Day Trip To Deulti, Howrah
I am a big fan of Bengali literature. Since childhood, I have devoured novels and short stories by great Bengali writers. So there was littl...
Deulti is the village that leads to a tinier habitation called Samtaber. This place gave Bengali literature one of its most prominent authors, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. In case the name did not ring a bell let me give you some cues: Devdas, Parineeta and Chhoti Bahu. Yes, these are super hit Bollywood films adapted from the author's notable works.
On a cold December morning, dressed in woolens and packed with sumptuous breakfast of "Luchi Alur Dom" (Bengali specialty poori and potato curry), my cousins and I began the drive from Dasnagar, Howrah. The GPS was activated and it guided us through the west of Bagnan city. Soon we left behind the hustle bustle of the city and entered into rural ambience. Both sides of the road was adorned with fresh greenery. There were paddy fields all along the route. The serenity of rural Bengal was mesmerizing.
At the end of a muddy stretch, my eldest cousin Gaurav, stopped the car and asked us to come out. We were mildly surprised. He asked us to follow him. We entered a paddy field and walked along its muddy pavement. I was wondering where he was leading us, when my question was answered by a magnificent panorama.
Stretched before my eyes was the beautiful Roopnarayan river. There was a small boat sailing ahead. It seemed like we were transported to a time where people and nature were unspoiled and pure. A veil of sadness engulfed my heart as to why our present lives cannot be as simple and beautiful as this. Resonating my feeling, a dark group of cumulus clouds began to hide away the brightness of the mid-day sun. Realizing that it may begin to rain at any moment, we trotted back to the car and drove away towards Samtaber.
Sarat Chandra's Abode:
Once we entered Deulti village, we met the Upacharya Family. Madhabendra Upacharya runs a small lodge and food business in the area. He and his wife were very warm people. They chatted with us about the cultural heritage of Deulti and its life. Most people in the village were literate and all the villagers respected the concept of education. They think highly of teachers and revered them. As I spoke to Madhabendra about Sarat Chandra's works, he was more than happy to take us to the late author's house. After a hearty Bengali lunch at his hotel, we were taken to Sarat Chandra Kuthi, a heritage site, restored and maintained by West Bengal tourism. The place had an air of a respected past. We toured the house, although it was a very humble abode of the great author. He wrote for the common man and his house reflected this aspect of his personality.
Right beside the heritage site was a park area for leisure. We paid an entry fee and stepped inside. The weather was still very cloudy but that did not dampen our spirits. We strolled inside the park, talking and appreciating the beauty of such a simple village. We heard the chirping of birds from the surrounding trees and spotted a few feathered folks that are rare in the city. My cousin Ranu, is a trained singer and she sang some beautiful Rabindra Sangeet (songs of Rabindranath Tagore). My cultural side that had been starving for ages, was replenished and rejuvenated.
Back To The City:
Once evening began to creep in slowly, Gaurav called us to get back into the car. And thus our journey back to the city started. We all left a piece of our heart in this enticing rural landscape. The vast yet humble Roopnarayan river, the green stretch of paddy fields, the innocent smiles of the locals, the culturally enriched historic Samtaber, the spirit of freedom in the songs of the birds, and the unpolluted freshness of the rustic air filled our souls with joy and peace. As city lights began to blind our visions, we knew that our trip was coming to an end. To live the earthy moments a little longer we all urged Ranu to sing another Rabindra Sangeet till we reached home.
Contributed By: Kriti Mazumdar