MEA 2010 Travalogue_VI – Bhilai steel city, Raipur and Vishakhapatnam Steel Plant and City
With a memory of fast SMS data entering commerce graduate girl and the girl of Gwalior I remembered once at Purnea , daughter of a Maithili worker (and also granddaughter of a Maithili worker parents),studing in Delhi University had exclaimed to know that I was not keeping mobile. Later company gave me and I found it useful and time(and money) consuming both. In fact it reduces chances of personal meetings and keep one away from the present surroundings and landscapes in train keeping you clogged to already known persons but it is also useful if used with caution and one can have many connections and information like PNR status of an unconfirmed tickets which I could know from cell one many a times in this journey also.
And Manish Jha was at Murga gate(there is a Cock sculpture) of Bhilai on getting call from mobile! At the PR room a visiting pass was made soon and I entered the Ispat Bhavan and talked MECONIAs.
Then I contacted if my sister-in law(Bhauji) was there in Sector IX or at Charoda- she use to shuttle between her two sons(of almost my age and hence going there I become a grandfather though always I feel myself a young student). My nephew of Sector IX had survived a serious head injury and after many years I saw him who told me as to why he became a vegetarian in a story-telling way. He described me that once he had visited a person where someone asked can you build a house –“yes, after studying engineering and or training for some years and so for many other things,” but can you make an egg was replied in negative and hence a thing one cannot make should not be killed and so one should be vegetarian.
He was against sacred thread(janeu) and I explained him about the gotras and pravars( three of ours i.e. Kaushik, symbolize our ancestors- Kaushik, Atri and Aplavan).
The vedantic teaching may be different that for higher life lower may be sacrificed to the amount needed, and types of foods- sattw, rajas and tamsik as per the choice of the person and interealtion between them as explained in Bhagavadgita’s Chapter XVII.
My cousin did not forget to ask me copies of the Aayurvigyan Pragati when I gave him the Maithili Sandesh. Eldest among the 21 brothers and 19 sisters, he retired as a teacher from the railway’s school at Bhailai and I used to meet him often during my tours through central India.
Bhauji had naturally a stock of questions on family matters and I had no reply for some of them. I had not much time and I started with Manish for Raipur for catching the train stopping for a while at Charoda residence of other cousin; grandson and his mother were there but not my cousin.
Bhilai has advanced like other parts of country but always I feel that as a serene place, full of greeneries among the hot of a steel city.
Raipur now capital of newly carved Chhattisgarh state has also developed though always remains in news for Naxals and in recent past Dantewada incident shocked the nation.
One of the BBC reporter, Salman Ravi , who is close to me, had invited me recently to visit the area around Indravati river, so picturesque in the map of India which always attracted me but I did not have time. I do not appreciate ‘encounters’ but also not ‘innocent killings,’ and staging war against the Indian state by rising arms though a reply is needed as to why the 50 most mineral districts of India are also among the poorest?
Manish Jha left me at the Raipur station which is also now a modern station and I could get a ticket and good seat in general class. One of the passengers told me that that was the route traveled by the poorest persons.
I had been on that track sometimes and I had stopped at Khariar raoad also and that was the area of Kaushal which is also demanding statehood.
I slept in night on the seat and in the morning while train crossed Orissa and entered Andhra, I felt poor there are not poor in exhibiting love! A Telugu man was showing love to his wife(?) as if no other was in the world or there at least in the compartment!
We crossed Sinhachalam, a famous pilgrim centre and reached Visakhapatanam, named on one of the 27 nakshatras.
I took a city bus for the steel city and though had requested conductor to tell me the stop I dozed and missed the stop and after a while I could get down and I was charged for excess route too. Luckily I met a person on bike and he took me to the Project Office I intended to go. There I met some MECONIANs who recognized me and again a photo identity visiting pass was made for me like my visit 2 years back which I had not seen anywhere else. On a car soon I was inside the plat of Wire road and saw with interest and talked my voters as well. The Steel City, Ukkunagaram, I had visited some times in past but my close person Baikunth Jha was outstation. Once meeting with him was incidental after many years in 1993 when I had gone for the All India Steel Medical Officers’ Conference and I enquired for any Maithili. Luckily in-charge of township was a Maithil and he sent a vehicle for me. I talked to him and he had called Baikunth wecould recognize each other after some minutes of talk that he was a Swayamsevak of the Sukhdevnagar shakha at Ranchi while I was a student of Ranchi College in 1972-73 and it was a happy reunion with him and then onwards we are in regular contact.
They left me on a big cross fare to Visakhapatanam City which always looks to me as if running in thrills. The city on the Bay of Bengal has a big naval base.
and again I walked few minutes from the bus stand to MECON Office and then again I could get a seat in the auto to go to the railway station.
(to be continued)