Friday, December 22, 2006

Mungpoo with Ashok

Ashok is a nice and friendly guy working at our Darjeeling branch. He bought a brand new Maruti Swift car. Previously he was with us at a trip to Mirik, where Debasisda was present, but then he did not have a car of his own. This time we planned to test his new car and also bring back some oranges from the famous orange orchards of Mungpoo. The time was the middle of December (20th December to be precise), peak time for the oranges to ripe.
Myself, Mrinalda and Ashok started off early from Darjeeling. Took a left turn from Jorebangla. We rode on through the quite Peshok road towards Mungpoo.
Gyalshen (Ashok's agent) was waiting for us. He showed us the various attractions around Mungpoo Bazar including the famous Rabindra Bhawan. Various writings, photographs, paintings and artefacts of the world famous Bengali poet are displayed here. Articles used by him are preserved with utmost care.
I had a feel behind the wheels of Ashok's brand new Maruti Swift. Took it to a few fast rounds around the large ground of Mungpoo. Ashok treated us with a modest lunch at a small restaurant overlooking the Mungpoo bus stand. Mrinalda had a taste of the local drink Chhang. After lunch, we set of towards the orange orchards of lower Mungpoo.
Oh, such oranges! Large in size and very tasty. I regretted to have taken so heavy a lunch. I could have stuffed my stomach solely with those oranges. I tried my best to pluck the largest of them. The orchard was located alongside the residence of the owner, on a hill slope. Because of Gyalshen, the owner of the orchard treated us with much respect. He himself showed us the proper way of plucking oranges. Since the orange trees were already sold out to traders, according to local convention, we could eat the oranges there, but could not carry them home. So we bought some oranges from the local market for our homes. They were very cheap there.