Friday, October 16, 2009

Its Rocking!

As the bus started moving, I waved my hands even more eagerly at my parents. They waved back at me. Then, slowly, they started disappearing from my view...From that moment, began my life's first out-of-station tour without my parents. Not being able to see them anymore from the bus windows that day, things seemed a bit uncertain to me. But, as I moved further and further away from home, I discovered a new kind of joy...

Every year, the Class XII students of only the Humanities stream of our school are taken for an excursion. This year, it was our turn. :-) The 25 odd students(20 girls and 5 boys) of our class were taken to Adra in Purulia distirct of West Bengal. There were five teachers with us. In the first paragraph above, I have described how I had felt when we had started off for the tour from our school in a bus. But, gradually, everything looked very bright. We all enjoyed our journey immensely. Some of my classmates were singing, some were enjoying the view outside while others were just gossiping. After some time, I felt that being among these people for the next three days, will mean a lot of fun. After all, a trip with one's school buddies, while being at school, comes hardly once in a lifetime!

I and my closest friends in this class, Shreyasi, Amrita and Rinita, had occupied seats at the back of the bus. In fact, quite a few seats were empty and so, we kept on changing our places.After a six-hour journey, we reached Adra past 3 p.m. There, we entered the community hall of the South Eastern Railways which would be our home there. It was late and we weren't even allowed to wash our hands properly so that we could have our lunch as soon as possible! The food was good and much better than our expectations. There was rice, dal, potato fries, fish curry and even chutney. Adjoining the community hall were a few dormitories and toilets. We entered the biggest, but stuffy dormitory ,which had been allotted to the girls and selected our beds. There were around twelve mattresses arranged on the floor with bedsheets and pillows. After resting for a short while, everyone again started getting ready to go to the place where tusser handloom works are made. Our teachers were pleased as we got ready on time. First, we had to walk through the town of Adra to reach the autorickshaw stand. Everyone(no exceptions here) in the town was staring at us as we walked as if they had never seen so many people(or girls) together before. At the stand, four autorickshaws were hired and we went to the tusser handloom shops. The autorickshaws there are also different and I, along with my three friends, occupied the back seat, which is almost like the back seat of a Tata Sumo car.

As it was evening already, the place where the tusser sarees and other clothes are made, was closed. But, a man at one of the shops selling the handlooms, offered to explain to us, the process by which the clothes are woven. It was an interesting session, at the end of which we returned to the community hall. The return journey was spooky as the road was completely dark, with thick outgrowths of bushes on either side and the occasional flashes of lightning gave brief glimpses of excellent hiding places for anything and anybody among those bushes...Later that evening, a few of my classmates sang to the music of one of our teacher's synthesizer. The songs that they chose were those sentimental ones that talk about friendship and everyone seemed to listen dreamily. But, after dinner( rice/chapati with egg curry), the dreams ended temporarily for me as I didn't get a wink of sleep at night because of various reasons. I tried hard but the circumstances didn't let me sleep even after the day's long journey...

We were supposed to start getting ready by 4.30 the next morning and I was among the first people to do so. Later on, I borrowed one of our teachers' cellphones and called my parents. I narrated the happenings of the previous night to my father but, as soon as I heard my mother's voice, I burst into tears. I still don't know why I did something so silly...Not having slept the night before, I was also feeling sick and decided to skip breakfast. Things began to look up again as I slept a bit in the bus on our way to Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, a two-hour ride from Adra. It was there that we worked on our project. We were shown around the Loco Fabrication and Assembly Shops by two guides. It was a unique experience and we saw how a complete engine is made after the assembling of its different parts and the construction of its body. Questions were also posed to the employees about the plant itself and about their own living conditions. Besides the plant,the Chittaranjan township itself is also huge and we had lunch at one of the restaurants there. That, according to me, was the worst meal we had during the whole tour. By that time, I had already shaken off the morning's disappointment and sickness because we had all worked together at Chittaranjan and the cooperation had lifted my mood again...

We returned to Adra in the early hours of the evening and afterwards, had a blast at the campfire. Everyone danced in a circle around the fire and there were individual performances also. Each and everyone was in great spirits and even the teachers joined in the dance! The dinner that night was also very good , considering that there was mutton. But, at night, with our teacher's permission, my three friends and I shifted to the stage in the hall for sleeping. We took our mattresses and pillows there and the place was surprisingly a lot cooler than our dormitory. We had to use blankets and didn't even need the fan after a while. We had a deep and good night's sleep.

On the third and final day, we bid goodbye to Adra and headed for Maithon. Maithon is a lovely place with grren hills and a calm river. We also saw the famous dam at Maithon and took lots of pictures. The lunch, again, was not so good but we had a good time in the park adjoining the hotel where we took our food. On the way back to Kolkata, the bus stopped at Shaktigarh. This time, we all bought the famous sweets of Shaktigarh for our parents. But, after leaving Shaktigarh and crossing Dankuni, another important place, we heard a massive sound and also saw a spark. Some people thought at first that Maoists had attacked the bus! Thankfully though, it was just a burst tyre. We were forced to get down from the bus and wait on the highway as the tyre was being replaced. But, even that was fun! I guess, that happened because there were so many of us together. Otherwise, being in a group of three or four and being forced to halt in the middle of a highway and watching daylight fade to give way to evening,definitely wouldn't have been a funny experience...

When the bus again entered the school premises at around 7.30 that evening, we saw our anxious parents waiting. I was delighted to see my parents again and enter my home again although I had been away from them for just three days. But, those three days had been entirely different from all other days of my life and had provided a rich and lively experience .In addition, it had also brought new thoughts to my mind; thoughts which have still not stopped intriguing me. Yet, one common feeling that all my classmates and I share about the excursion is that , 'Its Rocking!'

p.s. I couldn't upload pictures today because of some stupid error. Will try to upload them in the next post.:-)


Woodsmoke said...

Congratulations on your first grown-up trip. Even greater congratulations will be in order when you come to the US independently to see me.
Looking forward to chatting in length about the trip. Take care.

Butterfly said...

US...Whoa!There's a long long time left before that happens. But,if I indeed go some day, you'll be the inspiration behind it.:-)

Sudhir said...

hiiiiiiiii...nice n cute write up..thought to follow ur blogs..follower column missing !!

newsgroups said...

Nice report of your trip!
Going on a trip with your classmates is fun. Especially when you know your classmates for quite some time. Here trips are often arranged at the beginning of a new school year: 'To get each other to know'. But my feeling is that then the trip's not half of the fun as when you go at a time you know your classmates better.
Anyway, I keep good memories of nearly all my schooltrips. Good memories, which last forever.

I usually couldn't get to sleep the first night too. Feeling too much excited and being full of awareness for the strange environment around me, I couldn't get to rest. So that might have been the case with you too.

Out of bed at 4:30 the next morning! What an unearthly time to get up!

What a joke with the bursting tire! Something to tell to the rest of the school. Yes, when being in a big group, and knowing that some capable men are taking care of the situation, the trouble is fading away totally.

Wondering what the thoughts are you are overthinking, and looking out for your pictures.



R said...

I want a school trip again :-(
been so long! damn..

Butterfly said...

Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Yeah, a trip cannot be fun unless you know your companions well.
Well, my sleeplessness wasn't exactly because of excitement. No matter how excited I was, I was tired as well. But, I just want to forget those reasons because I want to keep the good memories with me.:-)

4.30 is very unearthly, for me, at least. But,during the trip, it didn't feel so unearthly.

Ha Ha!You should have come with us this time.:-)

Muralidhar said...

I was born and brought up in Adra (the spooky place according to you :-) I do hope that your trip to Adra was satisfactory. Alas, you missed Mohanpura (called manpura by natives) jungle and Joychandi pahar. These are the places worth visiting. Hope next time when you visit Adra you will go to these places

Butterfly said...

Hi :-)
Well, we did visit Joychondi Paharh. But,this was a short school trip. So, it wasn't possible to visit the other places you have mentioned. In future, if I visit Adra, I'll make sure I go to these places.