Land of thousand garden, that’s the meaning of the name of this small town of Jharkhand. I wouldn’t have planned to come over this place ever, if not suddenly I came across my childhood friend Shib Shankar, on Facebook. There were loads of calls, emails and exchange of ideas that happened with Shibu for almost over a year, and finally it was planned to do a photography workshop at Hazaribag at the fag end of the year.
My journey from New Delhi station to Koderma by Rajdhani Express was a breeze, fantasizing on Ray’s ‘Aranyer Din Ratri‘ (‘Days and Nights in Forest‘ – 1970). It was a misty morning and I was passing through deep forest in a cab from Koderma to Hazaribag. The morning freshness of the forest, chirping birds all around and a the smooth tarred road goes in the middle of the forest took me to the tiny town quickly. And there we met – almost after 22 years, once a serious footballer. Time has just put some extra fat on Shibu and made our hair little grey, but rest all remains same! The bachelor by choice is now a teacher, an ardent bird & nature photographer and a social worker.
Next 3 days were super-exciting! There were bunch of young photography enthusiasts who were very serious about photography. It was a lovely diverse group, someone is a medical student and the other one is from social development arena. Some uses a dSLR and some of them are trying to capture using mobile phones – but all of them tried to improve their skills. It was fabulous experience for me to spend these days with this group. We went up to the monolithic stones which are definitely enough to make anyone awestruck, something made in time unknown.
It was the last day in the forest town when Shibu took me to the wildlife sanctuary. Though we couldn’t see any wildlife, but the ride of few kilometers inside the sanctuary was simply awesome! Then comes the street food of Hazaribag, the Litti & the local vada to be precise, were completely mind-blowing! And did I tell you, Shibu is an awesome cook as well?!
Looking forward to be there again, sometime…