Enroute #Kolkata, had an opportunity to be in Patna for 2.5hours. And the world I saw was so unique and different in its own way!
Have never been to any part of Bihar, not even crossed any day. So going to Munger seems like an adventure. But that story some other time!
Instead of taking internal transfer from arrival to departure, I decided to walk around the airport area. And aha! people of all strata are there- poor, politically inclined, taxis, auto rickshaws, pulling rickshaws, rural, urban, monks wearing orange robes, youth on bikes holding BJP flags, a lot of Sikh men and women in their turban-beard & dark lipstick combo, Hindu women wearing vermilion on their hair!!! It looked like microcosm of India. Probably technology or economic development of all is an equaliser! All so diverse, but holding their identity so tight! And holding mobile phones so tight, clicking selfies all the time as if creating eternal memories!
Patna airport is still small where you walk up to the arrival lounge and walk back to the aircraft without using a bus. Outside the building, some chairs and sofa sets are kept for outbound passengers and their relatives, but they are filthy, not at all maintained. People are littering the place. 2-3 shops sell food items, while a food court has a pizza outlet and a better looking restaurant.
I walked for around 700 meters one way till the main road junction. Never in my life I have seen dustbin and pile of garbage around 400mtrs away from the airport. People were strolling, women cutting grass for fodder (reminded me of fodder scam by Lalu Yadav). Came back walking and checked in for Kolkata. Probably back to my comfort zone of safe, air conditioned, middle/upper middle class surrounding.
I wonder once a resource rich, culturally developed land is now poor, under developed, crime ladden, first among BIMARU (sick/ill) states. Why and when did it happen? There is equality, but also feudalism, law of the land but goonda raaj, land-mine mafia, political class and poor masses- so many contradictions. What holds everything in place? Probably people’s belongingness to the land, it’s spiritual heritage, love, compassion, hope, I don’t know!!
But this is a land where Gautam Buddha lived, Swami Satyananda set up Bihar School of Yoga, where maximum number of IAS, IPS officers come from, where one Anand Kumar runs his Super 30 academy to help poorest children crack IIT JEE to carve a better future. So there is a lot of positivity, hope, sharing, spiritual development, contentment. If not through all the layers and corners of society, but on surface at least.
I’m looking forward to spending 10 days in Munger at #BiharYogaBharati / #Bihar SchoolofYoga / #GangaDarshanAshram and find harmony in contradictions outside and within self.