Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Gypsy Route - Part 1

travelling and i are unseparable entities. i recall more of transitions than rooted living, to be nonchalantly bland about it. yet i cant deny the thrill to sit in a vehicle, with a bag packed and setting out for yet another unknown.

i recall my maiden visit as an adult with monk to upper assam in may 2006. the last time i went to upper assam was in 1984 . i was a kid back then too young to recall, except for lots of water around.

we set out at half past nine, with the sun quite fiercely heating our car, full of many bags and cases, from guwahati with a close kin. quite defeated lay our lofty ambitions of leaving right post sunrise but how do you battle eye pricking soporify, especially after a very late night tete-e-tete. our driving route was via jagi road, kaziranga & nogaon to and then further the moran teas estate. may is unforgiving in assam. humid and can be claustrophobic. qahn mehm our spirits were as high as perhaps was sukaphaa's , the first ahum king who annexed the Brahamaputra Valley.

we stopped at Jagiroad for tea. tea in assam is like no where else. obviously. what with singara and sondes it was pute delight. even monk's ever afflicted digestive tracks could not dare to rebel. the insides gurgled with such gastronomic salutations. we knew what awaited us. more and more sumptuous delights!! the sun also decided to add his bit to the enthusiasm. he beat stronger!

the monk and the kin took turns to drive. 27 Club gave company. with every mile covered, different sceneries unfolded. dense forrests would give away to open wide paddy fields. the terrain would be at times winding mountainous bits and at other times, plain tarred straight roads. never as wide as other highways in the country. but surprisingly for a rainy area, not tyre tearing either. and still the black palio kept averaging a cool 70kph. we soon entered kaziranga.

kaziranga, a national wildlife sanctuary. the home to the rare one horn rhinos in the whole world and many species of flora and fauna. one of the mnay prides of assam. we continued through the thick of it all , scanning the hoirizon for a fluke rhino sighting. we spotted wild buffaloes and hyenas but rhinos decided to allude. a little dampener but the solace lay with the fact that we were not there for a jungle safari. we were just passing through. so may be thats why the proud sluggish creatures had no reason to show themselves. we continued with rekindled spirit towards jorhat. monk's maternal home.

we stopped on our way in another highway side restaurant. basic in its amenities. it served the purpose of stretching, hydrating, bladder relieving and reiterating the might of the fierce may sun!!! we hit the road again after we took some innocuous pictures.

talking, swearing, laughing, drifting and hydrating , our journey thus continued through reserved areas like karbi, a special tribal area. we passed by semi dense forrests where poeple had set up resorts. the palm and thatch variety that are so famous in kerela and as unsung in assam. it thrilled me that such a lovely place was offering good resorts to stay for a while.

we soon entered nagaon. famous for its simple assamese food we so longed for some lunch. however paucity of time stopped us from doing do! monk's aged was waiting for us for lunch and we were not really making it on time. so just passing through this strategic place, we continued our onward journey.

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