Post Mortem

A night, I dared by the road side

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/20/2018 11:47:53 AM IST

 I was fortunately or unfortunately posted in a place where my great grandfather once treaded at the edge of India’s boundary as an evangelist at Phokhungri in 1940’s. When I got my appointment order posted at Phokhungri it was like a dream I was happy at the same time shocked and unexpected to be posted far away from home. Honestly, my first day was not a happy day since the journey was so tedious and tired some like a never ending journey for the whole day. I thought, I will not make it. My attitude reversed as I tried to cope with it by assimilating with the nature and tradition of the people in that village. 

The village I was posted, lies towards the north eastern part of India at the edge bordering Myanmar. Recently, the road construction work was done linking Myanmar for international trade still then, many culverts and few bridges were to be built without which vehicles cannot ply during rainy season. Due to bad risky roads only few visitors comes to these area. We could see only one or two vehicles in a day or without any vehicles some days.
It was on 6th October, 2017 after Yemshi festival holidays, when I returned back from my village to Phokhungri, my posting place at Government High School, Phokhungri with my two wheeler TVS sports, I was compelled by the circumstances to take a night sleep by the road side. During dry season, I prefer to travel by bike, even though it was a tiredsome journey. The reason why I prefer two wheeler was due to uncertainty of vehicle coming and going from Meluri to Phokhungri and sometimes unnecessary trouble when vehicles were not available for one or two days while coming and going. 
The distance is 200 kilometers away from my village (Chizami) which is a one whole day journey for my bike. Unfortunately, on the above mentioned date, around 3:30 pm I was stuck in the mudslide unable to move after two to three attempts of moving forward and then backward in between Weshelo village and New Thewati. Alas! I was in a no mobile network area and my preconceived ideas of hearing people from the village did not work out. I was in a dilemma, could not decide what to do for twenty minutes and without help, also there was no possibility of any vehicle coming or going from either side. At last, I decided to walk down to New Thewati village for help. It took me more than one hour to reach the river through short way. To my utter shock I realized I can’t pass through it since there was no area with less water or even bridge. I went up and down the side of the river to cross the river but no safe area to pass through and I was completely exhausted by that time and since I traveled the whole day. In case, if I want to go to New Thewati through the hanging bridge I have to go upside to the road and take the road but it was already so dark and I could see that it will take so long to reach the hanging bridge and to the village. Therefore, I decided to climb up even though so tired to the place where I kept my bike. It was almost dark around 5:30 pm when I was in the river alone. As I climbed up a little bit to the road side and rest a little maybe 10:00 minutes by the side of the road but then heartened my mind to reach the place where I kept my bike and it was dark 8:30 pm without torch light when I reached that particular place. I searched for a suitable place to lay down by the side of the road and finally found one. This was how I slept by the road side without any vehicle coming or going by the road side. I carry small tarpaulin for covering my bike so that tarpaulin was spread out and I used umbrella to protect myself from the dew drops. I used all my warm clothes to warm myself. My shoes were already wet when I reached the river side so I changed my socks. I have one vessel to make noise if wild animals turn up and one small Pipe Wrench to protect myself from my enemies which I dared. I did sleep a little out of tiredness but was awake after 1:00 am due to cold waves and by 3:30 am I heard the sound of a vehicle coming from Phokhungri side. It was so heart warming to hear that sound and instantly I thought it was TATA MOBILE vehicle out early in the morning for some work. Hurriedly, I jumped out without my shoes to stop the vehicle and it happened to be Assam Rifles’ vehicle. The approaching AR vehicles stopped, as I halted them. Also, my bike was stuck in the middle of the road filled with the mud sludge and three AR personnel along with me lifted my bike for me. I felt so sorry for them as they had to move into the mud sludge and painted their shoes and clothes early in the morning to help me out and also clear their way. I was so happy and they said it’s Okay to help. One of them asked me if I was a government teacher because I told them that I was serving as a teacher at Phokhungri and immediately one of them identified me since they were stationed awhile at GHS Teacher’s quarter. They were ready to offer their food to me if I was hungry when they learned that I had no food the previous night but I was feeling so cold and not hungry and I wanted to reach my destination early. They may be doubting whether I could reach Phokhungri so again they asked me if they need to carry my bike from their vehicle and dropped me if needed but I politely refuse to give unnecessary trouble as I can move on. They emboldened me by saying that they will come from behind if I need any assistance. 
All these kind gestures warmly filled my heart when I was totally disappointed with the road conditions and the misfortune I encountered on that day. Sharing this kind of personal incident is like a disgrace exposing the truth and may even have negative impact to those people who have bundles of excuses but beautiful when viewed positively for beating the odd circumstances. And, this is the best thing I can give back to those who took trouble to help me. Many may have the same experience like me, but without help, just put a beautiful smile because here is also another guy with the same trouble! But, I thank 22nd Battalion Assam Rifles ‘Bais Bahadur’ A-coy for their assistance. Thank you Sir to the company commander and to all your personnel who assisted me during my trouble. May your company be the best amongst the best. You said to me that, ‘this is our duty and we are here to do this kind of work’. May God bless all the good works you execute. 
Indeed, I was relieved and I have to move on. It was still dark, the morning light yet to break by that time. It was 4 O’clock in the morning. So, I resumed my journey again and the two rivers I met in between were quite okey, the water levels were about 2 and half feet which I managed to swim across with my bike alone without any problem. 
I thank God for my journey and the good experience I had, and enabling me to reach safely to Phokhungri. I, personally suggest that the people of this area needs a special local disaster response team (partnership with the government) to rescue and assist the visitors and tourist in time of distress and  during unfortunate disasters on their way to Phokhungri or Shilloi lake or Trade Centre (especially during rainy season). 

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