I had been to Jharkhand few years back. I decided that until really compelling circumstances come around, I won’t repeat that trip or anything similar. They say it right when they say ‘never say never’.
So Bihar happened last week. It was volunteer travel opportunity for a rural livelihoods innovation project. Don’t ask me why I agreed to it, knowing it was Bihar, not the place I ever fascinated visiting. I was probably PMSing and must have thought Bihar would anyday be better than that. Or whatever. I just said ‘fine’ with a sigh. And mark it, it wasn’t just Patna, there was Nalanda, Champaran, Gopaljanj, Bhojpur and Chhapra. To sum all the generic highlights of the trip- 1000 kms on road over 4 days, 6 districts, litti-chokha, pedas, Bhojpuri songs, trial Bihari conversations, ‘dehati’ Bihari mutton, endless drives through countryside, Thawe temple, ‘jungle baba’ ki Samadhi, shady Gopalganj hotel (the Descent types from Jab We Met, since it is the best you can get in the city, you can’t even complain), the feel of Nalanda, the famous ‘khaja’ (reminded me of the lines from andher nagri, chaupat raja), Valmiki forest, inspiring young men and women and the list is endless.
So in these 5 days and so many hours, and so many miles and places, that one moment happened when I met Babloo Yadav (merely 23-24 he must be). It was no less melodramatic. I was in the degree college in West Champaran district in a classroom for a volunteer recruitment session. And in comes this gang of Bihar dudes, led by a skinny jeans clad guy wearing Chinese aviators and headphones plugged in. I just stopped talking and looked at him, while he stared back piercingly and took off his goggles. Now what do I say about Yadav Ji’s personality. You only know it when you meet him. ‘Dude’ the woh, the tone when he said “Babloo Yadav from Bihar maddam. Le lijiye haemin.. woh sab hamein nahi naah pata, but ho jaayega, aap pareshaan naa hi hoyiye”. He definitely beat all that I had heard about the typical Delhi guy till date. He epitomized Bihar for me.
For all the awesome food that I stuffed in my face, and the fun I had, but specially for having met ‘Babloo Yadav Ji’, I say whoever wrote this one week in my life, kiss your hands !!
PS: I rejected Babloo Yadav in the interview. Unka heartwaa tod diya !! 😛 And I am sure you are left wondering whether I fell for Babloo Yadav or hated him. So am I 🙂