Bihar, unfortunately, has a bad name. But the Bihar I saw was nothing like I imagined. A beautiful land, filled with rivers and rivulets, with vast, waving fields of corn, wheat and sarson, and populated by polite, gentle people most generous with their hospitality, Bihar was everything I had imagined not.
Read the stories and experiences on www.sootradhar.blogspot.com.
My travels took me from Patna to Khagaria to Saharsa to Madhepura to Samasthipur and onwards to Seetamarhi. And all through, encountered various rivers – the temperamental Kosi, the aggressive Baghmati, Gandak and the Boodhi Gandak, Kamala and Balan. Various stories abounded about the rivers, narrated with relish and unconditional love that people have for it. Never once we saw Kosi as the “sorrow of Bihar”. People do not at all see her that way.
Bihar is also a desperate place. Impoverished by systematic looting by the corrupt politicians and powerful mafia, the people often live in a state of hopelessness. Migration offering the only way out. Not surprisingly, Bihar is not heavily advertised. Tourists shops don’t carry as many maps and travellogues of Bihar as they do of Rajasthan or Goa.
But Bihar is a land of the middle-path. As narrated by Prem Sankar Singh of Ramnagar, Athiri, Bihar is a land of Ram, Krishna and Buddha… all who first took the path of compromise and negotiations. And the Biharis are very much a peaceful people… Though the stories of rule of the gun is very much true among the powerful landlords and brick mafia.