Sunday, September 25, 2011

The journey back

Next day I started off on the return journey. A long 53 hour journey from Guwahati to Mumbai. Due to the summer rush I was unable to get a reservation in the AC coach. So it was to be 53 hours in mid-April in a non-AC compartment! Wasn't as bad as I had feared it to be :)

Cross country train travel is a nice experience. Every couple of hours the landscape changes, new hawkers pass by, new snacks to try out. And during the day a large number of ticketless travelers come onboard for their daily 1-2 hours commute. Innumerable haggles over their occupation of the reserved seats.

I am safely perched on my top berth. Enjoying the scenes around without any threat to my territory. 53 hours is a long time! Spent most of the time either reading Godfather or reflecting back on the trip that was. The interesting people I met...

SR, a software engineer from Chennai who had quit his job and planned to spend the whole summer in the hills, away from the heat, writing code for a proprietory software which he hopes to monetise. Good luck SR!

J and P, two girls from France who had come back to Pelling on their own expense to see how the projects they had initiated at a local school as a part of a volunteering program a couple of years were faring. Hats off!

A vet couple from Germany who were so much in love with India, that they come here every 6 months. Their professional duties do not permit them to travel more than 3-4 weeks at a stretch. This was their third trip to India!

Niranta, who at the same age has me, had managed to transform a village of poachers into passionate nature protectors, even standing up to the army when the situation required!

The happy-go-lucky people of Sikkim, the laid back people of Bhutan. They probably live in much tougher conditions than most  people I know but their happiness shows!

To round off the trip, here are a few more pictures from the trip

Later many people asked whether the northeast is safe to visit. For the places that I visited I can surely say there is only one thing to fear here... the possibility that you may want to stay there all your life and never return back home :)

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