Hello friends, as I told you earlier that we went to Bhagalpur during Puja holidays, which is a good 10 hour journey by road, from Kolkata. A stop journey was planned midway to beat the fatigue of such a long drive. Two rooms in a guest house of West Bengal State Irrigation Department was booked, in Shiuri, a five hour’s drive. I was a bit apprehensive about it being in a secluded place (I practically dread the lonely places, lest they are infested with zombies!!).
After starting in the morning, we reached Shiuri by late afternoon. When our car entered the precinct of the Irrigation Department area, I sat up straight with curiosity(erstwhile I was dozing off in the back seat). Getting the directions our car at last entered through the gate of the guesthouse . My furtive eyes looked around, the heart fearful.
The lush green trees of different varieties inside the compound, sparkling in the bright sunlight, immediately distracted my mind from the fact that there was only a watchman, manning the guesthouse and we were the only guests!
There are so many movies replete with stories of haunted guesthouses and a lonely watchman that my heart sank with the prospect of spending the night there. But thankfully the residence quarters were visible from there and the presence of inhabitants nearby was quite a reassurance! I must tell you that, this time round, we were only three, me, hubby and my son. My daughter couldn’t make the trip as she didn’t get the weeklong leave from her internship duties.
The two rooms allotted to us were cozy with an old world charm emanating from them. With a quick refreshing shower and having a tasty lunch, duely packed by our cook early in the morning, I decided to explore the place with son in tow. My husband being engaged in completing the paperwork with the caretaker.
I felt a sense of calm and nourishment to my soul, while walking through the resplendent greenary, the twitters of birds felt like chorus of music to my ears. I asked my son to capture the beauty of the place for your viewing afterwards. You know, after starting this blog I have developed a tendecy to relate to you whatever new and interesting happening around me! I’m enclosing the photos for your viewing.
In evening, we decided to explore the town. Amidst the Puja revelry all around, my fears of spending the night in the lonely guesthouse took a back seat. After thoroughly soaking up the ambience of the place, we had our dinner in a restaurant called Thek, which in Bengali means the place of adda or hanging out with friends. The food was good and we enjoyed our stay there.
Returning back on foot through the night time was another surreal experience for us. The quietness, calling of insects and twinkling glowworms across the trees in the darkness of the night were absolutely novel for the city folks like us. We had booked two rooms for the night. But coming to it, I remained adamant to the last, on my decision that my grown-up son of nineteen would spend the night in our room. I had to turn deaf ears to their pleas and simple logic of convenience.
Afterall my peace of mind was at stake! There were two separate single beds in each room. Despite his vigorous protest of being old enough to sleep alone in another room, I wasn’t prevailed on. Consequently my son was compelled to sleep in one bed and another single bed was taken up by me and my husband. My logic was in case of any eventuality( like visitation by zombies, etc.), we could at least fight together.
As expected, I had to spend most part of the night wide awake, lest I encroache on my husband’s area of sleep. He had to drive for long, the very next day afterall! It felt like sharing a sleeping berth on long distance train. My ears always straining for any strange sound apart from steady whirring of AC. The awareness of being alone in the bunglow, the caretaker being at the outhouse, kept my senses in heightened alertness preventing my eyes, drooping to sleep.
The sun atlast decided to show its dear face and I got up with a huge sigh of relief thanking God for an event free night! I quietly slipped out of the room for another exploration of the garden. In the morning light everything looked so inviting and peaceful. The leisurely stroll amidst the pristine greenary was absolutely divine. I felt a kind of connection with the mother nature. I inhaled cooler and cleaner morning breeze, feeling rejuvinated, all the scare of last night evaporating from my mind. A sense calm and fulfillment swaying through it, instead.
In the next hour or so we were all ready and on the road towards our destination that was Bhagalpur. Friends in less than 24 hours of our stay in Shiuri we collected so many myriad memories, went through so many conflicting emotions that it will remain etched in my memory forever.
Thanks for reading. Wish you all, health and happiness.
Adieu for now.