Thursday, March 15, 2012

The hills were alive...

...not with the sound of music. More like our wails, our prayers - silent and loud throughout our journey through the Khasi and Jaintia hills. Thank God the bus didn't go via the Garo hills, on our 17 hour road trip from Silchar to Guwahati. Only a day before we had slept comfortably on the night bus and woke up on reaching Silchar early in the morning.

We began our return at 7am from Silchar and made good progress till we reached Ladrymbai. And there we were for another 4 hours, inching through a narrow high road with steep drops on either side. That thin narrow road was now a 4 laner. The lane on the extreme left had coal filled trucks lined up for miles. And the other three were free for all with huge Volvo buses, vans, vannettes, cars of all shapes and sizes, bikes, cycles and what have you. Ever so often, our bus would pull to the extreme right, swerve off the road and onto a miniscule track on the edge (of the aforementioned steep drop downhill) and we'd go tossing in our seats, with bottles and various bags skittering from left to right inside the bus. And after a while another heave ho and we all tilt to the right. And it went on and on and on.

I am NOT making this up. Normally, giving the narrowness of the road and the height and the nonstop winding, even two large trucks or buses crossing each other is perilous. This was nothing short of a death wish.

But we survived. After a four hour delay, the 12 hour ride should have taken 18 hours, but the super man at the wheel sliced off one hour! We landed at Khanapara in Guwahati in 17 hours and headed straight to The Naga Kitchen and tucked into two Naga thalis to quell our quakes and shivers.

We had gone to Silchar for a field visit, to plan out some training for parents of deaf children. My colleague said, "Let's get the trainer by night bus and send her back by night bus". Absolutely. Nothing to see, nothing to fear. True.

All you adrenalin junkies - the bungee jumpers, the sky divers, the tight rope walkers - now try this. I dare you to.


Kriti said...

I don't know if it compares but the road to Darjeeling from NJP/Siliguri - Pankhabari - gives you the same kinds creeps. What a fun job you have!

Swati said...

Hey Su, this was almost a daily affair for us in Darjeeling. The road to Siliguri via a particularly perilous road called Pankhabari, can give any brave heart the heebiejeebies, but I loved it...still enjoy it!!

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