HIGHWAY to HAZARIBAGH (India).

Let me warn you before you proceed: I can hear the road, her low-Yells may reach you through me. Beware, lest you find her Calling-out.

HAZARIBAGH? That’s my town in the state of JHARKHAND in India, she comes in my writings barefoot hence I myself don’t realise her arrival. 

It was a couple of years ago, I started travelling alone to a neighbouring City where I’m pursuing my studies in English Literature. With my bagpack on a bus and NO HEADPHONES, all these times I’ve never slept in any of my journeys. What else would hold me back than the highway itself !

Yes. It is the green and brown beauty of this plateau that’s alluring and at present I don’t think myself enough well-read to give you lots of details of her geographical and Cultural importance, it may need a lot of reading both theoretical and Practical. Till that allow me tell you what it is to a 20-year old.

The farther I lay my eyes, it’s the hills I see, the quieter I become, it’s her rape I hear.

This Indian state (Jharkhand) has minerals; abundant at present, it’s also blessed with tribal culture not yet dead (maybe dying), to add more, you’ll see remnants from old-Kingdoms and Colonial period as well. 

And with these comes the greed to wring the most out of her, even if she’s reluctant. MINING is the trend here, it’s this she shouts to be spared from.

The roads smell of Coal, I can tell the minute of the journey when the smell is about to arrive. I can’t recall a time when I haven’t  come across trucks full of Coal or other minerals on my journey.Even cycles have the good-fortune to carry her. Illegal mining is at its top as well, here. 

It’s often that my parents send me in the Comfortable air conditioned buses totally packed which won’t let you breathe what is outside those close windows. And each of these times, I find myself outside the Passenger section, in the cabin with the driver and Conductor staring at me with their questioning eyes, and here, I prefer to look out. Look out to those open-forests and lands where I always find something under-construction. The sound of mining drowns the vast-streches. 

I’ve talked to my father about this, told him that this disturbs me, raised my doubts on JHARKHAND’s pristine beauty being murdered. He told me Development as well is important, to stop this immigration outside our home-town.
My sole doubt is if this path to development is Sustainable enough or if it is mere blind greed!

 MRINALINI RAJ

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51 thoughts on “HIGHWAY to HAZARIBAGH (India).

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  1. I found this a compelling post. The combination of your stark photos and lilting tone is powerful. Your approach may be unpopular, in an area desperate for jobs and financial security. But your voice could be the only defense left to this land. Whether you use it to stave off destruction of the environment, or to mourn the loss of another rural landscape is up to you. Wishing you well, A.

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  2. Hi! As I spent my childhood in Ranchi I can easily associate my self with your post. At that time jharkhand was still a part of bihar. And we used to travel by bus all way to Purnea. And how can I forget those beautiful hills an roads of ramgarh, kodarma and hazaribag. NH 31 is still alive somewhere deep in my memories.

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  3. Your father’s words are intriguing – and thought-provoking. “Development” to keep nationals home but if the land is no longer beautiful will they stay? Many come to America to work but those of us who make enough money to leave choose more beautiful and pristine lands – sometime we expatriate to other countries.

    Thank you for the thoughtfulness poured into this essay.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank You Mel for looking at it with that point of view, those particular lines of his I added with similar intentions. I’m glad you noticed them.
      In my opinion when we presently see the situation after blindly building Structures, we should rather find out some other means to attain this ‘Development’ to not face the problems that we see others in.

      Liked by 2 people

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