☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.




-         Paromita Roy (India)

Life is full of journey, surprises, adventure and exploring the new me. Journey, adventure and all of those started when I became late for my train Kanchanjunga Express. Most of the time Kanchanjunga Express be lated entered in New Cooch Behar station. But my fortune never failed to disappoint me. Like a hurried female horse, I finally entered into my compartment. There was my so called cousins bestowed me as my best friend and looking forward as DDLJ's Simran (Kajal). Finally, we boarded into the train. It was about 4:45 am, we started our gossips with biscuits dipped in tea and sharing our parents’ reaction when they heard about our Darjeeling exploration. Our remaining gossip was kept aside as for our next journey and then our team was ready to make a land at New Jalpaiguri station. By pushing and excusing the little crowd, we went forward to our car. Our driver dada was as cool as the tea leaves under the shadowy trees. No doubt, he made our trip enlightened. The changing weather hot Cooch Behar to Cloudy cold made our journey splendid.

Finally, we reached our hotel Dil, I couldn’t believe the weather and the name of the hotel was really romantic. We went to our room and wearing all the sweaters and jackets which we had underestimated in March. The best part of our exploration was to see the golden Sunrise on Kanchanjunga as seen from the Tiger Hill. We told Bhanu Da to knock us twice for our impregnable nap. The place was almost packed with people. The ascent of the half sun above the horizon on Kanchanjunga, was too impressive to describe in word. The just risen sun shone softly that removed all the darkness and the prevalent fogs around us. After taking some pictures of this magic of nature, we moved on to a CafĂ© for having some breakfast. We were in Darjeeling and how could we forget to visit Peace Pagoda and Japanese Temple or Budhist Temple located at a 10 minutes driving distance from town center. The walls of the Temple have eight sandstones carved with different stories of Budha's life. Peace Pagoda offers breath taking view of snowy peaks with mighty Kanchanjunga.

Having some desire of taking some candid picture, we reached at the Chowrasta or the Mall Road which is called the heart of Darjeeling. In the open air of Mall Road, some new and old heritage shops are lined up and the other side, the pine trees bade welcome to us. Many benches scattered on Chowrasta and we took a seat with a Cup of tea and watched the wonderful sight of the Road. After that our phones made us busy by taking some awesome pictures. We wanted to refuse the call of the shopkeeper but we couldn’t. We wanted to keep all the dresses, bags, shoes, jewels we had been shown but our money didn’t allow us.

We took a cab to visit Batasia Loop located on Hill Card Road. It took 20 minutes to reach and we spent those 20 minutes by watching the view outside the window of the cab. There is no better place of airy space, flowering garden, shrubs, double coop spiral track, hooting whistle of the train. There was also seating areas and we took this advantage to watch the view.

Finally, we came back to our Dil and ordered some Bengali Thali as our day was incomplete without Vaat. After having some food, I asked them to send me all the pictures we had clicked. Playing Arijit Singh's songs, we tied up our cloths which we had left scattered in the morning. After that we discussed about the view and showed each other what we had bought. Then we ordered some Darjeeling's famous Momo, Thukpa, Dumplings, Alu dum and Sael roti. We woke up at 5 a.m. and hurriedly took tea. The manager of Dil arranged us a car which drove us to NJP station. Our mood and the weather also said to us not to leave the bouquet of beauty. Having some food, editing pictures, discussing about our next trip, we at last reached station. There we had some Dhosa and started waiting for the train Padatik Express for our return journey. Then our train came to bring us back to home.