We headed to the counter of Network travels as the name is familiar to us. After buying tickets we went around having a look of the area. We were back before the scheduled departure. We waited and waited, but the bus there was no sign of the bus. The bad experiences of the earlier night appeared to have raised their head again. We were told that the bus we are to travel had a broken glass and had gone for replacing it. They told us a glass is broken, but did not tell which one. We understood that it will be tough for travelers without a glass in winter. All other buses to Guwahati had left barring ours. Finally the bus had arrived at around . When the bus turned toward us, we had another shock. The front windshield was missing! O God! It was the windshield that was broken, not a side window glass. They were planning to drive this bus 400 km without the windshield on a peak winter night! We did not scratch our heads to think about it. We got into the bus like obedient school kids getting into a school bus. We have to reach home somehow. Honestly speaking I was too tired to think. I feel asleep almost as soon as the bus left Siliguri. My friend however was a worried man. He was worried and scared about the stories of dacoits active in the Hashimara jungles that fall in the border area. To be honest, we were almost brook and hardly had anything left with us to be looted. I woke up once to have dinner at a hotel at around . I probably fell asleep even before the bus had left.
Hashimara is a notorious jungle on the
It was almost when the bus stopped for a tea break at
We started playing cricket on the empty
The bandh was to be over by Some trucks went past us along the
My ordeal was over when we entered the Network Travel’s complex at Paltan Bazar. But my friend has to travel another 400 km to Dibrugrah. I bade him good bye and that was the last time I have ever heard of him. May be he had further experiences to share. Since then I had traveled once more between Kolkata and Guwahati by road, this time by my car. I sat, relaxed and enjoyed the journey as the driver droved. The same route but different circumstances. Then I had no money to sustain one extra day in Kolkata and now I could afford to buy petrol to travel by car!