Oh Kaziranga! An Unforgettable Journey…
Finally we are going to Kaziranga National Park - It’s the place where my dad started his career as a Range Officer, the place which is located in the heart of extreme darkness. One horned rhinos, elephants, tigers, wild pigs, varieties of bird species dwells here. The sanctuary is a natural treasure -unexplored and unrecognised.
Although the purpose of our trip was sheer fun yet there was a silent craving within us to decipher the Assamese jewel – The Kaziranga voraciously this time around. We all wanted to see a Tiger before they all disappear. There was so much excitement; there was that breeze of love flying all around us. The North-East India has so much to offer. The soothing music of Zubeen Garg, Angaraag Mahanta, and Joi Barua was played throughout the trip. We discussed about the laidback village life, we praised the timeless hills and valleys.
The drive from Guwahati to Kaziranga was a visual treat. The lazy mountains made us to ponder; they tempted us to stay there forever. We crossed places like Sonapur, Jagiroad, and Nagaon. We halted in a highway Dhaba for having our breakfast. We had sumptuous Puri and Chabzi (My Jeeju’s favourite) who came with sister from London on a short vacation. We thought of clicking a group photograph in front of the highway hotel for memories. We resumed our journey. Everyone was busy listening to the songs as they were beautifully customised by my brother Bikash Sidney (who is currently pursuing engineering from Chennai). My brother Manzil was in the front seat and was the DJ of our tour. I and another cousin Pranzil were in the backseat. Basically the younger generation of our family was travelling.
Wow! We got an early glimpse of the Rhino. We stopped our car to gaze at the beauty. We were amazed to see a Rhino near the road. Kaziranga is yet far. We are lucky enough to get a peek. Slowly we began to see tea gardens and resorts. We are into the territory and now we have to search for the Guest House where we would stay that night.
It was around 12 O’clock, we reached the yellow colored Guest house mutely sitting atop the small hill. The location was simply ideal. There were waterfalls, rocks and a wooden bridge. It was nothing less than a paradise. The air around gave us a feeling of wonderment. There were already some people waiting for us, the lunch was ready but we thought of having it after the Elephant ride. We kept our luggage and drove away to the jungles. We had one more co-traveller now. His name was Deb (name changed). He was our guide. Finally, we boarded the big elephant. It was extremely a different experience. The elephant took us inside the jungle; he rode us to deepest and the loveliest part of Kaziranga. He moved slowly amid grassland. There were deer, birds, and peacocks – there were everything. Our heart kept throbbing hard, we were mesmerised to see the never seen landscapes. There were lakes, herds of elephants and deer. We went to the restricted area, we finally saw the King. The tiger! The real one…He was sleeping. We kept gazing at him. We thought about his survival amid so much hatred and greed for money. He gave us an inspiration to survive in extreme conditions. The elephant ride was the best experience of our trip. It was my dad’s dream; he wanted us to feel the love, fear and joy of living in jungles. We never would have understood the excitement if he wouldn’t have planned this surprise trip for us. We spent the night like kings. The people in the guest house prepared exceptional Assamese cuisines. The bonfire, the barbeque, the encounter with wild pigs, the emotions, the ghosts, the pleasure of having red wine in cold winter night in front of fire amid hills and waterfalls can’t be explained in words. We visited the tea gardens, the rubber and coffee plantations; we went to the matchless Ethnic Garden – the proud of Karbi Anglong.
We played badminton in the Iora resort. We discussed about the contrast of living in an urban setting and inhaling a rustic air. Everything about the trip was perfect. There was so much love there; I could never forget the people who did everything to make our short stay happy. They made special preparations, they are the real people living in the farthest corner of the earth – unrecognised and unacknowledged. Whenever, I think about the trip, I think of love that people of Assam have. Undoubtedly Assam is one of the best places on earth to live and Kaziranga is the most beautiful national park in the world.