Pipra (Mardan Rai Ka) -My Village, My People

What would have been the right headline of this entry? I thought of making it ‘Pipra on Nitish’s Roadmap’ and even ‘India meets Bharat’. However, perhaps my village is great to me and with age my love of it is getting enhanced with many sweet simple memory of the childhood with which it was associated. My main objective was to have some photographs as I was not having any recent ones of my village and its people. I had requested Anand once to create a website of our village. May be with these photographs, it will be easier for him, if he is still interested.

Almost after five years I got the chance to go back to my village, my birthplace. I decided to go to Patna to attend the family marriage from Varanasi where I attended the Tilak ceremony by road. It was my interest to see myself the progress in Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) in Bihar region that I traveled to Sasaram on GQ. I was to leave Sasaram for Patna in early morning on the April 20, 2007. I had some hours only as we reached Sasaram by 11 AM on April 19, in almost 3 hours from Varanasi, as some portion of the road near Karamnasa was still under construction. Very soon after checking in Hotel at Sasaram, Alok returned after booking two seats for the air-conditioned Sumo with another Sumo to go to Pipra. For the first time, we left Sasaram-Arrah road at Agarer and passed through the villages Panjar, Mahooli, Tenuan before moving on the bank of the irrigation canal whose one bank is getting metallic as a regular road to connect our village.

I found work on rural road under Prime Minister’s Gramin Sarak Yojana going on all over. However, the contractors have engaged only limited resources and so I could hardly appreciate the urgency. Bihar has lost many decades because of the horrendous ineffective politicians. We have an honest and sincerely dedicated engineer leading the state for the first time. but still as usual my expectations are higher.

Perhaps very soon, Pipra will get electrified too. I could see the infrastructure for placing transformer near Panchayat Bhawan. While talking to the people, I heard of coming up of a health center too very soon.

After a wash and some exchange of greeting with my uncle, I went in and took the lunch prepared by my aunty, as my cousin has informed her on cellular phone before starting from Sasaram. I relished the simple but very tasty lunch. For many years, it was the same aunty who had been feeding me in my village as well as Birlapur in West Bengal before I went for college.

And then I moved in the village to meet the oldest man of the village who has crossed the century mark and is still very fit physically. He was sitting under the shade near the temple. Thereafter I moved towards the ‘Kalimai’ in the eastern side through the lane that passes through Chamtoli. Most of the houses are better today. However, the people as usual are least concerned about the basic hygiene. Even if one explains, they hardly get convinced. Someone must set example of a better living in rural Bihar (or India). Perhaps that only can bring change for an improved life style.

I also met with the fathers of two cousins who had graduated in engineering from BHU and REC Warangal, because of the seer will power of their fathers. However, while talking to these old men, one could understand easily that expectations proved short-lived and now over.

We left for Sasaram by 4PM. My uncle accompanied us.

This short visit of Pipra will remain alive in memory disc.

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