So after quite some time I sit down to pen down the third part of my blog……hope all of you find it equally good as the previous two………so let’s get set and go…..

Days in Agartala were passing on. Found good friends, roommates. By the time I had left home I was a pretty bulky guy, but the first few days of college made me loose a substantial amount of weight. Hostel food used to be quite good, typical Bengali dishes, fish used to be served every second day! It used to rain every day, I had never seen so much of rainfall and people used to say that it was raining less that particular year, in fact there was deficit of 15%!!  The sun used to rise pretty early in the morning for Tripura is further east. Sometimes it used to be out as early as 4:45a.m., well, I never woke up that early, but friends told me so. 🙂 The Bangladesh standard time is +6:00 hrs GMT; differs from IST by half an hour. So, Tripura’s time zone matches with that of Bangladesh, but it being a part of Indian union, IST is followed. Massive construction activity was taking place, many hostels were being built and most of the contracts were won by Andhra companies, so there was no dearth of Telugu speaking people! Huge campus, intimidating seniors and pretty girls, was my interpretation of the college!! Due to variety of reasons, which if elaborated would engulf this blog, classes continued to be postponed indefinitely.  Occasionally we used to go to the main city of Agartala for it was 22km from the campus. In the vicinity of the campus were the headquarters of the Tripura State Rifles, which gave me a hell lot of confidence!!   The city was a communist strong hold, so one could see their trademark red flags bearing the symbol of a sickle and star everywhere. Contrary to the general perception, it was quite a safe place to live, people were friendly. Finally got a SIM card and eagerly gave the number to everyone. I expected to get many calls, but………  Occasionally friends back home made a call to me; from the conversations I could make out that most of them felt that I was living in exile!!

As mentioned earlier we had choice of upgrading our college, I was eagerly waiting for the results all those days, used to make call to my friends who were in other colleges about any information regarding results. No one had a fair idea. By the time everyone had forgot about it, one fine evening the results came out as a shell shock. GPRS in mobiles was the only sort of instant messenger. One by one we checked our results and most of us had a change in our allotment, changes varied from intra-college branch slides to inter-college changes. I was no exception and was allotted NIT Silchar, Assam. Well, I really didn’t know how to react as for me Assam was no different than Tripura! Informed my parents and they seemed to be rather pleased. I didn’t want to trouble them anymore, so I took a somewhat bold decision that I would manage everything on my own. We were given only 5 days to report. Lot of things needed to be done and the time was too short. First two days passed by, trying to find out the different means to reach Silchar and selecting the best one. Well, there were only two ways, one via bus and the other via train. Collected all the certificates deposited with the college. Six guys including me had the same allotment. Two of us decided to take the rail route. The night before leaving seniors interacted with us, seriously, for one last time.

So, I bid adieu to Agartala, had some unforgettable experiences and enjoyed a lot. I never had imagined that what lay ahead would be even more adventurous!! Close friends accompanied us to the station. The nearest railway station to the college was at Jirania. From the outset it looked like a small holiday resort. Silchar was about 350km from Agartala, there was a direct train and the other was to go to Badarpur which is 50km away from Silchar and reach it by any other means. Now, if you are thinking that everything, reservation, trains are like the rest of the country, then you are absolutely wrong. The route was narrow gauge and there was no reservation system. In fact the tickets were sold half an hour before the arrival of the train. I asked them why it was so; they told me that they couldn’t guarantee whether the train would run on that day or not! We also got to know that the train which runs direct up to Silchar was generally jam-packed. They advised us to catch the train to Badarpur. So we bought two tickets. The tickets were like the small cards that show your weight when you check yours on a weight machine.

The train up to Silchar arrived first, it had started from Agartala, and Jirania was the next stop and by the time it reached the later, where we were supposed to board, people were already hanging from the doors!! After two long hours the train to Badarpur did arrive and it was relatively less crowded, we could at least get inside. The inside of the coaches was quite strange, the side berths were absent as it was a narrow gauge route. The train chugged off slowly and we waved till we could see our friends. So, I left Agartala with bagful of memories for the rest of my life. It was a strange feeling; on one hand I was happy for finally leaving the place, but somewhere deep down…………..

So it was time for another journey in which new adventures lay ahead…a completely different one from the previous. We could not find a seat, so like on the platform we sat on our bags in the train!! The train moved pretty slowly, I don’t think it exceeded 60kmph mark. The view through the window was fantabulous. I am really short of words to describe the beauty. Valleys, streams, and hills everything was just like in the movies, in fact even more beautiful to experience real time. There was only one main line, so if a train was on the opposite route, one of them had to reach a station where it could be kept on the sideline, and then the other could cross. Uff……..hope I put it well enough. So the train used to stop sometimes for 2hrs at stations. It was a treacherous route and really it is an engineering marvel to lay down a railway line there.

So let me put a break at this point. Reached half way, but, the glass is still half full… 🙂 ………hope you all enjoyed it, suggestions and comments are always welcome as usual….till next time….abarjano, dekha pai……