On those good old days I used to get down from the trainI had gone to Darjeeling more than once. Why I don't know I didn't like the town much. So, when my friends planned to visit the hill-station once again, I reluctantly agreed. We reached New Jalpaiguri (NJP) on time, and for a change, planned to go to Darjeeling by 'Toy Train'. All of us were enjoying the leisurely journey. But my friend Punyabrata and I planned a different adventure. When the train reached Ghum, the highest railway station of India, both of us got down. We told other friends that we would reach Darjeeling later.
We came out of Ghum station and asked the porter about nearby places. He was rattling some names. The name ''Lepchajagat'' struck us. Lepchas are the original inhabitants of Darjeeling (They are different from Nepali, Gurkha, Mhadesia and Bhutia). Lepchajagat means the world of Lepchas. We somehow got a rickety car at Ghum station and went to Lepchajagat.
It was a beautiful village at a distance of around 10 kms. from Ghum station. Nature was cool, pleasant and beautiful beyond the power of my description. We only slept on the grass for three hours. After three hours, we very reluctantly returned to Ghum and managed to reach Darjeeling.
Last year my brother informed me that the State Government has been developing Lepchajagat as a tourist spot and some tourists, who want to avoid the din and bustles of Darjeeling, come to Lepchajagat. I remembered that day in the early nineties. I asked myself if this small world of Lepchas is still that beautiful and serene after the invasion of tourists.
I am thinking that as a family man, I can no longer get down to a station abruptly and discover new places, like what I used to do in my younger days.