Its morning 6 and I am already hungry. The reason is I got up early and of course the excitement of travelling! We landed up at Balwant Singh Dhaba for a feast itself with kachowri, jalebi and elaichi wala chai. It’s the car which made our trip hassle-free and allowed us to watch the roadside till Gadiara as we headed for our destination. From Elgin road we crossed the 2nd Hooghly Bridge and hit the NH 6. The road condition of the Durgapur highway is quite good, reached Bagnan in an hour and took a left to Shivpur from there. The landscape is changing from city to town and at last just a simple little village at the river side. From the Gadiara bus stand a narrow road leads to the Rupnarayan Tourist Lodge touching the ferry ghat as I entered a basic village life of Bengal. The memories, back from 9 years filled my mind and I was totally nostalgic as soon as I checked-in at Rupnarayan Tourist Lodge.It is the biggest property there with a nice garden full of flowers, trees, plants, pond and a play ground for children.We had taken a room on the first floor which was quite large. I came to the balcony and could see the mystic river Rupnarayan just across the garden.I heard about the ruins of a fort made at the time of Lord Clive namely Fort Mornington Point at Gadiara but the local people were unable to share any information about the fort, as if they are hearing something new from my mouth. It was disappointing for me to come to explore a place and missed to trace it. So we took a van-rickshaw and rode to Mayachar- a sprawling sandbank on the Rupnarayan, which is a beautiful spot to sit idle with my love on the secluded beach or have a stroll. The pathway was very uneven and was laid with small and large stones, bricks and simply soil. The dry muddy path could be a joy ride of any amusement park, after every shower. Most of the time the river will be at your right side and on the other side you will get a glimpse of “Banglar gram” (Bengal’s village)- the huts, hay stacks, paddy field, ponds and domestic animals. Further away I could see the confluence of the Hooghly and Rupnarayan rivers from there as the sun is bright in the sky and the fog disappeared eventually.
The kachowries of Balwant Singh had disappeared inside our stomach a long time back, so we headed back to the hotel. Post lunch we decided to go to the ferry ghat for a launch ride on the river as we came to know that; after a boat accident which claimed multiple lives, boating was prohibited. There are 2 ferry services available from Gadiara- 20 minutes ride to Geonkhali to the west and 20 minutes ride to Nurpur to the east towards the confluence of the Hooghly and Rupnarayan. Nurpur is a peaceful village and its main attraction is a lighthouse. Both Nurpur and Geonkhali are tourist spots by themselves but one can choose not to leave the launch and revert back to Gadiara, just for the water ride, the breeze, the smell of the river and enjoy the sunset.
The day is coming to an end; heading back to the hotel we saw a man selling freshly made khejure gur(date’s jiggery). That’s his hut and just beside it there were two big chulhas(earthern oven) where he prepared the gur from khejurer rash(date tree’s sap).The taste and aroma of that gur was awesome and I could’nt prevent myself from buying some.
I even saw the moulds which he uses to make patali gur(solidified jiggery).The person said that we could get khejurer rash early in the morning. Immediately i set up my mind that to come back the next morning … surely.I took some snaps of the gur making chulha and turned back towards the river and oh my God… i saw the ruins of the Fort Mornington Point little away from the bank, emerging from the river.It was submerged during the high tide and fulfilled my desire of the day . By the time we reached the hotel, it was dark except for the lights of the garden in front of our room. After about an hour or so, the garden lights were also off and I opened the balcony door, and sat on a chair outside and enjoyed the darkness and silence of the nature.“Silence of the nature” has his own sound… the continuous buzzing of the crickets, faded humming of the motor from the launches and sound of the soil of the bank breaking and falling into the river at short intervals. There were just a faint light from some kind of fire very far away at the other end of the river and i guess from there itself a low rhythmic sound of “dhol and madol” along with sweet vocals of a folk singer made me intoxicated as every moment went by. The moon and the bonfire slowly disappearing behind a thick curtain of fog and I went to bed, heavy heartedly because I have to go back to the common city life tomorrow….