Too tired and slept early. Didn’t get a chance to see Mohania. Believe there is a one really old temple called Mundeshwari Devi where pooja/rituals happen without a break. Heard prayers/Mantras being recited at 4:30 am.
Mohania to Silchar is not possible because of the distance and we decided to target Araria in Bihar (476 km) and started around 7:30 am. Need to get the departure time pushed earlier in the coming days. Araria to Arrah roads were super good. Around 110 km of the single lane but it was good to ride. We completed this in no time.
On our way, we got a call from the organizer and he wanted some details on a white paper. Fortunately, we stopped near a school to take his call and asked the security staff for a piece of paper. He gave us one and allowed us to use the school’s office. Headmaster tarted enquiring about your ride and they were smilingly helped us with what we want. While doing the paperwork, I heard the school prayer and that includes national anthem. Interesting to see the school student leader who was using the mike was talking in English and this place is in some interior part of Bihar. Happy that people are getting an education.
Stopped for a tea on the way and saw 2 truck drivers eating breakfast at 9. But their meal looked like lunch (Dal, vegetables, rice) and it looked very healthy and inviting. We went for tea and started having a conversation with the locals. They all enjoy their life and getting their village ready for Durga Pooja. The kids seem to be excited and waiting for the festival or holidays. Another thing which unites us is these festivals and I thank those who got the festivals known to people across the country and make them celebrate. Again “Unity in Diversity”.
Manish wanted to see whether these guys know Bangalore but 8 out of 10 didn’t know where it is. They just show their hand in any direction & tell “you need to go that way to reach Bangalore or say I don’t know”. That’s the case for most of cities except Delhi and Mumbai. These 2 cities are well known to all… One because of the political center & other because of Bollywood…
The road from Arrah to Muzaffarpur was bad (130 km) and it took all the energy out of us. Took more than 3.5 hours to cross this stretch. Either you have to maneuver the potholes or negotiate the people who ride or walk without giving importance to others. Also, the patch was really dusty and muddy, our vehicle (and us) were completely covered in mud, we had to stop at a washing shop and get ourselves cleaned (we both got showered by the mechanic using the water spray). The guys at the shop were very helpful and offered us food and completed the job. We bought some goods from their shop and they refused to make money. We forcefully gave them the money. Can you believe we both paid only 100 rupees for lunch and that too for both of us? Life is very cheap, interesting and friendly in the rural areas.
The above events delayed our movement and we reached Muzaffarpur National highway at 3:20 pm. From there to Araria, it’s going to be a smooth ride on the national highway and we pushed ourselves. We completed around 70 km in 50 minutes and reached Darbhanga. It started raining heavily and we took shelter at one of the tea shops.
While having tea and a local pan (not sweet and we wanted to taste the local flavor), we started having conversations with the people and it was very interesting and informative. Most of them have agricultural lands but they move out of the place because “there are no factories or industry in this area and farming doesn’t give enough money for survival”. Sad but that’s the reality and something needs to be done by the government to bring them back to traditional livelihood.. They are happy with the central government (with all the PM beneficiary schemes) but not that happy with the state government (because they focus only on Patna and ignore the rural areas). The upcoming elections would tell you the real story. Wait and watch.
The rain didn’t stop and one of the people we met at the tea shop suggested us not to travel further. You won’t find hotels for really long distances (till Forbesganj which was around 130 km from there) and it would be better to stay at a hotel nearby. We waited for some more time and decided to go as per his suggestion.
We drove in the rains for 40 minutes to reach the hotel and it was a very average place (but costly at 1300 rupees per room) . But again the people make a difference and the guys with a smiling face took us in. They ensured we get the best of food and other things we want (like newspaper for our shoes to suck out the moisture etc..).
Not a great day in terms of riding but a good day with the people and food. Let’s see how the weather looks like tomorrow and how far it would allow us to go. We are way behind our target and need help from the weather to reach the destination as per the schedule.