The cycling expedition continues…
The group visited the Talatol Ghar in Sibsagar, the capital of the Ahoms. Along with the Kareng Ghar, it is also the largest of all Tai Ahom monuments. This is made of brick and an indigenous type of cement comprising of a mixture of Bora Chaul, a sticky variety of rice grain and eggs of swan among other ingredients.
Next, a visit to the the Shiva Dol was in cards. The temple has a central tower which is said to be the tallest among the Shiva Temples in India (104 feet) and the 8 feet Shikhara is crowned by a Kalasha made of gold.
Next morning the Group travelled to Duliajan, where an insightful meet with students of the Duliajan Oil H S school was scheduled. The students were all ears as the Team members recounted their experience during the cycling Expedition till then. It did become another overwhelming episode for a few members given their lack of access to such environs at any time in their life.
Natventure was fortunate to be aided by the able support of individuals like Bhargav, a dedicated Health and Wellness Trainer, Joyon and Prasanta who selflessly seemed to make the Venture their own and facilitated comfortable stay and events for the Group at places during the Ride.
By now, the Group had arrived at the last leg of their journey, and reached the Dhola Sadiya Bridge, the 9.15 km longest bridge in India, the next day. The Ride at the Bridge seemed to actually give wings to the Group, both literally and figuratively. A silent metamorphosis was on and the morrow promised of good tidings for these boys.
The last night saw them enjoy a comfortable home stay and a campfire, the night coinciding with Uruka, a night of feasting before Magh Bihu, the harvest festival to be celebrated the next day. The Group danced to the beats of Dhol and gave themselves up totally to joy and the rhythm of Bihu folk dance.
The Cycling Expedition was Flagged in at Rangiya Hq by Major General P S Behl, GOC, 21 Mountain Division. The astute Army men did observe the transformation in the Boys who had been flagged off as silent, shy ones but had returned as assured individuals.
Bhaben later revealed when asked that he now wants to be a Businessman while Dipankar and a few others revealed they want to join the Army. It could very well be fathomed that the boys had come back with dreams and aspiration in their eyes.
The positive impact of such Ventures will be fathomed by families and society in the days and months to come. For the light of quest for success in those now-dreaming eyes is sure to lead them to greater heights besides influencing the lives of their less fortunate peers in their immediate surrounds.
The experience did leave one with a heightened feeling of respect for the Army and their visionary ventures. For Natventure, it was a proud moment, to be associated and also for being lauded upon a job well executed.