Well, the journey started on 7th December, when we, Arkaprabha Khan, Manish Singh, Milind Pincha, Pallav Singh and Shashi Bhashkara, boarded Garib Rath from Ranchi Railway Station for New Delhi. The travel was going fine until we realized the train has been delayed by more than 9 hours. We had to reschedule our itinerary and boarding the night bus to Jaipur, we reached our Destination early in the morning of 9th December, 2015. After the formalities of our stay were completed, we slept in a room that was going to be our home for about a month.
By morning, we thought not to waste time sleeping and planned to visit the Amer Fort. We did face toils initially but gradually adjusted to the atmosphere of Jaipur. People, we found were very helpful and whenever it came to helping a tourist or a stranger in the town, they left no stone unturned in lending a helping hand. The visit to Amer was enthralling, as it gave a break to the two day long experience of travel and travel. The Fort with its vast Historical Background had some of the most amazing spots inside. While exploring the fort, we got to visualize the living conditions and the living conditions of the inhabitants. Richness oozed out from every nook and corner of the Quila and the beauty of the Gardens was nonpareil! It took more than half the day to completely explore the Fort and still, we were in a fix whether any part of the labyrinth-like fort was left. Though we had much to gain, but unfortunately on the very first day of the trip, I had the glass of my wrist watch shattered in pieces. We hadn’t seen so many pigeons in our whole life, in fact the lanes of Jaipur are incomplete without a healthy attendance of pigeons.
After the Lunch, we had an adventurous walk up to the Jai Garh Fort, which houses the world’s biggest fighting tank. It also had the Museum where we learnt about the past of Jaipur and its rulers and their contributions in making Jaipur. Though Chacha attempted to reach the Fort through the underground tunnel from Amer, but the info was somewhat misleading and his excitement deteriorated thereafter. We had some amazing tales there which would have been unpalatable without the inclusion of Chacha. Exhausted by the daylong escapade, we took the bus back to our hostel with memories packed in the Memory Cards and planned to have a tight sleep. While walking back to the hostel, we encountered a banquet hall hosting a marriage ceremony. Few of us were the ones, who had never been to such parties without being invited, so we decided to intrude. If I am not mistaken, it was the 25th occasion of intrusion for Pallav, who felt proud throughout the party while we talked about uncles and aunts in the party and baked our possible escape story if caught. Well, we were old and decent enough not to get involved in any such incidents and the tiresome journey of the day got perfect treatment as we devoured the sumptuous Marwari dishes. I don’t remember when we slept that night but that first night, we had the best slumber.
We woke up at 4:30 in the morning; we had to catch the 6 o’clock train to Ajmer. It was too early for Jaipur and far too early for an engineering student to wake up at that hour! We bathed as we were to visit the Holy Shrine of Ajmer Sharif. Well, we reached the station when the train was leaving the platform and luckily we boarded the train and got ample seat to sit and enjoy the journey. We walked to the Shrine and offered Chaddar at the Dargah of Khwaja Garib Nawaj. We sat there, meditated, wished and savoured the Sufi songs sung live by the followers. We then headed to a famous Jain Temple where we were denied entrance on the grounds of religion. After our brunch, we sailed to Pushkar to visit the one and only temple of the Creator Lord Brahma where we prayed and had a glimpse of the infinite stretch of desert. It was the kind of Rajasthan, we used to study in our texts. Taking the Government Bus back to Ajmer, we returned back to Jaipur. We boarded the Jaipur Metro for the first time to reach home. We had dinner in the same way as it was on the last day. We had started liking the way it was to intrude and devour the Marwari meal at Banquet Halls. Once we were nearly caught in a family gathering that we mistook for a Wedding Ceremony yet we ate the ‘Naturals’ and fled unnoticed.
The formal classes started today and we were introduced to our batch that consisted mostly of BITians. We were enthused by the speech of Vimal Daga and Preeti to such extent that we decided to take an extra course from the Institute. The decision, later on, was proved to be a blunder and we were left with nothing but regret. Nonetheless, we got the message from the incident to never trust such people. That day the institute promised to bring about a change in us after the course was over; well, we haven’t experienced the slightest change till now.
The classes were scheduled at the last moment and the message never reached us in time! As usual we used to be more than half an hour late for the class and everyday we had to crave for seats. We had with us our oldest fellow, Chacha who understood that those lectures and classes would lead to nowhere and utilized his time in making use of the internet facility provided by the Institute and downloaded whatever he was addicted to. Later on when the Reliance JioCom was discovered, it would be his choicest center to hangout for the rest of the days and enjoy the free WiFi being provided at fine speed. Sometimes, we accompanied him too and made good use of the service!
Meanwhile we visited The Hawa Mahal, The City Palace, The Jantar Mantar, Nahargarh Fort, The Albert Hall Museum, The Central Park, Birla Mandir and Chandpole, where we had loads of fun and adventure. Jaipur was too big to explore in so less time but we made it possible despite having classes at odd hours.
On the midnight of the New Year’s Eve, we had nothing to do, absolutely nothing, nor were we slightly enthusiastic about welcoming a new year. We just yelled as the midnight struck and witnessed one of the most spectacular nights of lifetime. The following day we were invited by the institute for the Gala New Year Party where we danced and celebrated the coming year by reminiscing the bygone yarns of our stay at Jaipur. During the day, we slept and watched ‘Devdas’. It was the last night for us to explore Jaipur and suddenly, a feeling of attachment started growing for the place. It is the time of departure that is the most painful of all. We had the packing done and all we had to do was to attend the last formal session of Vimal Daga and to be felicitated by the Certificate of Participation. The speech of Daga had the same persuasion as it had in his Welcome Speech, but this time we were neither influenced nor paying heed to whatever the shit he was delivering. We gave our honest reviews for the Institute and were happy that we were leaving the Institute for good. Our faces were brimming over with life and laughter as we came out of the cage.
Jaipur is undoubtedly the place of palaces, magnificent and beautiful ones. How can we forget the visit to the India’s famous and one of the oldest Raj Mandir Cinema Hall to watch ‘Bajirao Mastani’. It was overwhelming to watch a movie of such class at a place of such class. Our very own Chacha made his Cinema Hall debut by this movie and throughout the film, he was awestruck by the magnanimity of the screen and the hall. We visited theMcDonalds India, Jaipur and for the first time in my life, I ate Burger at McD. It was delicious.
Throughout our journey from our Hostel at Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India to Jaipur, Udaipur and Delhi, we never missed a thing – TA. Whenever we got chance(we got everywhere) to see a Jibran/Jibrauni, we TAed there and it was really fun.
We reached Udaipur in the chilling morning of 3rd January and were escorted to an affordable hotel by the Autowalah. Udaipur seemed to be a tourist place only on paper or for those who could afford it. For middle class people like us, it was nothing more than an ordinary place. We roamed around till the last point our ticket could lead us to. We saw toy train from not more than few feet and sat to retrospect our journey in the park. Back to Hotel, while I packed to leave for my Uncle’s place, they packed to sleep! We haven’t slept on a mattress for almost a month now and we wanted to feel the difference that day itself. My Uncle’s place was some 70km far from where they stayed. I was seeing him after 9 years. In these 9 years, he has got married and had a cute and intelligent son. My Grandfather and Grandmother too has gathered there and I had a good time there! The second day at Udaipur, they checked out of the hotel and explored rest of the city while I talked to my Grannies throughout the day, learning things about life and spirituality. We reassembled in the night train to Delhi at Mawli station had really tough time sleeping and spending the night with a Punjabi Paaji vomiting hell lot of abuses for us, when we reached the height of foolish amusement. We dreamt of reaching our home safe and sound. We were, now, bored of so much of travelling and missed everything, food, sleep, affection…
Delhi is always ready with its heart to welcome. We had some 8 hours to spend in Delhi, so we thought to utilize it in visiting few places of tourist attraction. As suggested by my Uncle, we took a Daily Travel Card for Delhi Metro and travelled to Qutub Minar, then to the sylvan serene Lotus Temple. Most of our time went in commutation but Metro served a big helping hand in it! At last we had plans for the Akshardham Temple, but calculating the crowd of pilgrims there, we decided to refrain back to New Delhi Railway Station. Arko kept waiting for us and we got our luggage back from the Cloak room. We ran to catch the train and as we bade farewell to the month-long extravaganza, we were both excited and nostalgic at the same time. We could never forget the days that we spent there, a complete month away from home all by ourselves and nobody to take care of. It was an experience worth having and we faced all the obstacles that came in our way bravely and smartly. It was during these days that we learnt that Nature is the Best friend of man. Though its not possible to inscribe all the memories in words and that too after a month of returning, I have tried my label best to recall the days and to keep it safe for the days to come! I am sure, when we would be reading this after some years, we would laugh and cry.
We reached Ranchi safe on 6th January, 2016 and hence, concluded our sojourn.