Yes So I had woken up at 03:00AM at the sounds of twitching branches, I was pretty scared. Not because I was afraid of being alone, not even because I feared animals but maybe because I didn’t know where the sound was coming from.
Turns out they were just a couple of squirrels playing around. Phew*
Anyways I managed to make the most of the remaining time and slept like a baby. I was up and moving by 07:00AM and I kept cycling at a constant pace, stopping only for refreshments mostly. With everything running smooth, I reached the border by 06:45PM And as I was crossing the border, a rush of sentiments went through me as I saw amazing eccentric flashbacks. I’m generally not a very “never-say-goodbye” kind of a person, but this was hard, harder than I ever anticipated.
I spend my night at same 200rs hotel in Jaigaon and next morning started cycling back to Gangtok, Sikkim.
The day that followed, passed effortlessly as I reached the same Indian oil petrol pump, after cycling for 10 hours, at Mal Bazaar which I stayed in when on route to Bhutan. The cashier there was surprised to see me again, but happy at the same time and welcomed me with open arms. Their lively expression lit my mood as well while I narrated to them about my tales of the beautiful country next door.
On the 3rd of January, I started from Mal Bazaar to Gangtok, and after 9 hours of extensive cycling I reached Primula’s cottage in Gangtok (you might remember for from my second blog). It almost felt as if I was back home, because of all that nostalgia I managed to stay here for the next 5 days as well.
During my stay in Gangtok, I met a few amazing personalities. Mr. Shubhash Yadav was one, he is the second commander of the Indo-Tibet force. Two times I had the pleasure of his company, and we discussed about Border issue, Nepal Issues, Pathankot attack, etc. It was great having my questions cleared by someone who is actually in the field resolving these concerns.
My next opportunity was meeting the officers of ITBP, a thorough discussion with them was a complete eye opener for me and those are a couple of moments I will cherish for a long time to come.
Nirmal introduced me to Bindiya Gurung after knowing my interests, and I’m so glad I met her. She’s a single mother, a full time social worker and also a very serene and calm person. She runs an NGO with utmost passion and her unparalleled dedication. She treats the mentally challenged people of her NGO with so much care, as if it were her own family. And why wouldn’t she? She does consider them her family. She raises money for the NGO herself, by visiting people, who’ve promised to help. Unlike most people that I come across I found that she had certain positive vibes associated with her. Her words meant nothing but good and her tone was the humblest I knew. She has taken it to herself to take care of these people no matter what be the consequences. We need more people to come up and help her cause. (If you wish to help her too, send a DD to the address mentioned at the end of the article).
Just like other volunteers, I have also taken up the task of helping her in her mission by launching “The Gangtok Project” very soon where I shall work for her NGO.
I then visited the HUB OUTDOOR shop once again and handed them over my bike to be shipped to Indore. We had a nice discussion over a cup of coffee and then I left.
On 8th of January, I began my journey back to Indore. I was low on time and since I had already seen most of the roads in between so I decided to use the train. The journey home was not easy here as well as I had to travel in a very uncomfortable manner for 38 hours and change 3 trains. I caught my first train @1:10 a.m. from new Jalpaiguri after convincing somebody to sponsor my general ticket. I reached Kanpur the next day at 7:40 p.m. spent a day here and left by 11:20 p.m. towards Bhopal and reached by 11:30a.m. Then I boarded my last train of this trip @2:30 a.m. and touched my home ground @7:00 a.m. in the morning greeted by the amazing smell of freshly made Jalebi and Poha.
I was home, everything about it was familiar. But among this familiarity I felt a difference in myself. I sensed my connectivity rise, I had been to so many places in the past few days and yet I stood at the place where it all began.
The world truly is round. Huh!
Account Holder: Bindiya Gurung.
NGO’s Address: Deorali Mayalmu Sang,
Daragaon Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim.
Contact Number: +91-960-085-1709
Bank Name: State Bank of Sikkim(SBS)
Account Number: 501459
Aakash Ranison and The Bhutan Project Signing off.