BIHAR – A TRIBUTE!

“Not much talked about, not well known, yet it feels better than home!”

February 11, 2011! It came as a bolt from the blue, my father’s transfer order. From Chandigarh to Patna, a shockwave it was, which drowned in itself the joy of his promotion, and what surfaced was stark horror! It is in such times, when you curse God for being so unfair, forgetting that “what happens, happens only for good. And so it was. Until a year back, I had nothing even remotely positive to associate with this change. Perceiving a situation as to where I would look forward to my each and every trip this side, the thought was revolting. One couldn’t imagine that this would turn out to be one unforgettable experience. I have this friend of mine who was bewildered and remarked, “I still can’t understand how come you’re so excited about spending your vacations in Bihar.” One nincompoop, she must have taken me to be. Well, I sincerely hope this write up will satiate her curiosity. Natch, I do not blame her. Bihar?? With such pious loyalty do we follow our revered media that on hearing names such as these, apprehension is what strikes us first. Only once we do away with those preconceived notions, and follow our own instincts would we discover the hospitality this part of India can offer us. Beginning with state capital of Patna, formerly known as Patliputra, well it was a big relief for me and my sister, when we spotted Dominoes on our first visit here. Relaxed we were, on our little achievement. From tourism point of view, it is one accomplished state. From all the Bharat Darshan I have done in all these 19years of my existence, and believe you me, I am just left with 2 Indian states, Bihar has a lot to offer to tourists, and specially to lovers of History. Be it the picturesque excavated remains of the Nalanda University, or the magnificent Bodhi Temple at Bodhgaya, it is certainly a paradise for a passionate historyman. And who says, shopping is a fuss here? To hell with those concrete jungles termed as malls, for here you will find in its original form The Bhagalpuri Silk, offering you the most elegant pieces of suits and sarees, you’ll ever set your eyes on. With such exquisite clothing, why would accessories be far behind? Oh boi! I have never worn bangles all my life, but the famous bangles of Muzzaffarpur were hard even for a person like me to resist. And now something which stole my attention : The Bihar Yoga University at Munger. I have no words to describe the serene life I got to witness over there, and am still after my dad to let me spend atleast a week in that pristine ashram. History books have ample evidence that Bihar has been a spot for pilgrimages, which I can only second after having paid visits to the renowned Patna Sahib Gurudwara, the Jal Mandir at Pavapuri on the outskirts of Patna, the beautiful monasteries at Bodh Gaya, Vishnu temple at Gaya, Ashoka Stambh at Vaishali, Rajgir and I still am clueless as to where to stop. Oh, I guess I was missing something of prime importance; Food- A Punjabi’s forte! Every culture has its own delicacies, and what little we can do is just relish what is offered to us. From litti-chokha and sattoo, to aaloo bhujiya and parwal, it was a pleasant cultural change. Interestingly enough, the jalebi’s I used to relish as an evening delight is eaten here as breakfast with curd in the morning. The countless Jackfruit(kathal) and tempting lichi and banana trees en route to Muzzaffarpur were a sight not to be missed. And the makhanas at Darbhanga, lets just modestly put it as, one could munch them to away to glory.  I am not polishing this little travelogue with negativity on the much talked about law and order situation, the conspicuous unmaintained roads and chaotic conditions , for isn’t it better to utilize this blessing of sight which God has endowed upon us for appreciating the beauty of a place, why disrespect it by criticizing which we everyday do?

When it comes to describing the magnificence of this vast land, however good a writer one maybe, they cannot capture its essence in totality by the use of mere words. You will certainly have to pay a visit to either affirm my perception or refute it.

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