20-Feb-2005 -- One day Michael said: Why we do not go for a confluence next Sunday. Then a discussion started, like: It’s to far away; it’s too dangerous; it will at least take two days; etc.
Our driver had to make the final decision and therefore they held a meeting. Based on the prints showing the routing a turbulent discussion in Hindi started. We found out that has ever visited this area. Finally Martin agreed to go with us and we decided to start at 6h30 on Sunday morning.
So we left JAMSHEDPUR in a good mood (Martin, Michael and Hans) in order to convince the others that we are able to manage it and the most important aim to see something from rural India. The first doubt came when we approached the Jharkhand / Orissa border on the national highway NH6 (Kolkatta – Mumbai). The left lane (India is a left hand driving country) was blocked by hundreds of trucks. Martin tried to overtake and we were confronted with the oncoming traffic. Nevertheless the national road has a lot of potholes nearly fitting our TATA Indico car. When we finally passed the section we found a truck checkpoint just after the bridge over the river Subamarekha. We were not able to trace the reason for this mess on the so called NATIONAL HIGHWAY NH6.
Soon we turned SOUTH into the NH5 and after some kilometres we had a puncture. After changing the tire Martin was looking for a workshop to get our tire fixed again. With these unpredictable occurrences we reached the town of BARIPĀDA (Mayurbhanj district).
From there we went east towards the West Bengal border. We passed DEOLI and SULIAPĀDĀ and finally approached the village of GUHALDIHA which is located in approximate distance of about 800 m from the CP. At the spot we met a local couple busy doing some spinning works on jute ropes. These ropes are fabricated all over this places with the whole family engaged. While doing our documentary works we were watched by the couple with grave faces and no response at all.
Then we walked into the nearby village and asked for permission to take some picture. It seemed that these people did not see many European faces in their life. Most of the women and girls disappeared while the boys were gathering in order to have a closer look at the aliens. Even the dogs were afraid of us. When we walked down the main road (path) we were pretty sure that we brought some change into their daily life.
Back to GUHALDIHA we found our car parked at the main square. After taking some photos with the gathering villagers we went back to NH5 passing irrigated rice paddies and many water ponds used for personal hygiene by the locals. When we turned into the NATIONAL CHAOS highway #6 we were lucky to be within the fluent traffic. We could not see considerable advancements for trucks we knew from our morning experience.
Apart from all doubts we have spent an interesting Sunday, have seen the real traffic situation in India and learned something about the life in remote places.