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Friday, October 25, 2013

Kursela Days 16 – The Trip to Araria



Kedar Nath Roy, known as KN to friends, was one batch senior to me but had landed in SBI through a rather circuitous route. A High School All India Merit Holder, he qualified through JEE and joined BHU IT to do his B Tech (in Mechanical Engineering?). Within a month, he decided that engineering was not his cup of tea so he went off to Hindu College in Delhi University to do his BSc and MSc in Physics. Immediately, after completing his MSc he got a University teaching assignment in Nepal and off he went to Kathmandu. After spending 3-4 years teaching Physics he decided that his heart did not lie in that profession. He then drifted for some more time, before trying out his luck with the All India Competitive Exams, i.e., the IAS, LIC - AAO, and SBI PO exams. He got through the written part of the UPSC exams to be dumped during the final interview round rather for dubious reasons. He got through both the LIC and SBI exams, but opted to join SBI, since LIC gave him a posting in far off Kerala.

I first met KN at Patna when he had been deputed to the Credit Appraisal Department (CAD) at Patna LHO (by his Zonal Office) and I was doing the last leg of probation, during which I was attached to CAD for a couple of weeks. When I got posted to Purnea, it was a delight to know that he was also posted there and lived in a beautiful small house along with his wife Mitali and daughter Jhumi. He soon took me under his wing and has treated me like a younger brother since. KN and Mitali maintained an open house for friends and a meal along with some good banter was assured any or every time we landed up there. KN and Diggy (who we have met earlier) were bosom friends as well as hard-core drinking partners and inseparable after office hours until both passed out. 

On one of my Purnea visits I came to know that KN and Diggy had an invitation to visit one of KN’s friends place in Araria. This person was KN’s college mate and came from a wealthy family of landowners, and so a good reception with nice and plenty of food was assured. It took very little coaxing for me to agree to tag along since the promise of food was too strong. We left Purnea on Sunday morning and planned to return by the evening. Araria was about 40 kms by road, and thankfully the road was in a fairly good state of repair (very unusually so). It was mild winter and the drive was lovely. KN, on his bike with his wife and daughter, and with Diggy and me, on Diggy’s scooter. Enroute there were many picturesque spots of canals, green fields, some great trees etc. and we stopped at a couple of them to enjoy the scenery and click a few photographs.







We reached, the friend’s house and as expected were inundated under a flood of food. We started off with a hearty breakfast but KN and Diggy (as usual) and their friend had other ideas in mind. They started getting drunk and stoned and competed with each other throughout the day in determining who could drink more. Well, by this time, I had got quite used to their drinking binges and I, as usual, concentrated on my eating. The lovely breakfast was followed by in a 3 hours time, with a lovelier and heartier lunch. By late afternoon, while I was bursting with food, KN and Diggy were totally sozelled and stoned. 

The real fun started on our return journey. Diggy insisted on driving the scooter with me as pillion and the more I tried to reason out with or request him to let me drive, the more adamant he became to drive the scooter. All this while KN kept on giving his stupid, leary, drunken grin with Mitali looking very grim and not saying a word. Jhumi was too small to understand or care about the situation. All the way from Araria to Purnea, Diggy and KN tried to race each other out, with me somehow clinging on to the scooter for dear life and praying to my Maker that there should be no mishap. From that day, I started believing in God, as we reached home without any mishap. KN went off to his house while Diggy and I to Diggy’s house. I think we must have reached by about 5 pm and the only thing all of us were in a position to do was to sleep off the experience. 

Next day I did not return to Kursela on account of some official (genuine) work at the Regional Office where I again met up with KN. The previous day’s incident was still very fresh in my mind and in good faith decided to try and rub some reason into KN to avoid such antics in future. So I told him with all sincerity as to why should he try such stunts and rounded it off with saying – “See  KN, you had your wife and daughter along and you should consider their welfare too”. KN gave me a hard look in the eye and replied, “They are my wife and my daughter and I don't want such stupid advice from you again”. I never again dared question KN on his drinking.

1 Comments:

  • At 4:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice recollection! Reminds me more of Mitali and the excesses that I have done on her!RIP
    KN

     

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