Monday, February 19, 2007

The Road (Not) Taken

Bend in the road is not the end of the Road, unless you fail to take the turn.....

Roads have a character of their own. I love traveling by roads... Two days back I was traveling from Coochbehar in West bengal to Siliguri and found an amazingly beautiful route. Dotted with yellow mustard flowersfields , green paddy fields , tea gardens and reserve forests(Buxa and Hasimara Animal reserves ) . In India you find all kinds of roads: National Highways, state highways, Rural roads and even Kachha( non-concrete) roads. I don't think I will ever get bored of these roads. They tell a lot about the society and culture of people living nearby. I find journey by car with music playing in background very relaxing and even rejuvenating. Perhaps that is the reason that many like me enjoy reading travelogues. Talking about roads, the poem that comes to my mind is essentially Robert Frost's The Road Not taken . Here it goes……

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler,
long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
And I—I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference!”

And here are some snaps someone sent me of 10 most beautiful roads in India.

Patratu Valley Jharkhand

Corbet National Park



In Gulmarg



Numaligarh in Assam


On the way to Ooty

I look at them and feel I have seen even more beautiful roads or should I say faces of the road, as the road also changes its appearance depending on the weather, season and even time of the day. The most beautiful moment I remember on a road is the serpentine road from Thekkadi to Munnar in Kerala. Passing through the tea estates and marked with a mixed aroma of tea and spices like cardamom and black pepper, it was perhaps the Greenest road I have ever seen. Then there was a lovely route from Gedu in Bhutan in which I passed through at least 15 waterfalls and saw the most beautiful sunset in the mountains. Also I don’t think I can ever forget the road to Rohatang ( and beyond towards spiti) with thick walls of snow and a lone bulldozer of Border Road Organization (BRO) fighting to clear the way . In the left you can find a snap of that road.

Talking of BRO , one cannot forget their witty one-liners on the sides of the roads. I wonder how do they manage so much of “CREATIVITY” while working in such difficult terrain. Here is my collection of BRO’s roadside messages:
The trophy goes to this one ...
and here are few more

--Hospital ceiling are boring to look at: AVOID ACCIDENTS!
--Be gentle on my curves
--Do not be rash or you will end in crash
--Don't dream , otherwise you'll screem
--BE slower on the earth than quickr to eternity
--Live for today: but drive for your tomorrow
--Darling, I want you but not so soon.

--Mind your brakes or break your mind!
--Road is hilly, Don’t be silly
--On my curves, keep your nerves
--Reach home in peace, not in pieces
--This is highway , Not a runway

And last but not the least roads remind me of the immortal voice of John Denver :“ country roads …take me home!!”

1 comment:

navrajgoyal said...

Dusht, the roads in the photograph look to good to be true..when are u taking me out for a drive