Patna Chalo! NEWS REPORT
All Roads Lead To Patna
Patna Sahib, Bihar, India
Patna Sahib railway station has, of late, turned into a mini Punjab with Sikhs flocking to the station from around the world in large numbers to participate in the 350th birth anniversary Gurpurab of Guru Gobind Singh.
The scene was no different at the station earlier this week with visitors of all ages getting down from Akal Takht Express and heading to the Takht Sri Harmandar Sahib in groups.
It was the first train journey for three-year-old Mannat Kaur who was travelling with her mother Harpreet Kaur. Originally from Moga in Punjab, Harpreet immigrated to Australia after her marriage a few years ago.
She came to Punjab on December 5 with her daughter on a vacation.
"My brother-in-law Gurnam Singh came with his wife Kulvir Kaur from New Zealand and my sister-in-law Narinder Kaur came with her husband Gurdev Singh from Hong Kong. It was a family get together on December 24 and suddenly we all planned to visit Patna Sahib," Harpreet said as she collected her luggage and got down from Akal Takht Express at Patna Sahib railway station.
She called herself lucky as she got an opportunity to participate in the 350th birth anniversary of The Tenth Master.
"We booked tickets and boarded the train on December 27 without any planning. Today, we have reached here and we are sure Guru Sahib will help us in finding accommodation too," Harpreet added.
Sixty-one-year-old Malkeet Singh and his 73-year-old friend Joginder Singh were happy after reaching Patna Sahib. Asked to share his feelings, Malkeet said, "Wahe Guru, Wahe Guru! I could not have wished for more. I am lucky to celebrate my Guru's birth anniversary."
Malkeet, who is visiting Patna for the second time, said the city has changed for the better in recent years. "Development is there for everyone to see," he added.
Though the train was late by six hours, devotees did not complain. They were also happy with the arrangements made by the administration. Manjeet Singh, who was born and brought up in Patna and later shifted to Ludhiana 16 years back, was so happy seeing the way Patna has developed over the years.
"So much has changed here. I can see huge development in infrastructure. The administration is on its toes to help the devotees. The entire arrangement is worth appreciating," he said.
Another visitor Sarabjeet Kaur, who was returning back to Amritsar so that her daughter could resume school, said, "I am leaving Patna with sweet memories. We got a very warm welcome here. I now request the Patnaites to visit Amritsar. I am a little upset because I could not attend the main function, but happy that I got an opportunity to visit Takht Sri Harmandar Sahib."
Sarabjeet said she tried a few Bihari dishes and loved stuffed 'kachauri' and 'litti'. "I am carrying bananas as a token from Patna. We had never seen such small and yellow-coloured bananas. These are really tasty," she said.
[Courtesy: Times of India. Edited for sikhchic.com]
December 30, 2016