Ki re tor berote aro koto deri?(Hey Bud how long will it take?)
Aschi aschi…(Just comin’ man)
Achha shon Pradip jabe bollo? (Pradip said he wanna go?)
Mane?? (What the hell do you mean !!)
Ami ok sakale call korechilam ore camera nebo bole…takhon bollo…ki korbo? (I had called him regarding his camera when he told me..What should I do?)
Deke ne…Bole dis 3ter somoy berobo…(Tell him we will be leaving at 3p.m.)
The start of day we were supposed to make our maiden road trip…No plan…No definite target….Just sheer passion and determination of five friends and their willingness to be free for 10 days…
Amit Nandi (or Uncle Sam as we call him. He has another name but that cannot be disclosed in a public forum)
Deepam Basu (He is the local councillor of a certain part in the city of which I rather not tell..Lied to his parents about going to the trip, said he was in Cuttack on a company meeting)
Kinjal Banerjee (An eye specialist…Helped reduce our expenses considerably and also the most responsible. Do visit him for your eye check-ups’.)
Pradip/Deep Bose (or Ujjal, the name has a long history which he would not like me to make public)
Me, Saura Bhattacharjee ( Just joined State Bank of India and lied to my manager to go on this trip), who will give you description of our tour.
Pradip’s Yamaha R15
Amit’s Pulsar 150 (whose first ride would be it’s last)
My Royal Enfield Classic 350 (had to knock on many doors to get one within a month of ordering)
Total Distance travelled — 2019kms
It all started when we went on a trip to Gorumara forests in October 2010 for a weekend of fun, biking adventures and booze…Amid the fun we planned to make a long bike trip…That was the idea…
After spending the last two days planning, shopping, dreaming and getting the documents of the bikes updated we finally set off from my home at 4 in the evening…The reason for us starting late was office and Pradip’s last-minute decision to join us in the trip.
Our first stop was at the Matigara petrol pump where our bikes were jetted up for our first long bike ride…We reached Islampur at 6 p.m. Had a small tea and puff break…Then we started again.
We were to spend the night at Malda (Land of the Mangoes)…We reached the town of the Rajas’ at 10 p.m. and entered the hotel arranged by Amit…A bath in the cold water just freshened us up from the uncomfortable feeling of sweat, dust and smoke from the trucks… Everyone were dead-tired and just fell in bed for a good-night’s sleep.
The day India were to face Sri Lanka in the World Cup finals….We started off at 5.30 in the morning with a happy heart and a free mind…We were supposed to ride upto Digha and everyone were ready for long bike ride.
Our first stop was at Farakka..We had tea, biscuits and off course cigarettes. After the small break we started out again and next stopped at Omarpur, just a few kilometres from Moregram. After a loo-break and having a heavy breakfast comprising of puri-sabji we started out with our eyes set on the ocean.
From Moregram we took right as we had planned to reach Digha via Durgapur, Bishnupur and Kharagpur.
We reached Rampurhat and took a break..The heat was almost unbearable which called for some regular drinks break. We reached the Durgapur Expressway, which was a dream road with no glitches or potholes and everyone rode as fast as they could. Amit too decided to ride fast his Pulsar 150 which spelled the unfortunate events. A 109 kmph burned out the Pulsar 150’s piston as soon as we reached Durgapur. Our ride was cut short. With the World Cup final started no shop was to be found open.
The happiness was gone…
Atlast a mechanic in a Bajaj showroom agreed to change the engine after being offered a handsome bonus…As soon Amit’s bike was repaired we started off but the rain gods played foul as thunderstorm halted us and we planned to stay that night at Durgapur and start out next day for Digha…We arranged a student’s P.G. to spend the night and had our dinner and celebrated Dhoni’s World-cup winning six with loads of beer.
This Monday was the most I had enjoyed since joining my job. We started early from Durgapur and reached Bishnupur at 1’o clock. Our speed was slow because the Pulsar’s new engine was in the run-in period. About 10 kms from Bishnupur the clutch cable of my Enfield snaped. We were in the middle of nowhere and at last had to replace it with one of a scooter as the mechanic had nothing except that. Must say I also had not expected to get one.
After witnessing some splendid terracotta works in Bishnupur and completing a pure Bengali lunch with vaat-alubhaja-posto-mach we started out for Digha. We passed through the ghost towns of Garbeta and Salboni and reached Kharagpur at 4 in the evening. The excitement grew as we were nearing the ocean.
The Rokkers finally arrived at Digha at 9 p.m. and checked in at Sankhhachil, which is a nice hotel just a few metres from the beach. We freshened up and went to the sea beach. Amit hurt his foot while running in the beach and we returned to the hotel with a partially handicapped Amit.The feeling of having achieved half of our dream ride called for celebration and we did with chicken, a crate of beer and lots of cigarettes (which is highly not recommended for anyone reading this).
I should quote one thing that Amit told me that night. He said while walking on the beach “Buddy, it was my dream to walk on a sea beach with a beer bottle in my hand. Thanks for making it come true.”
Everyone woke up late as a result of the partying and the booze effect. After freshening up we had a quick breakfast and prepared to ride to Mandarmoni. Amit and Deepam clicked a few snaps on the Digha beach and then we left for Mandarmoni.
Before I start using superlatives of how wonderful the beach is at Mandarmoni I would like to warn everyone about the road to reach there. The 7 km stretch from the main road has 25 bumps (they are mini-hills) and 11 causeways which made us agree that the people there are pretty scared of being run-over. We counted it twice and hence are so sure about the figures. We arrived at Mandarmoni at 12 in the noon and checked in at “Belabhoomi”. There were beautiful cottages and a big lawn and the service was excellent. We took a 8 bedded room at a cheap 800 bucks (it is not so cheap during season time).
We quickly got dressed for swimming after gulping a few cold drinks (if you know what I mean, which is again highly not recommended) and went to the beach for fun. Enjoying the cold water and warm sun at the beach. The ocean was the first time for Amit and Pradip, both enjoyed to the brim. The beach looked mesmerising in the golden colour and it’s huge expanse creates a feel of nirvana.
After the fun at sea we spent the evening on the beach riding the boats harbored there. After completing a delicious dinner comprising of pomfret, alu bhaji and white rice we went for a walk in the beach to enjoy the sounds of the waves and feeling the cool moisty air…Just wished that night would never end.
Everyone rose late as we had planned to spend one more day at Mandarmoni which was originally not the plan we had at the start of the trip. After having breakfast we rode to Shankarpur, a fishing harbour and watched the fishermen catch fish up, close and personally. We had some fun on road with a few amateur bike stunts. We checked out a boat building yard on the way back.
Having spent the rest of the day relaxing on the beach, drinking you know what by now, gossiping. Amit and Deepam got a massage for themselves. We retreated to bed early as we had to start for Bakkhali the next day.
After giving our bikes a water wash we started out from Mandarmoni towards Bakkhali. By the time we reached Kukrahati ferry service our body was so warm that we could fry an omlette quite easily. Pradip had been told that he had to cross the river on a small dinghi and it was enough for him to be frightened out of his pants. The calmness that arrived at his face, when he saw the huge launch that was to ferry us to Raichak, was worth capturing. After a hearty and fufilling lunch at Raichak we started on our way to Bakkhali. The vessel that crossed us over the rivulet at Namkhana was a small dredge ship.
We arrived at Bakkhali around 7 p.m. and checked into a hotel. After freshening up we went to see the beach. It was already dark and we only could hear the sound of the waves smashing against the beach and the smell of fish fries being cooked up in the hotels. We had a great dinner with crabs and fish after which we came back to the hotel.
The guys woke me up at midnight to wish Happy Birthday. They had even brought a small cake from I don’t no where. So we had a cake-cutting ceremony and for the first time celebrated my birthday with beers. Enjoyed it a lot though.
Everyone woke up early and were feeling very fresh. The sea breeze had a soothing effect on us in a way that it took away all the tiredness from our body. We started out for Henry’s Island, named after the English surveyor who discovered it and also known for little red crabs and mangrove forests. We spent a lot of time at the beach busy shooting photographs and waiting for the red crabs to show up. But the crabs did not arrive and we had to leave as the sunlight was became unbearable. Thereafter, we visited Frazergunj fishing harbour on our way back but missed out on the boat trip to the Mohona and Jambudip due to our time constraints to return to Kolkata.
Tired, from the ride and relaxed at having almost completed our trip we reached Kolkata at around 6 in the evening and spent the night at a guest house in Ballygunge.
Day 8 and Day9—Friday and Saturday
All of us spent the day busy meeting friends and relatives. Our adventure undoubtedly brought out surprise, compliments and even some scoldings too.
After two days of complete relaxation we woke up early and started on our way back to Siliguri. One of us, Kinjal had to leave on the train a day earlier because of some important commitments he had as a doctor. We had our breakfast at Barasat and then rode to Beharampur where we stopped for our lunch. Our speed was limited to not more than 50 kmph because of Amit’s bike. After having dinner at Raiganj and a small tea break at Kishanganj we arrived at Siliguri at 5 in the next morning amid heavy rainfall and dog tired from non-stop 21 hours bike ride. A 12 hours sleep helped us freshen up and return back from our bike trip of a lifetime.
Hope those people who are reading this line have not slept through and enjoyed the story.