Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

HOME | About Busybee | Timeline | Round and About | Eating Out | Tributes to Busybee
Connect with Busybee | Search | Busybee's Books
   I am planning a brief holiday in Kathmandu. (April 5, 1994)

Flying Royal Nepal Airlines, I should reach it intwo-and-a-half-hours, which would be a vast improvement on the first time I went there. On that occasion, I hitch-hiked, and it took me the best part of a fortnight.The earlier part was easy, through Nasik and Malegaon, Dhule, Mhow, Indore, Shivpuri, past royal shooting lodges (shikarbari) to the MP-UP border. Even Kanpur and Benares were fine, but after that the traffic dried up. There were no trucks on the road, the people were hostile and dismissive, the land looked barren.Bihar, then and now, is the most backward state in India. Most of the Jhas and Sinhas, who should have been residing there and taking care of the state, have migrated to Bombay and Delhi. Jamshedpur has been a little oasis, but soon it will be swamped by the rest of Lalloo Prasad Yadav's state and dragged down to its general level.I did not go to Jamshedpur, I went to Arha, on my way to Patna.

A group of students, who proudly described themselves as londas, insisted on my accompanying them in a train to Patna, ticketless, of course. During the journey, when an inspector approached us, they chased him away.Beyond Patna, I crossed the broad sweep of the Ganga, partly by boat and partly by wading through it, and got into North Bihar. I recall spending an evening and a night with a group of farmers, who discussed with me, with great knowledge and authority, the then political scenario in the country. This was in the early 1950s, and I remember telling them, also with great knowledge and authority, that within ten years India would be one of the leading nations of the world. Today in 1994, I maintain that statement, within ten years... etc. The hookah was passed around and, as night fell and the lowing herds returned to the stables, some of their women came, saris covering their faces, and served us food. Years later, I was to see this scene being enacted in Shyam Benegal films, and say to myself: how true to life they are!I have memories of reaching Raxaul one morning, weary-eyed and a little nervous about leaving the security of India. Nepal was the first foreign country I was visiting. The toughest part was still to come: going through the terai and then over the circle of hills that guards the valley of Kathmandu.In Kathmandu, I was fortunate to make friends with a correspondent of a Nepali news agency.

I lived on a bedding spread in a corner of his house, which was also his office.This time, as I said earlier, the journey will be quicker and more comfortable. And I will be staying at the Oberoi Soaltee and making a small fortune in its casino. But I wonder if it will be as nteresting a trip as the first one was.

 
 Back to Categories Top
HOME | About Busybee | Timeline | Round and About | Eating Out | Tributes to Busybee
Connect with Busybee | Search | Busybee's Books

© Oriana Communications (P) Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Contact us for any content re-production