During summer vacation my aunty Mithila who stays in London came to India in one of her visits . She had always been a happy go lucky person .My cousin brother Nikhil and I started pesturing her so that she could manage our parents for a trip this holiday and finally decided that a team of eight people including Nikhil and his parents, my other two aunts and myself would go for a trip to one of India's best sea beaches Puri, in Odissa.My another aunt Sujata used to go to an ashram in Kolkata which had a Guest House in Puri. We decided to stay over there during our vacation.
Bingo ! We arranged a rented Tata Sumo and on one sunny morning of March at around 6:30 AM started our journey. None of us had eaten our breakfast and the reserve of food was enough to fill the empty stomatch of the group.
It was morning time and the roads were relatively less crowded so the car gave a speed of the Jaguar and zoomed in . Gradually we passed the Victoria Memorial, the Monument and reached the beautifully built Vidyasagar Setu or the Second Hoogly Bridge.
The car rolled in the National Highway. Cars were crossing each other. We were mesmirised by the scenic beauty of rural Bengal. It seemed as if Mother Nature had made the place her canvas for colouring . The driver Shibuda, as we fondly called him was friendly and well behaved. We had our breakfast and got lost in the natural beauty of rural Bengal and Odissa.
When Shibuda stopped near a inn for lunch it was already 2 'O clock. The menu was simple and soon we again started travesing the lengthy National Highway. Many cars, lorries, bikes and cycles crossed us. My brother Nikhil switched on the FM Radio and we two started rocking. His fathern Ratan uncle suddenly started a discussion on the comparison of the standard of music between the bygone era of Kishorekumar, Rafi etc to this era of Rap and Band. He would have easily won the debate had not me and Nikhil supported the Generation Y.
We reached Puri at around 6 PM and were unable to find the exact location of the Guest House. No one could throw any light. We contacted the Kolkata office of the ashram. But could not locate the place as directed by them. By this time we were frustrated enough in our search of the Guest House and started going towards the beach.
Little did we give importance to the notice board,' Road Repairing : Drive Slow' and our Tata Sumo got entangled in the sand. Shibuda got anxious as night was coming with her usual mysteries. It was a lonely place and there were no local people around. Only long ahead there were some fishermen seen and that too near the seashore. These was a resort nearby and that too according to our first impression was under repair. There were five ladies with us . The menfolk i.e. Nikhil,his father and I needed to act. Keeping uncle near the car along with Shibuda, Nikhil and I started walking in the straight direction. Meanwhile Shibuda started the car but the shinning sand was not an easy opponent to defeat. After walking for nearly fifteen minutes we saw a local cyclist . He told us that a lot of police patrolling cars pass by this road. Soon we saw a police patrolling car and asked for help.
Hearing our story the policemen said that we behaved very irresponsibly as that place was not at all safe us and asked us to get in their jeep.Reaching near our car they consoled the ladies and took out a rope and tied our Tata Sumo with it and pulled it out with the speed of their jeep. When Shibuda started the car, this time the ropes being tied sand started oozing out of the tyres and slowly it came out. Mithila aunt was finally relieved to see that we were out of danger. We cordially thanked the policemen. The Guest House still being a mirage we went to a hotel suggested by that cyclist. After such a long journey we were all tired and took our dinner early. In this way we started our summer fiasta at Puri.