FORGOTTEN THREE DAYS-III (Deafening Blast)
FORGOTTEN THREE DAYS-III (Deafening Blast)12 mins 316 12 mins 316
(Prologue: Malfunctioning of the magnetic needle of a watch made us directionless and stranded at the middle of Debrigarh Reserve Forest, on our one day expedition to Bhatli Fort. By the side of a jungle sprint, we arranged log fire for the night. Every dimension lost to the darkness excepting a log fire, a flickering lantern, twinkling stars overhead and 10 beaming eyes. Body almost wrecked and stomach half filled but it was just the beginning of an endless night …)
11:19PM, May 11 - AUROBINDO: It was decided to guard whole night in group of 2 and letting others to take rest till the sun rises in that part of the jungle. It was Shashikant and Bhegnath, undertook the job first, followed by Banaj & Niranjan and at the last myself and Pulu. Am I right Banaj?
11:20PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): How come you still carry such details of that night? I envy your retrospection.
Honestly, now it appears, I grossly underestimated. You are more insane than Shashikant and Niranjan to recall every such detail with clarity that, I was transported to that night by small giggling sprint under the open sky. Each word of yours unfolds a scene of that dark, chilly and starry night.
11:22PM, May 11 - AUROBINDO: Leaving the camp in the able hands of Shashikant and Bhegnath we four retired. During this period if something worth-noting happened I don't recall at all, as it was my rest time and I was left with little energy to help the guarding guys.
11:25PM, May 11 - AUROBINDO: Bed was prepared on the rock near the log fire, spreading the green branches and our clothes thereon. There was nothing to cover our body as we didn't have enough space in our backpacks, filled with day’s ration for the trip, for woolen clothes. Let me complete my sleep so as to wake up at 3.00 am to have my guarding job with Pulu.
Banaj, please carry on …
11:28PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): When we were guarding, resting back on the big rock near the log fire, my dreary eyelids fallen, couldn't keep them open, despite my best effort, unaware of what Niranjan was doing. A deafening blast reached my dead ears and I was on my feet so also others.
From half-sleep Shashikant whispered, “May be some hunters … “
11:30PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): Me (completely out of my mind) questioned, “What if they are some thieves or dacoits …”
11:32PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): Niranjan, right index on lips, in a low tone gestured “Shhhhh ... Don't make any noise, else they may pin-point our location …”
11:35PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): There was a long silence. The giggling of the jungle sprint subsided as the beating of my heart uncontrollably became louder with the scare of a possible death from bullets.
I ran my eyes for signs of the rock pieces ricocheted by the bullet, to have an idea about the direction, the bullet was shot from so as to crawl to the opposite side. But no evidence of that sort.
11:41PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): Heard somebody whispering right behind me and it took no time to realize that it was Niranjan. I slowly turned towards him, ensuring the whole body was behind that gigantic rock, “Hata tekiki surrender kale habani? (Should we come out with our hands above our heads and surrender?)”
11:47PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): Immediately, in his inimitable style hissed “Na … ye andhara re kana dekhajib … ame kahli hata re achhu ki nahin … (No … with darkness around they can’t see if we are empty handed or not …)”
He ridiculed “Tuma Dhala towel gote badi re tangei ki udeiba ki … (Should we waive your white towel with a stick ..)” as a symbol of surrender.
11:52PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): In the process of pacifying me, Niranjan made me to have my life’s last smile, behind that rock, as if the next bullet was about to pierce through my skull.
After few more unending minutes of silence, Bhegnath started barking “Wuow…”
Few more seconds of silence, then another louder “Wuow…”.
Soon we followed barking.
12:00PM, May 11 - BANAJ(UK): Niranajn dared to crawl out of the hiding position and stood up. Taking a slow sweeping glance around, gave a scoff shrugging of shoulders, dismissing any imminent danger. Bhegnath joined him with no trace of fear on his face.
I was up on my feet, unsure of our safety while moving away from the stone to the fire with thoughts of a bullet piercing my skull.
12:06AM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): Looking around and with little introspection Shashikant confirmed that the rock underneath cracked, by the heat from the log fire.
12:11AM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): There was a visible thin line of crack running across the rock. Later Shahshikant shared his experience as a kid to an armed burglary at his home. He was too frozen then as I was that night.
12:13AM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): Few hours to go before the dawn, better to catch up on some sleep, so without wasting further time, we retired.
The rock cracking had a loud bang ... So loud … One had to hear to believe it …
CROSS TALK STARTS:
12:20AM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Well Banaj, might be I was in my deepest slumber but after reading above, faintly recall about listening from you all, the very next morning.
12:37AM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): Good night guys, rest tomorrow ...
12:39AM, May 12 - CHANDRA SHEKHAR PATI(MIDDLE EAST): I faintly remember this adventure. After hearing here I think we should plan another trip in same location. By the way where is the hero Bhegnath, very interesting guy!
12:40AM, May 12 - MANOJ DAS(USA): Right Pati, same location with all modern navigation and lot more food.
12:41AM, May 12 - CHANDRA SHEKHAR PATI(MIDDLE EAST): Now we are arm chair adventurers. Let the narration continue or we will also go to sleep.
12:43AM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: It’s too late ... let's continue tomorrow.
12:45AM, May 12 - CHANDRA SHEKHAR PATI(MIDDLE EAST): Good night Auro, Manoj, Banoj and all.
12:52AM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): Thanks to Late Bhegnath Seth, we had this wonderful experience. He was a genuine adventurist in every sense, in every field. His literary work also ... so different.
I miss him dearly. His perspective on life, even normal things made me often sit back and ponder. A guy of pure soul ... he was.
12:54AM, May 12 - CHANDRA SHEKHAR PATI(MIDDLE EAST): Sorry to hear about Bhegnath. May his soul rest in peace!
12:59AM, May 12 - RAKESH DAS(USA): Good content for a movie ... Super ...
1:00AM, May 12 - Basant Barik: Great narration Aurobindo and Banaj. Waiting anxiously for the next chapter of the Bhatli adventure ...
1:35PM, May 12 - Surjit: Epicentre again Nepal. 7.4 is the magnitude …
2:31PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: I was in the SBI Main Branch building near Capital PS, BBSR in connection with my housing loan. We were advised to vacate as a light tremor felt.
2:31PM, May 12 - SABYASACHI: Auro … Start 2nd day ...
2:39PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Relax ... Frankly, last night I had little sleep, articulating further details on our 2nd day journey. It’s really nostalgic to re-live those days, after some 21 years. The same was expressed by Banaj last night.
4:48PM, May 12 - SUSANTA KUMAR PANDA(UK): Aurobindo and Banaj made it look like a movie .. A lot of us felt like watching a movie...
5:08PM, May 12 - HARESH BHAI: Aurobinda : 2nd day expedition ...
5:18PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Well Haresh Bhai, before narrating the 2nd Day let me add one horrified moment that I faced during my guarding duty at the last phase of that 1st night in the dense forest of Debrigard Reserve Forest, famous for its bamboo bushes. The sequence came to live last night somehow.
CROSS TALK ENDS:
5:23PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: At around 3-3.30 am I was made to wake up from my deepest sleep. Might be Banaj and Niranjan must have a tough task that night in waking me. I have faith in Niranjan but don't believe Banaj. He must have kicked my butt as Rabin generally did in South Hostel, during first year, so that I would not miss the morning classes.
Even now the memory of those long walks with loaded bags, and half stomach dinner I feel drowsy. Anyway, I and Pulu were onto the job of guarding. The other four were on the special bed by the log fire.
CROSS TALK STARTS:
5:23PM, May 12 - NAYAN DAS(UK): Did you people take the same route to come back from Bhatli?
5:23PM, May 12 - SABYASACHI: As per the screenshot shared by Auro, its whopping 49 km. Don’t tell u walked 50 km in 3 days in jungle!
5:28PM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): No Nayan. We were not Sardarji to take the same route!
5:31PM, May 12 - SABYASACHI: Who is Pulu ???
5:32PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Sata khanda Ramayayan sarigala … Sir pacharile … Sita main na andira … (Seven Kandas of Ramayana completed … Now Sir asking … If Sita was male or female ... )
5:32PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Pulu is nick name of Satyabrata Behera, Electronics and Tele Communication guy from BBSR. Nayan will now ask admin to upload photo from Galaxy!
CROSS TALK ENDS:
5:37PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Well as directed by the group we were to be on our feet, walking closely around the fire and beat the sticks on the ground, we were provided at the Debrigarh Range Office, Right Dyke. It was an instruction not to go far off from the fire, even for urinating.
5:43PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Often one of us thundered "Jagte Raho … (Keep awakened … ) " so as to fight the inner urge for a little nap, really a tough task. During those guarding hours it was hard fighting the fear for getting drowsy than falling prey to some jungle animal. So we two decided not to even sit on the ground or to rest our back on the rock nearby.
CROSS TALK STARTS:
5:43PM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): Sorry to interrupt, I think you were singing something like- Jhinga lala hu ... Jhinga lalahu ... (a famous Bollywood song) with few thumping and jumping steps.
5:46PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Might be … That’s my all time favourite song. But everything we did was for the each other so as to give some motivation to fight that situation. Is not it? Nevertheless, the three photos I have, narrate a lot about our mood. You must have couple of them!
5:47PM, May 12 - BANAJ(UK): Nope … Most photos were with Pulu and Shashikant. Niranjan and I were left asking them. Please post whatever you have.
5:47PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Let me get back to Rajkot …
CROSS TALK ENDS:
5:48PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Well for first half or one hour we two discharged our duty with utmost honesty. But, as the endless hours grew longer our fatigue overtook.
5:50PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: I asked Pulu, "Are bread khaiba? (Hey, will you like to have bread?)".
Se dagabaz han kala ... (That deceitful nodded yes ...)
5:55PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Then I gently searched each of the four bags and it took little effort in picking the intended bag lying by the 4 friends, sprawled like dead bodies. I took the bread out from the bag. With all swiftness took 2 loafs for me and Pulu. Pulu took his and went away for a pee.
5:56PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: I leaned to the rock behind and put the bag at left and the bread pack at right, started enjoying my bread piece.
5:57PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: After few minutes Pulu making the usual banging with his stick came to me and purred, "Abe au gote de... (Hey, give me another piece …)".
CROSS TALK STARTS:
5:59PM, May 12 - NAYAN DAS(UK): How did u get the cycles then Banaj? I remember Pulu very well. Don’t need to have his photo. I had borrowed his for Antakshari preparation during third year cultural festival.
CROSS TALK ENDS:
6:00PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: I lazily moving my right hand at my right side but the pack was not there. Then Pulu shouted, "Abe sala sabu khai delu? (Hey, sister-in-law(slang) finished the pack?)". I was not guilty but didn't have an explanation as the bread pack was missing.
6:05PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Then suddenly I remembered about the other weapon we had. A big "Torch" and the credit again goes to our Google.com, Shashikant. I took out the torch from his backpack and flashed the light behind the rock, I was leaning to. By the side where the bread was placed, there was a small tunnel. With the torch, I could locate the bread but behind the bread were visible whiskers that made me gulp the saliva and mouthful half chewed bread.
6:13PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: It was a big "MOUSE" and its bigness is well described with the quoted spelling in capitals. Might be it was bigger than a one year old pig. The gentleman was trying his best to drag the bread deep into the tunnel. At my flashing the torch it successfully dragged more than 4-5 feet.
My flashing the torch disturbed the beast and with all vigor was growling with whiskers wide spread to frighten me. And the beast was successful.
With a shout "Maa Lo … (My Mother …)" I jumped to my feet.
6:18PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: Pulu, my partner came to my rescue. Kneeling, at the very first sight of the bigger than life-size beast he must have the same feeling but with the bamboo pole in his hand he won the eye-contact game. With beating of the pole, the beast receded and with the help of the pole he could retrieve the bread, which was scheduled for our breakfast, next morning.
6:21PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: I was taught a great lesson, not to cheat friends. Before situation goes out of control the upper bread loaf was thrown into the tunnel and rest was placed into the bag, securely zipping.
6:25PM, May 12 - AUROBINDO: We two decided to sit on the floor, leaning on the stone, behind which the Mouse appeared. During our conversation, I was astonished at the focus of Shashikant's torch.
While pointing to the starry sky the light beam had the highest column I ever witnessed. It seemed might be touching one of the stars.
Yes the darkness and the mist was thick that night in the heart of Debrigarh Reserve Forest.
6:29M, May 12 - AUROBINDO: The next few hours we had Antakhshree(Song competition), foot tapping, gossiping, recalling the heavenly facilities of the hostel, roamed near around but during the last phase of the night we did the biggest blunder of the expedition.
Can someone guess?
To be continued …
[When ring master makes a ferocious lion to do acrobats at sway of his stick, beyond the barricade sitting on a paid seat, beneath ceiling fan, appears like one of the easiest job of the world. Stepping into a jungle, not only heartbeats but one catches the sound of a dry leaf falling on the arid ground. A sudden breeze, blowing the fallen leaves, pumps blood from all part of body and pours into your heart.]