaching there...


This time we were 4 of us - 2 couples - Anirban & I and My sis-in-law & her husband. But thats not how they should be introduced...right? So let me reframe it....Anirban & I and Tiu & Chintoo. mmm..I prefer to use the names we call them with. It was 'puja' then and a lots of resistance from our parents. They wanted us to stay back home in the festive time. They were quite reasonable in asking so but we had a short chutti and wanted to do a lot...as usual.. so decided to spend 2 days with them and rest 2 with tigers ;)

So here we go....Anirban had already arranged for everything. We were going from Kolkata in a bus of Bengal tourism, and then would board a launch at Sonakhali....place some 4 hrs away from Bengal, by bus. Thats how I measure distance while traveling. For the first time we had a trip all planned. Lodging, food, sight seeing - everything was being taken care of by Bengal tourism.

We started early morning. My eyes were on the people we would be spending next 2 days with. We had a couple from Germany, a group of 4 ladies from Australia, 2 bengali families, 1 family from Orissa, and last but most important a family from Bihar... Most important because they were most loud and entertaining people in the trip. We were served breakfast soon after we started.

This family from Bihar and the group from Australia were our neighbors in the bus. My most of the time was spent listening to and observing them. It was real fun. They started with basic introductions. You can very well imagine the language problem. But the Man of the family was smart he prodded his kids to start the conversation. could be 2 reasons...he didn't want to take the risk of starting the conversation or kids were better at the language. I must compliment the kids here. They very successfully started the conversation and then all the family members joined in. I also got pretty good idea about the people around me...and that too without actually interacting. After 2 hrs we stoped at a petrol pump where we were told to freshen ourselves...a small dirty loo was there which we all were supposed to use. We Indians are quite used to it but imagine the situation of the foreigners. Anyways all of us were standing in the queue, where I got the chance to interact with one of the youngest in the Australian group. Got to know from her that in the group she has her mother, her aunt, mousi as we would call, and aunt's friend. Then we were served hot road side tea which was good.

Another 2 hrs and we were at Sonakhali from where we were supposed to get a launch. The bus stopped, we all got down. Australian group, I and family from Orissa were amongst the first ones to get down. By now we had got acquainted and had started talking...While we were talking we, my new Australian friend and I, kept walking without even realizing that rest of the group was following us...
So here we were leading the whole team to the launch without knowing ourselves where actually it is. Apparently Anirban and Chintu were calling us not to go further but we didn't hear. Now we all were at the spot where lots of local people are there and 3 launches are waiting for their people. I just took a wild guess and got into one that was nearest, assuming that this is ours. Whats the harm actually nahi hogi to utar jayenge..;)..And as earlier everyone followed the leader, oh which was me. Fortunately, all my guesses were right and we landed at the right launch. Wow we would be spending the next 2 days, 1 night on this. Great!
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