Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sylhet 2009 (Day 3): The Other Side of the Fence

Monday morning we started later than we wanted to. We were actually pretty damn tired from the extended amount of walking on the previous day. We checked out of the hotel and kept our baggage at Nahiyan's place, and took a public transport known as tempo here in our country, towards Jaflong. On our way to Jaflong we feasted our eyes with the sight of the huge mountains that are visible across the border, over in India. Well, "the mountains are always higher on the other side of the fence", hehe. The shear magnitude of the mountain range clicked the inquisitive part of my mind, it made me wonder, what secrets lay hidden in those deep valleys covered with trees. There must be places within those mountains and forests that no one has ever set foot upon. Truly Allah's creation is way wider than our thoughts can be.


Jaflong is a place that combines sand, stone, and crystal clear water in a fascinating way. It is a tourist spot, yet the place is busy with labor, men picking up stone from the river bed. Stones of various dazzling shades and patterns form under the river bed, carried down from the mountains with the stream. The other guys again shed most of their clothing and got themselves in the water, while I was busy taking photos, as usual. But the clearness of water was enticing indeed.


We took a bus from there and got to Tamabil. It's just the very last point of Bangladesh in the east, and you can see the last standing milestone of Bangladesh and the two gates of the neighboring countries. We took some photos there and didn't make much delay, as the place is a little sensitive due to security reasons.
Next up we payed a very short visit to the shrine of Hazrat Shah Paran (R), another great preacher of Islam in the subcontinent. Over here the situation was a bit better than that of Hazrat Shah Jalal's (R). 


Back in Srimangal I was a little disappointed to find the tea gardens flat. Well that disappointment was washed away when we got to the famed Malinichhara Tea Garden in the afternoon. The whole garden was planted over the hills. We got ourselves a guide from the garden, and soon we were on our way to the top. As we were getting higher from ground level, the view kept getting better and better. The vast hills seemed to be wrapped around by the tea plants. Withing a little more than half an hour, we got to the top, feasted our eyes with the view, took photos, and got down again, this is only possible by true adventurers like us!


That pretty much concluded all we wanted to see in our trip. Still, taking a brief but much needed break at Nahiyan's house, we started to walk and reached the shrine of Manik Pir which is 225 steps above the ground level. On both sides of the steps there are graves. From the top we got a view to the whole city in the night.

For dinner we were invited by Nahiyan's father to his own restaurant, and the food was awesome and well needed for our over-night bus ride to Dhaka. Our bus, a Scania  from Green Line service, started on schedule at half past midnight. By dawn, we were back home.

Even days after returning from the trip, in my dreams, I find myself walking through forests, climbing hills, going to places I haven't seen before. Sylhet, with its mesmerizing natural beauty, has cast a spell on me that cannot be undone, and it may remain so for life. The trip made me wonder what amazing places are there in Allah's world, that I haven't seen yet. It made me feel small, and made me understand Allah's power of creation and supervision even more. This has been a remarkable journey for me, and maybe if I was a better writer, I could express it better. This was my first trip without any family members to watch over me, with my friends alone, so indeed is was a milestone for me. Thanks to Allah for everything.