By Mansi Nanda, Research Associate, ASER Centre
When I was told about my travel to Jharkhand, I got a bunch of calls from colleagues guiding me on how to travel, where to stay and what NOT to do there. A bit skeptical to go initially, I decided to go ahead and explore!
A 19 hour train journey was what came next. Since it was a last minute decision, it was difficult to get train tickets, lucky enough; I took a flight to Ranchi.
Move to Scene 2 - On my way to the training centre in a cab. The cab driver is talking about the place and repeatedly tells me about Dhoni and a “Pagal khana”. Yes, these were the only two things he told me about Ranchi. We reached the training centre where I was supposed to stay. It was away from the city, very quiet and secluded; just a few kutcha houses surrounding the centre and the rest was all GREEN. It was very quiet and no one could be seen around. The manager of the training centre guided me to my room which was on the terrace. I was suggested some other places to stay in case I found this inconvenient. I went on the terrace and my immediate decision was to stay there. Why? See below.
The 12 hour long, intensive ASER training starts and between conducting the sessions, I keep thinking of ways to get out and explore the place. The greenery and the far away hills were forcing me to step out. I wanted to leave everything and just roam around the place, but could not. The training sessions used to start at 8 in the morning and get over at night. I, along with a colleague, Dharmendra were desperate to roam around, so we decided to get up at 6 in the morning and go take a walk around. People suggested a few places so we arranged a bike. There was some dam named Kanke which was 10 km from our centre, but it only opened after 9am. We thought of taking a round to see how the city looks in the morning. While on the bike, we reached the dam as well. It said “KANKE DAM AND ROCK GARDEN”. It was closed but they allowed us to go and take a walk around. We went on top of a rock and sat there for some time. It was so peaceful, so green and so calm and so beautiful. Never did I expect I’d find a place like this. It is something I will remember forever.
Before this trip, Jharkhand was just another state for me. I’m glad I took the decision to go there because now whenever I would think about nature, peace and clear skies, I’ll remember Jharkhand for it’s beauty, I’ll be reminded of the training centre and the room on terrace for the view, I’ll be reminded of the rock where we sat and saw the calm water, I’ll be reminded of everything that Jharkhand was: BEAUTY AT ITS BEST.