Saturday, October 03, 2009

A different Puja

I spent a great Durga Puja with my parents this time. Its true that this year's Puja vacation wasn't as good as last year's one but it had its own share of surprises.

On the first Puja day, Shasthi, my parents and I decided to leave for Digha the next day. Digha is very near to Kolkata and it takes about four-and-a-half hours on bus to get to Digha. So, things took a new turn altogether and preparations were made as quickly as possible. At first, we hadn't expected to get rooms in any hotel but luckily, we could book one. We also thought that the best course would be to go straightaway to the bus stop the next morning with all our luggage. After all, many buses leave for Digha everyday and we would surely get three seats on any one of them...

But, a shock awaited us at the bus stop the next morning . After cutting the tickets, we were told that our bus hadn’t arrived yet.We and the other passengers were asked to wait as the bus was trapped in a traffic jam and would be late. But, even after two hours when the bus did not arrive and the people at the ticket counters were flooded with querries, out came the truth. A trailer had broken down on Kolaghat Bridge, a very important bridge on the way to Digha. It had blocked the entire bridge, thus stopping all vehicles from crossing the bridge. No steps had been taken to remove the trailer and the vehicles trapped there had caused a 12km long traffic jam. Hearing the news, we knew that we had no chance of going. Even if our bus arrived, we would get stuck in the jam on the bridge. So, we were feeling really dejected at that time. But, an elderly couple, who had also booked seats on our bus, told us that we should still try to catch a train to Digha because going home would be highly disappointing and would spoil the rest of the Puja days. Their enthusiasm raised our hopes again and we agreed to share a taxi with them on our way to the railway station. First, the five of us cut tickets to go to a place called Mecheda on a local train. Our experience while boarding the train was very bad because the crowds were constantly pushing and I had a tough time pulling our trolley suitcase. Looking back though, I realize that I had done a pretty neat job with the suitcase that day…

Anyway, a little more than two hours later, we reached Mecheda and then, hired a car to go to Digha. When we finally reached Digha at around 3.30 p.m., we were tired but very very happy. Some moments later, we were also forced to thank the bus authorities , whom we had been cursing till then, that our bus had not arrived. This is because we rang up one of my aunts, uncle and cousin who were also supposed to be coming to Digha that day and they told us that they were still trapped in the traffic snarl on the Kolaghat Bridge! They actually reached Digha later that night past 11 o’clock. If our bus would have arrived on time in the morning, one of our Puja days would have been totally spoilt. …We had been so lucky!

The stay in Digha was good and we took walks on the sea beach and also met my aunt. We visited some nearby places like Mandarmani, Talshari and Udaipur. They all had a common attraction and that was the sea. Personally, I thought Udaipur was the best. We also went to the place where the Subarnarekha river meets the sea. But, the good food, specially the breakfast, came as a huge relief.


Subhadip said...

Subho Bijoya. Glad that even after those misadventures you had fun. Personally I think a trip needs small incidents like these for us to remember them for a long long time.

Tell me more about Udaipur. Never been there.

newsgroups said...

Hi Butterfly!
Pfju, how a holiday was saved. I think you have been lucky that you were not stuck in that bus and could change your plans.
But to wait for two hours (on your holiday) seems nerve-racking to me too. What did you do all the time? I guess you had your nose in a book. Am I right? Did you have a place to sit down? And what did your parents do? Chatting with others around?
Another question: why do you talk about ‘cutting the tickets’? Is it different than buying them?
About carrying suitcases in trains, don’t tell me! When I travel from The Hague to Amsterdam, I have to change trains at Amsterdam Airport. And there, many people with suitcases board. They are always having difficulties with those things.
And now you are back to school, I guess! Have nice days!

R said...

Yeah, small disappointments make memorable trips. :-)

Butterfly said...

Subho Bijoya.:-) I had sent an sms to you...don't know whether you received it or not as you didn't reply. I also sent you a diwali sms. Has your number changed?

Udaipur is very near to Talshari; takes about twenty mintues to reach the place from Talshari. While the river is more prominent in Talshari, Udaipur is beautiful for the sea. The sea beach is a bit dirty but the sea is lovely.:-)You'll like the place...

You're actually right. :-) I was reading a book, 'The Hungry Tide' by Amitav Ghosh during those two hours. Yes, there was a place to sit on a bench of an office of the Mounted Police in Kolkata. Actually, the buses leave from the place in front of the police camp. My father was pacing about nervously while my mother was flipping through the pages of a magazine. They were also chatting with the other passengers...

And, I made a common error when I wrote about 'cutting' tickets. 'Buying', as you say,is the correct term. I have to get rid of this error...:-/

Yes, school's on now!

I agree with you and Dada in this matter. :-)