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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Bangalore to Milak, UP

My friend Aman had invited me well in advance for his wedding as it involved a long journey and flight reservations. When other friends, one by one dropped off, I was unsure of this trip. But, Aman insisted me to come and assured me that it would be a great experience. Today, after having returned I couldn't agree more. So on the 3rd of July, due to a pre-ponned flight, I landed in Delhi at around 8:30 AM.


Aman had asked me to book a train to Rampur, UP. I had waiting list on two different trains that were to be boarded at two different railway stations - DEL and NDLS. Interestingly, both got confirmed and I took the one in the morning from NDLS. At the airport, I was directed to take a shuttle to the nearest Metro station called Aerocity. For most domestic flights departing from or arriving at Terminal 1 this is the way to get to the nearest Metro station. Terminal 3  has a metro station there. So the bus was quick and I was charged a nominal Rs30. The first thing I noticed when I drove off from the airport is that everything seemed to happen in a very relaxed and lethargic pace. In Bangalore, there is always an unnecessary rush in people to get somewhere but here even vehicles seemed to move in a lazy fashion as if there was all the time in the world. It was actually a comforting sight for a traveler like me. 

Well, I got off at Aerocity metro station and was directed to take the airport express directly to the last stop - NDLS railway station. Delhi Metro is designed very similar to that I had witnessed in Hong Kong. Again, it was a very relaxed journey. In days to come, I did travel in Metro; sometimes they were crowded but I never felt it was over crowded like I did experience in Mumbai trains. Anyways, I got off at NDLS and crossed the road to get to the railway station. Kashi express was at 11:30 AM and I had more than an hour, so I decided to grab some quick brunch at a local restaurant. Then, I waited for my train at the platform. That is when, I felt the heat. The airport, metro stations, train and hotels are all air conditioned but when you get out of them you face the reality of this harsh weather that I have been recently viewing in news channels. The worst part is that it is humid and there are heat waves. I also found Delhi to be terribly dirty and as I travel to other indian cities, I realise how clean and tidy Bangalore is. Though Bangalore is not comparable with other foreign countries, it is far better than any other Indian cities. I think the cleanliness is limited to Bangalore, Mysore, Coorg, South/North Canara and Kerala. 

My train was on time and I was more than happy to get into an AC compartment. I had a bad headache so I dozed off for a while. The journey from Delhi to Rampur is about 4.5 hours long and it passes through lush fields of UP. I reached Rampur at around 4PM. It was interesting to notice the TT chase some locals who were traveling in the small pockets between two bogies. 


Here, I was to take a bus to Milak. I had never spoken to Aman about this travel before so I was kind of clueless of where I was heading and how I would reach his house. So, this made it a very adventurous experience. I only wished that I had a backpack and I was on a never ending road trip. Rampur seemed like a crowded small town. I took a tuk tuk till the bus stand which is actually not very far but I was advised so by Aman considering the luggage. He had told me that the fare would be around Rs10 but the driver demanded Rs20. I agreed without hesitation and he seemed startled. He repeated the fare and I agreed again. He appeared guilty of his own act and perhaps thus began a conversation enquiring which train I had taken etc. For the extra money I had paid, he parked the vehicle next to the bus driver and checked for me, the his destination. 

Surprisingly, I found people in Delhi and this part of UP very polite. I never saw people quarrel and speak harshly. Even bus conductors maintained humility. And the language, I found to be very melodious and polite  Hindi language spoken here is perhaps in its purest form, just like I had studied and spoken in School. 



The bus driver played old Hindi film songs sung by Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Rafi. In the front mirror, I could see the reflection of his face as he pinched his eyebrows, swayed his head and slipped into an emotional expression while following the romantic tune of the song. 

Just by the enternace was a notice put up by a family desperately in search of their teenage daughter. Written in Hindi was a request to her to return home considering the health of her sick mother. She was informed of how her sisters and brother are in bad condition due to continuous crying. They also agreed to surrender themselves to all her conditions and agree to her decisions. Anybody informing them of her whereabouts were also assured an appropriate reward. The notice seemed a little weird to me. I had seen publications for missing people but this was more of a willing disappearance.




The bus journey was short, for about 25 minutes. Milak is a small town on the way to Bareilly from Rampur. At Milak, Aman’s dad came to pick me. I was happy to meet Aman and his family. Aman’s grandmother welcomed me with a warm hug and a kiss. Aman’s mother offered me some delicious ghee rice, Rajma curry and kheer. His cousins and uncle politely greeted me. I realised that this was going to be an exciting experience!

4 comments:

  1. Cela fait un très long voyage mais l’accueille chaleureux des gens réchauffe le coeur ♥

    Bisous et bon séjour là-bas

    Manon

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    Replies
    1. Merci Manon, Oui bien dit. Je vais continuer bien tôt avec l'histoire de ce marriage. :-)
      J'espère que vous avez eu un bon vacance.

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  2. Dear Ajay,

    while searching some information on web I came across your blog and read your experience of your journey from Bangalore to Milak.
    Myself Kuldeep kumar native of Milak, same place you had visited. Also, I had lived in Bangalore for 7 years in past.

    Reading your experience was reminding me of my days of travel from home (Milak) to Bangalore and vice versa.

    Thanks for writing your nice experience of this journey.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Kuldeep. I am glad that my post brought back nostalgic memories of your life. This indeed was a very interesting experience. I wish to return on a long backpacking journey around UP, an area I have less explored. I hope you found what you were looking for. :-)

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