“Not again,” said my 10-year old son with a fair bit of exasperation as I suggested Santiniketan for that weekend trip. Life had become insufferable to him for the past month or so with the half-yearly exams testing what they did not know, rather than what they did, as is the norm in most schools these days.
“Santiniketan is done and dusted, Ma,” he insisted, the imploration unmistakable. “We went there just about a couple of months back. Why do we need to visit the same place twice?”
I really had no answer. Santiniketan, since long, ceased to be nature’s abode as Tagore had envisioned. It’s now no less a concrete jungle with hotels and resorts sprouting their heads on every possible square inch of land. Not that I liked it, but we couldn’t possibly arrange anything within such a short time.
“We will stay in Sonajhuri this time,” I said
“What’s that?” my son asked.
“It’s not a what, but where,” I explained, “Sonajhuri is not like the crowded Santiniketan. Nature is still unspoilt there with the winding earthen roads, adivasi villages and the Khoai. Sonajhuri is more famous for its Saturday haat where the Santhals display their artwork and handicrafts and the local bauls perform. It’s a heritage place.”
“You mean the bauls sing live?” he now seemed interested.
“Sure they do,” I said.
“That calls for a visit.”
“Hmm, it does. Get packing,” I smiled.
It was early next morning that we hit AH1 and a little more than four hours later, reached Sonajhuri. We headed straight for the haat which was a riot of colours.
Here it is then, what my humble mobile camera caught of Sonajhuri on this short trip. Browse through the pages for all the pictures.