To the uninitiated, Rocky got married to Seema on 8th of May ( though according to timings it actually was 9th of may ). The trip was rather eventful for all of us who managed to attend the function. For starters, we saw first hand how these functions are held and for many of us it was the first time we came close to dancing in a baraat ( not a pretty site, trust me).
For me though, It was a conclusion of 5 days of hectic traveling to the interiors of Bihar.
Day 1 ((5th of May)
Bangalore to Hyderabad -> This was the most boring part of the trip for me .. totally left to myself, I realized that I don’t have too many thoughts for myself and the best way to kill time is to sleep during the train journey so that somehow i can drown out the wailing kid’s hideous cries.
Starting from my place at 4:30 PM, I got to the station exactly at 5 for a 6 PM train, only to realize that the train was delayed by two and half hours. So basically I had 3 and a half hours to kill, with absolutely nothing to do at the boring Bangalore Cant. Station. There is only a limited amount of time that you can kill on the phone depending largely on the battery charge left. In my case, this amount was spectacularly low and hence there was not much phone talking I could squeeze in the 3.5 hours of wait. I tried to busy myself with the usual painting of a rosy picture and the thorny lives of the people around me. The train finally departed at 8:45 PM and I convinced myself that it can only get better from now on.
Day 2 (6th Of May)
Bangalore to Hyderabad -> Still on the train, I woke up around 8 AM with a cup of hot tea and finally braced myself to find out how much time I would have for Hyderabad before I would have to catch the connecting train to Howrah with friends. Hardly any, came the arithmetical and logical reply.
Hyderabad -> I had about 6 hours in Hyderabad, in which .. I had to get to Miapur from Nampally station, take bath and rest and then get back to Sec’bad station with Maddy. As it turned out, this was more than enough .. and we got to station well in time to wait for the other two who were joining us there ( Sunil and Vidit ).
Hyderabad to Howrah -> Sincerely, this was the best part of the trip .. We played cards all the way and interestingly Maddy always won. Weird co-incidence. Whoever his partner was, didn’t matter .. he somehow always managed to win. It didn’t really occur to us that we had spent more than a day on the train by next evening when we eventually got to Howrah.
Day 3 (7th Of May)
Hyderabad to Howrah -> Most of this day was spent on the train, playing card games. Hardly anyone complained though, when we eventually got to Howrah. It was good to be able to move around more distances than those permitted by the confines of the train.
Kolkata -> Its a beautiful city. Greeted, though we were, with the smell of fish ( something I absolutely hate ), it actually got much better as we spent more time there. We took a taxi there to take us around the city to whatever places possible in 3 hours. We didn’t see much , other than the Victoria Memorial ( closed by the time we got there ), Eden Garden ( from outside ) and some market ( may be Vidit can help me remember the name). We eventually got back to Howrah station at around 9 for our connecting passenger train to Madhupur. Before we boarded the train, we gulped down food and wonderful Bengali sweets in huge quantities at the food-plaza at the Howrah Station.
Howrah to Madhupur-> Our expectations with a Local Passenger train were not high. In terms of seats we expected to find wooden furniture and in terms of time, we expected it to be at least 3 hours late. Fortunately, we were pleasantly wrong in both regards. The seats were normal sleeper class seats and the train did start and end very much on time. Hardly 10 minutes late, I assume. After all, something is going right in Laloo Raj. We merrily slept during this part of the trip.
Day 4(8th Of May)
Madhupur -> We arrived in this small town in Jharkhand at about 6 in the morning. It was very much on time and hence most of us were caught napping when the train reached the station. Sunil actually had to be pulled off the bed and I fared no better. If not for the likes of Maddy and Vidit, we would have most probably gone on sleeping till some other station further down the train’s tracks. It was still early morning and we had about an hour to wait here till someone came to pick us up to take us to Rakesh’s place ( Palojori ). We continued our card games at the station. Maddy’s wretched form continued ( I think he had a spare set of cards that he switched every time after the actual cards were dealt .. no other possible way to explain his luck factor ). Rakesh’s Jijaji came to pick us up there and here we again waited for Nirnimesh train to arrive from Patna so that he could also come with us. As it happened, he over slept and eventually managed to get down at the next station. We decided it would be better to head to Palojori and wait for Nirnimesh there to come there by a bus.
Palojori -> If Kolkata was beautiful, then we need to look up a whole new word for this place. It was just awesome, primarily due to the rainy weather and the nice surroundings. Ohh .. before I forget, Rakesh had no idea that I was coming .. and I assume it was a rather big surprise for him to see me there 🙂 .. Here we slept, ate, took bath ( some of us badly needed a shave to be recognized , including yours truly ) and then got ready for the baraat. We all left Palojori eventually around 5:30 PM for Giridhi ( the bride’s place ) in cars.
Palojori to Giridhi -> This part of the trip took about 3 hours, and some of us took the liberty to showcase our singing abilities to the rest of us. Since there were only 7 of us in the car ( 5 friends, one driver and one of Rakesh’s cousins ), the vocal cards were being exercised in full swing. The trick apparently was to think of a theme, or a word, and sing songs that have that theme or the word. The word dil started it all, the came raat, then came aankhein, then came kabootar, followed by sadak. Was pretty unpleasent .. this part of the trip came a close second to the the “dancing us” in the ugly scene of the trip contest.
Giridhi -> This is where the wedding actually took place. Some danced .. some clicked .. some just walked the way. I did the last two of the activities mentioned. We eventually got to the marriage function hall, where everything started and ended pretty soon with some clicks and some small marriage rituals. After that was the feast time. We hardly ate anything, thanks to late lunch. Vidit and Maddy stayed back for the rest of the wedding while the rest of us headed back to the hotel where we were put up to catch some sleep. It was already 3 AM by the time we got back to the hotel in Giridhi and slept for a maximum of 5 hours.
Day 5(9th Of May)
Giridhi -> We went to the bride’s place early in the morning ( about 9 AM ), for breakfast and were served dahi-chuda and some non-veg. I am no good at curd, and eating non-veg was totally out of question. I battled through half the plate, and somehow managed to eat some of it.
Giridhi to Palojori -> My train back to Howrah was supposed to be at Madhupur station at 1 PM, but we found out that the train was 4 hours late. Ther was no point in going to Madhupur station so early, so I headed back to Palojori so that I can rest there for some time and then come back to Madhupur. Most of us were sleeping during this part of the drive.
Palojori ->Maddy and Nirnimesh were supposed to catch a train at 6 PM from Madhupur while Vidit and Sunil had to board one at 10 PM from the same place. Eventually we decided to head back to Madhupur together, so that there are no up and down trips for the driver as it took about one and half hour drive to get to Madhupur.
Madhupur ->But, as luck would have it, my train somehow covered time and eventually it so happened that I missed my train by a good 45 minutes. So, I had to resort to locals and luck to get to Howrah in time for my flight to Bangalore the next day morning. Thankfully, Ranta and Vidit decided to ditch their train too and come with me. I would have been pretty miserable if I had to go through what followed, all by myself. Unfortunately, Even Nirnimesh and Maddy’s train to Patna got delayed by three and half hours ( and by another hour later on , we found out at Asansol ) and even they were stuck at the station for quite sometime. We three boarded a local at Madhupur to get to Asansol at 6:20 PM. We go to Asansol at 8:25 PM to find out that the next train to Burdhaman leaves at 9:50 PM. We had about one and half hour here , and we did little other than just laze around. We caught the next local at 9:50 PM to get to Burdhaman at 12:10 AM to find out that the last local for Howrah has already left and the next one is at 3 AM and it would take about 2 or 2:30 hours to get to Howrah. It would have been testing my luck if we had to depend on this train, because my flight was at 6:50 AM meaning I would need to be at the airport by 6 and be in Howrah by 5 since the airport is quite far off from the station.
Day 6(10th Of May)
Burdhaman -> Luck comes to the rescue at all weird hours. And it did come to my rescue at this particular moment when we found out that there was a express train to Howrah at 2:25 AM which would get me to Howrah by 4 AM. Quite good enough to get to the airport on time. We ate at a small place near the station, went back to the platform, and while i slept on the luggage carrier, Sunil read a book next to me, and Vidit dozed off on a chair. The train finally came and as luck would have it, we even found sleeper seats vacant. Talk about good luck. We slept for the one and half hours of the trip like logs.
Howrah -> Good old Kolkata, we got here at 4:15 AM. Enough time to laze around and make it to the airport in time for my flight. I thanked Vidit and Sunil here ( and I really can’t thank them enough for accompanying me on this return trip 🙂 ) and headed to the airport. At the airport, it was usual customary boring wait. Finally felt as good as I had felt for the past five days when I eventually boarded the flight. Nothing felt better than the breakfast that was served. Back to Bangalore at about 10 AM.
Overall, nice trip it was. I had a great time except during the last part of the trip, but even then I thankfully had friends for company. Palojori rocks, so does Madhupur. But Indian Railways suck. They did me in with the age old trick of showing the carrot and then taking it away :(. I Hate Trains.
Ps -> This Madhupur is not same as the one mentioned in the movie Vivah :). Though I have had sense to not watch the movie, but if you have, its not the same place.