Thursday, February 17, 2011

waking up at Chandigarh to find life

To be able to explain how landed up in Chandigarh is beyond my own comprehension. Like every adventure or journey, there was not only hardship that which I traveled along with but also there are plenty of sweet memories.   I stepped forward to cross the indo- Bhutan border (Phunsholing and Jaigoan ), the town strewn with various kinds of people with different purposes in life. It made me scared to be in the middle of crowd that has nothing like a safe identity but a scary desolation. With the hope of being gifted with what is the best thing that happened in my life, I began my journey with a gust of confidence and pound of fortunes. You can never be blessed more than waking up to see the gold piece left on your table for you to live up with and enjoy with.
Most of the things in life which are exciting or even strange are those which happen for the first time.
I have never been on the train before until I landed up sharing the compartment with whole lot of people familiar with those in the border areas. But all of them spoke Hindi something beyond my understanding and not-quite-like Nepali which I usually conversed with vendors and shopkeepers while in Phuntsholing.  I never spoke a word with people in the train and it ended with me acting dumb. Of course I knew few basic words of conversing enough to lead myself comfortably. “Should have watched more Hindi movies and soups when I had the chances”
New Delhi, capital city of India, with over population beyond numbers, heard about it but never seen it, and I was apparently lost amidst of whole lot of moving vehicles and hurrying people.  The hot sunny day was enough to put into water numerous times. I could see kids selling juices and cold drinks, but with luggage in hand and being in unfamiliar city, my consciousness kind of held me back to remain until I figure out something to move about. There were no sense of direction, nor was there any clear idea of where I should be heading to. And from nowhere an auto driver stopped in front of me and asked me in English, “Hello Sir, where going? I drop you.” Even before I could figure out what’s happening around me, few of them wearing faded blue dress, gathered around asking the same question. Some of them even started quoting the fares.
Never trust any stranger in India, was what my brother told me before I was leaving for India. So much for the experience of mine, it was more than difficult and confusing to not to actually get befooled-yes, I boarded on the auto rickshaw and the funniest thing was the auto rickshaw (stranger) asking me to not to trust any stranger. They beguile you and would end up swindling you of your money and goods. But I have to bank on my own instincts (which were more than vague and unclear) about the boarding. He took me to Bus stand and looked for a bus towards Chandigarh. The guy happened to be a good person. I felt happy, and it didn’t really bother me whether he actually cheated me on the fare.  I thanked him with little more extra money on the actual fare.
“Bye, Bhutan Dost.”
Going by my brother’s cautionary words, I would have been extra careful while traveling in bus also, but then, I couldn’t let myself act active and awake in the bus that which traveled with many extra passengers. You can imagine, me holding my entire luggage and trying to protect myself from the barging of other fellow passengers. It didn’t really matter whether I got sandwiched in the foul smelling bodies of people on board. After few distances, bus started to become clean and spacious that I woke up after few hours to be welcomed by the signage which read; WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL CITY OF CHANDIGARH. My luggage s were still in my grips.
Chandigarh, joint capital of Haryana and Punjab was surprisingly clean and empty compared to Delhi. With fewer vehicles, it was much calmer. The city appeared well maintained and disciplined. Delhi was haphazard.
Now that I am finally in Chandigarh to continue my education, I was more perplexed and worried at that particular moment. I was happy and relieved inside, but where do I head now? What do I do? How do I begin? I was getting lost after having reached Chandigarh. This is crazy, I thought looking at the twilight of day. Sun was already behind to usher the night. I finally, though, did manage to get a hotel to spend a night.
Early next morning, in an auto rickshaw, I started looking around for the college. It was a very hard time to find admission in good college. Everybody has to get through on merit basis.  Nobody was there to help me. It was my saddest moment. But luck didn’t write me off completely. When I reached DAV college, I found a group of student talking in sharchopkha in front of the principal office.  I didn’t hesitate to ask “Na bu su gara, Bhutan lay eena, la?” One of them replied with a smiling face, “Een wai nga chi gara Bhutan lay ee.”
They were scholarships fund by government of Bhutan. They too have their share to explain how they travelled and how difficult it was for them initially to find college in Chandigarh. But they said its beautiful place to study and environment really good compared to other state. It was lucky for me to have met them. I had my admission done very easily through their help.  Karma, final year student is one of them who really helped for everything and his friend Sonam Wangdi took me to his room. Today I am glad to these guys for everything.

PS: My personal experience while traveling through India....  

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