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Orissan Safari


Balasore Railway Station
I am very excited to be in a small town of Balasore. In Oriya and Hindi they call it as Baleshwar and in English as Balasore. I am still excited to recall the sight of a flock of birds flying over my head. This happened as I landed on the platform of Balasore railway station! That was the best welcome I could have, I guess.

I never had the slightest idea that I will feel so helpless in Orissa. I cannot read even a single alphabet. This script is quite different from Bengali. At least, so different that it does not amuse me at all. I know I am in trouble. My half Bengali is not going to help me anymore…Help!

I was not sure whether I would be able to reach to Betnoti before it gets dark. Anyway, Betnoti must be the smallest town I have been to, so it cannot be difficult for me to look around and find the address. God knows, if I can find places with the address, phone numbers and everything lost in the capital of Rajasthan, what is a big deal to explore Betnoti. Explore is a memorable word. I remember of Jodhpur and my exploration of the Mehrangarh fort. That was the funniest tour I have had until now, I cracked jokes with a police officer at 5am, I became a non-paid guide to a Catalan couple, went to a shopping spree with strangers and lot more...

Dark it became when I reached Betnoti. To note in the pronunciation of Betnoti, the first T is soft, like the T in Thanks and the second T is hard as in Tomb and Tall. Soumya writes his name with O and not with A as I earlier thought. He was nice to come to pick me up and the office is in a spacious property. Wow, they have mosquitoes here, and they can be fatal too…


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