At Khana Khajana, Pradhan Nagar, Siliguri, the menu reads, “Chicken Burger.”
But they are very generous.
They serve One-and-a-half Chicken Burger.
If you are ever in the area, please order this special.
(By the way, I own a very special umbrella that my friends here don’t quite understand and has nicknamed it “chta” instead of “CHHAATA.” They say that it’s not worthy of being annunciated it full out because of its minute appearance).
So, I got to Dambar Chowk and was directed towards a crowd in front of this old stationary store.
In the middle was Mister Umbrella Man, busier than anyone in town for the week. He sat comfortably on this sackcloth beside a collection of spokes, nuts, and braces of all kinds to fix broken umbrellas.
My turn came after a brief wait. He carefully examined its fault and in less than a minute my “chta” was repaired for just five rupees…
“What do you like?
To move around. To meet people.
You don’t like trees, rivers…?
Yes, I do. But most of all I like people.
There is a romance or mystery within every man…
And I love to explore those unknown recesses of the human mind.”
-Taslima Nasrin, LAJJA
The travel time by road is usually less than an hour but it took us almost six hours to reach our destination.
With the steam engine chugging its way through the hills, the ride has high potential to bore you to death.
But when you are traveling alongside ragamuffins, Bihari second-graders, Newari tourists, and diplomatic ninth grade Bengalis, even the sluggish locomotion and dark clouds feel alive and active to make you dance alongside roadside seranders.
The price: IC Rs. 10.00
There are only a few who know the roads like no one else.
I pride myself in having met these road runners.
It was them who made the 432-hour trip possible across the Darjeeling Hills and Sikkim.
Thanks to my new friends chilling behind the wheels…:)