They say there are criminals in Bihar, in Patna. Everywhere. They can come and kidnap you any time. They can rob you on gun point when you are passing dark streets alone. It’s a feared place. I was born there. I grew up there.
I saw the city of Patna after an year. The city greeted me with an auto strike. Buses won’t run at 10:30 in the chilling night when I left the packed train that brought me there. The only mode of public transport that was up and running was the manual rickshaw.
As a kid, I never minded traveling on rikshaws. It was no less than being a King. You pay money to a poor folk. He would drive the pedals and all three would drag on the bumpy roads. It was nice. As I grew up I started missing the glamor. I no more felt like a king. I started preferring walking. I still prefer walking. Some day when I grow old, I might again love riding rickshaws.
It was an almost lonely walk. The walk was long too, no less than eight kilometers. I feared no one. This was my city. My place. Not many shops are open after then thirty in a cold night in Patna. I went to the ones which were open and were selling fags. Smoking is a good company. In Deoghar, when with parents I don’t smoke, though I can because I feel like a kid there. I never feel alone there. I am so happy there. Everyone around loves you so much at home that you wonder what’s the need to step out and take all the shit the rest of the world has to offer to you.
Neelabh made the next day. We boozed in the night. We boozed late at night, sitting, or rather hiding in a friend’s godown that stank of rotting cum. The room was so much like a meeting place of dreaded road-chaap Bihari criminals, sitting together to celebrate the last loot and divide the money amongst themselves. We ate quite a bit too, chicken and mutton and litti and stuff like that. I ate so much that for the first time in my life I threw up on just two bottles of beer.
It was the first time I boozed in the city where I was born. And I will remember the night for a long time. Neelabh had taken a picture of mine on his cell,
and if he is reading this post now, I would request him to mail it to me. This post is empty without that. And to those who have got used to see me without dresses these days, I am sorry. I am overdressed in that one. 😛
Update (01.01.2008) : Picture uploaded.