Well, it was the time to return back home from Nijhum Dwip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ). After a quick freshen up(at 07:20 am) we have thanked and said a goodbye to the resort caretaker, named Shobuz(সবুজ), a generous young man. Without having a breakfast, we have hired two motor bikes from the Namar Bazar(নামার বাজার). They were hired to drop us at the Bondor Tila Ghat(বন্দর টিলা ঘাট), the other side of Nijhum Dwip(নিঝুম দ্বীপ). It was a ride of half an hour and cost us 150 taka per bike, each bike two person.
There were few tourists out there at the ghat awaiting. In fact they had been waiting for around 40 minutes for the boatman. We were lucky as the boatman arrived as soon as we have reached there. If somehow we have missed that boat, we had to wait for an hour for next one. Only few local people were waiting for the boat to cross the river, rest were us and the other group. They all were from Noakhali(নোয়াখালী). They have stayed at the "Chairman boarding" near to that ghat.
It was a short boat ride, and for the last time of this tour. It cost us 15 taka per person. This ghat is known as Moktara Ghat(মোক্তারা ঘাট). From there we have hired a baby taxi, an auto rickshaw. He charged us 700 taka to drop us straight at Tomoroddi ghat(তমরদ্দি ঘাট). That horrible road journey started around 08:15 am at morning. It was mainly for that road condition, too many ups and downs. As I was sitting beside the driver and he had a fat butt, so i had merely a seat for mine one. Most of the time I had to rely on my hands to handle the jerks. The roadside was packed with traditional Bangladeshi beauties, but I didn't have a chance to enjoy for the horrible road condition.
There was a place named Jhahazmara(জাহাজমারা), after that place the road was smooth. From that portion, I started to enjoy the journey. I was thinking about lot of things that time. One thing was how to pass the free time at launch. I was thinking about a Jhal Muri(ঝাল মুড়ি) session for the afternoon. So in my mind, I have instantly started planning about the necessary ingredients and their collection from local market.
After reaching at the Tomoroddi ghat(তমরদ্দি ঘাট), we have directly contacted to the person of launch for two cabins, cause we didn't book any. And unfortunately there were no vacant cabins available on that launch. The demand of cabin is always high for the winter season and thus we didn't find any. But it has few cabins for the stuffs of the launch, and they suggested us to have few of those instead of Deck ticket(lowest class). We have booked one cabin that is normally used by the master of the launch, and a bed of two for the stuffs. It cost us 3700 taka(2500 + 1200). We were happy to have those, cause after a few minutes all of those stuff's things were booked too, and lot of people were out there who wanted to have few, but didn't.
After ensuring the cabin at the launch, we have returned back to the hotel nearby for breakfast. It was 10:00 of the morning. Still more than an hour available for leaving the launch from the jetty. Once again those guys from the local hotel served us earnestly. After an usual heavy breakfast, we have collected the following things from the local market.
1) 250 gram puffed rice(মুড়ি).
2) 120 gram of packet chanachur(চানাচুর).
3) 200 gram big sized Indian onion(পেয়াজ).
4) 50 gram Local green chili(কাঁচা মরিচ).
5) A 90 gram weighted bottle of mustard oil(সরিষা তেল).
6) A feast full of salt(লবন) for free, that was more than our necessary.
7) Dhunia Pata(ধুনিয়া পাতা).
8) 200 gram Indian Olive(জলপাই), to enjoy that with the salt during the warm noon.
After collecting everything, when we have boarded the launch again, it was still another half an hour to go before it starts for the destination. Bangladesh cricket team was playing their second ODI match at Khulna(খুলনা) against West Indies cricket team. We were listening the commentary on the radio that belonged to the master(সারেং) of the launch. (Later that game was won by our Bangladesh with a huge difference).
From Tomoroddi Ghat(তমরদ্দি ঘাট), only one launch use to run for Dhaka everyday. But several sea trucks use to run for Noakhali(নোয়াখালী) from there. We saw a sea truck just arrived to the jetty, and after dumping all of it's passengers it loaded again within few minutes and leaved for the destination. Everything happened fast and quick, felt like something came and gone in a haste. Our Shahadat(শাহাদাত) was interested to return back to Dhaka using the route of Noakhali(নোয়াখালী), but others were not interested at all.
Though it was near to the winter, but still it was terribly hot out there. Through that scorching sun, the launch reached to the Monpura(মনপুরা) island within 50 minutes. It supposed to give a break of 30 minutes, so we got down from the launch, and have a stroll to the market nearby. Few of us enjoyed the tea that made using the milk of buffalo. I don't take tea, so didn't show interest on that.
It was 02:00 at afternoon when the launch started from Monpura(মনপুরা). We got tired by the hot out there. So decided to get back for a rest and planned to enjoy the sunset at afternoon. Monish(মনিষ) and I have chosen the low priced berth and it was like a microwave oven inside. You can only sleep there, can not sit or stand. Due to the warmness we fall in a nap for two hours there, and waked up when we have heard the knocking from Shahadat(শাহাদাত). They stayed on the better cabin, and it was nice inside there. So they didn't feel any tiredness, and looked fresh.
It is basically a local launch. It use to give less stoppage when it comes from Dhaka, but when returns back, it use to give lot of stoppages. In fact in every ghat where it finds local people were standing, like a garbage collector(positive way). We were sitting on the corridor of the launch to enjoy the sunset. During that period, the launch gave several stoppages.
It was running beside the island of Bhola(ভোলা), a district of Bangladesh. The devastating Meghna(মেঘনা নদী) river is possibly the most fierce out there. Miles after mile, the bank of the river use to get disappeared(with progress of time) by the crushing waves from the river. It was painful scene to watch. People removed their houses, taken down the trees too. In fact they took whatever they could. Once upon a time they had a recognition, but now they are homeless/landless. Can you imagine how they are going to survive in a populous country like Bangladesh after that?
I have expressed my feelings about sunset in my many other writings. I never get tired of watching that. This time it was beside the river Meghna(মেঘনা নদী). The western bank of the river was packed with more or less trees, but among those, the battle nut(সুপারি) tree were most prominent in numbers. The red sun was playing hide and seek with us through those trees. Sun was going down, the weather was getting chilling. Everything was amazing and sitting silent on such an environment was tremendous.
After the darkness begin, we have started preparing the Jhal Muri(ঝাল মুড়ি). We had all the ingredients, just needed to prepare. With a brouhaha and cooperation from everyone, we have done that successfully. Though we might have miscalculated the usage of salt and chili, but it was not that bad at all in taste.
It was much colder than the other night, so we hardly got out from the cabin. Most of the time we have enjoyed by playing cards,gossiping, etc. Also we have finished the dinner early(Though we went to bed in late night). In fact, the decaying moon on the sky couldn't lure us out from the cabin.
Our tour ended at 06:00 at morning when we have waked up and the launch have already anchored at the Sadarghat(সদরঘাট), our Dhaka(ঢাকা). It was an awesome three days that we have enjoyed all together.