A South Indian’s Tribute to the People of Himachal

An eighteen years old boy, coming all the way from a remote place in Tamilnadu, stands at the Chandigarh Bus stand waiting for a bus that will take him to Hamirpur, his destination. What is the problem? A common scene at any bus stand where passengers wait for buses, you might say. The problem was that he didn’t know Hindi, it was his first visit to any part of
North India, the next available bus would bring him to Hamirpur at 2-30 AM, and he was carrying a big amount of money as well. Now don’t tell me that an 18 years old boy should be capable of handling all such problems.

This was how one of the students of my class, many years back, related about his first experience about the people of Himachal. It was an answer to an assignment that I had given to the class. He wrote, “I felt lost.”and  “All the courage that I seemed to have, vanished in thin air” and reflecting upon how and where he would spend the night at Hamirpur made him look like a venerable young boy instead of a confident young man that he was hitherto had been posing as.

“The worst was the language problem” admitted he very honestly. “I could speak neither Hindi nor, for that matter English, properly”. He stood bewildered at the Chandigarh Bus stand unable to decide whether to board the bus or not. Then he decided to buy the ticket and start his journey for the destination, Hamirpur. “Throughout the journey, I kept on thinking about where would I spend the night?” Those were the days when mobiles were not at all heard of. He could not contact any other boy from Tami Nadu till he reached the college!

The bus reached Hamirpur at 2:30 AM and everyone got down, He, too, got down but thad no clue, whatsoever, that where could he stay for the night. NIT campus was at a distance of 3-4 Kms. from the Bus stand and the road was lonely and dark and moreover he didn’t know the way to the campus. “You can come and stay with our family” a voice from behind made him look back and he found a woman, his co-passenger in the bus, standing behind him. This woman had traveled from Chandigarh to Hamirpur and had heard the young boy ask about the whereabouts of NIT campus. “Come with me and tomorrow morning I would send someone to escort you to the campus” said she.

“I was in dilemma” acknowledged the boy later n in my class. “I was taught all the while not to trust any stranger” He confessed. But here he had to take a decision between staying in a hotel or this woman’s home and the fact that he carried a big amount with him made him all the more worried. “I decided to go with the woman”. He could not sleep for the rest of the night as he still could not trust the people and waited for the morning. In the morning he was asked to have a bath and a hearty breakfast was served to him by the affable family. The father of the lady escorted the boy to the campus and saw to it that the state seniors of this boy could be contacted and left the campus only when the boy was in th safe hands of his state seniors.

Relating the incident this boy from South India felt genuine gratitude for the people of Himachal as he learnt to have faith in the basic goodness of human nature. Whole of the class sat silently when this boy gave an account of his experience, though in smattering of English, and applauded. It was the genuine gratefulness in his account that held us all in awe. “This is my tribute to the people of Himachal” he finished this acount with a choked voice.

6 thoughts on “A South Indian’s Tribute to the People of Himachal

  1. Thanks for your comments but the account is real. The student told about it and later wrote it down though I don’t have the record wit hme. In fact these are the references, both good and bad, that make our belief system but we have to be objective in our approach.

    I agree that this reference may not be a certificate for the goodness of a particular place but there is a always a regional characterstic which is a general way of behaviour and an individual characterstic that is particular way of behaviour.

  2. Venky Dwaraknath

    Dear Ma’am

    This comment is not specifically for this story, although I can relate to this story as I am from Madras. I was fortunate enough that my parents could accompany me when I first came to Hamirpur and I did not have to go through with what this particular lad to go through. However, I can definitely relate to the problem he faced in this story here and the problems he might have subsequently faced as I also lived through the same during my four years in Hamirpur. Before I go into that, I would like to add that the people in Hamipur and in HP in general are the best I have ever seen in the world. Kind, friendly, warm hearted, generous etc etc. I could use a 1000 adjectives.

    I went to REC Hamirpur from 1990 to 1994. I was student in the Civil Engineering department. Looking back I am very happy to have been there and spend four years of my life with some very fine people. Although the education was not top quality back then, I am very happy to see the progress made both in terms of facilities and education. Additionally, I am also happy to see NIT jump up to top 20 in the rankings.

    I would like to appreciate your blog and the fine job you have done with it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the blog, especially the alumni meet. Please continue to contribute. Please let me know if I can do anything.

    Regards
    Venky

  3. sugumar

    Only the confidence first stays in the 18 years old boy,he know he will reach the destination,at the same time “we are not the only one to be in success there is another one supporting you always indirectly thats God”.I think He will direct you in the sense and attitude according to the wave lenght of the sprit and soul.

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