The Story Of How This Non Bihari Fell In Love With Bihar

 Farida Dariwala-

A free spirit ‘Mumbaiwaali‘ with absolute no connection to Biharipan or Bihar, except ‘Khamoosh‘ (Bollywood) is how it was. Born in an inter-caste family (Father a Bohri Muslim, Mom a Christian), never did I imagine I would write so enthusiastically about Bihar.

Marrying a Bihari babu triggered the already existing passionate seeker/traveller in me and I literally got into the core of Bihar, changing every borrowed idea I had gathered about it over years.

The mud, the buildings, those red flowering trees placed beautifully one after the other – like someone had asked them to stand in a line, showering their petals on every passerby. The Ganges that cut through – her banks, those little boats and their mystic feel.

The independence I saw in people’s attitude, they carried confidence with aplomb, even if they didn’t know what it meant.

Bihar to me is a dance of spirituality, her contrast – and yes, I say ‘her’ because she resides in the heart of creation – the feminine principle. Artistic, raw and dipped in rich cultural heritage this state is as fertile as an artist’s imagination.

The key to knowing and loving her is only through appreciating and nourishing her, for what she was, what she is and what she could be.

And, knowing this land a little more deeply is what drove me to write this love letter to her

P.S. And, we don’t even have a jealous husband here who could get offended with this pyar bhara khat


To Bihar, with Love..

Bihar, you know when I first heard of you it felt alien, yet curiosity tickled me. I used to wonder how you looked, smelt, felt or tasted. Kept stumbling upon you through ‘his’tory. Ancient and attractive – I left it that, hoping to connect with you some day.

Time drew me closer to you each day, yet it felt like lifetimes. You kept your distance and I either saw you in pages, stages or films. People spoke about you, but very sadly and that made me scared too making me feel, O maybe it’s better, I don’t know you much’.

One fine day I connected with few friends who showed me a tiny little glimpse of you – that was a time when the Buddha in me sought out other Buddha’s. Fully fascinated, I started dreaming of you. Days took the shape of months and then years and I found myself connected to a son of your soil and a spark from my own flame. ‘I am a Bihari’ he said. Aah my BUDDHA, the heart skipped a beat.

My first step to you was a big one, and I was left stumped with your assortments. You had the Majestic Ganges in your bosom. Gol Ghar, Agam Kuan, Patna Zoo, Begu Hajjam’s mosque, Sun temple, Hanuman Mandir, Buddha Smriti Park, and am only talking about Patliputra (Patna) – love calling it Patliputra as it feels so regal and has ancient written all over it. The tripper in me now wanted to explore more of you and I hit the roads with my Soulie.

Bihar, you got to my taste bud too. That mutton with a whole pod of garlic and sweet little thekua felt like home. Don’t ask me where, coz home for me is where my heart is. And then Nalanda happened. It was easy to see why so many students and scholars were attracted to this Centre of learning.

Every brick I touched had tales to narrate. I left with wonder and Rajgir found its way to me – the first capital of the kingdom of Magadha. Warm water ponds, Vishwa Shanti Stupa (Peace Pagoda), a valley surrounded by hills – so much beauty here.

Travelling, we lost our way but found ourselves in between some sparkling fields and kaccha roads. The place was beaming with cleanliness. Kaha jaata hai ye rasta, we asked a villager and were greeted with a gap in the teeth ‘Pranaam’ by a two year old.

What caught my eye was no one nudged the child to do so, it came through habit. Wow, such reverence I thought. VAISHALI embraced me.

Vaishali derives its name from King Vishal. Even before the advent of Buddhism and Jainism, Vaishali was the capital of the vibrant Vajji confederation, since before the birth of Mahavira (599 BC), which suggests that it was perhaps the first republic in the world, similar to those later found in ancient Greece (source – Wiki). Our trip was as tasty as Bhunja (you have to eat this to know it).

Passing through history, every page I read and heard began to take form in front of me.

And then – Bodhgaya. Need I say more? Time stood still. Never before I saw Buddha in bones. Here, the flesh had lost its meaning. Sitting under that Bodhi tree, NOW is only what we could be. Fallen dry leaves waiting to be picked up and packed – I saw a race there. Each wanted to possess a part of the ancient one, as for me I got inspired yet again;

..it’s but a leaf you hold, consciousness cannot be bought or sold.

We sat for hours feeling the atmosphere around us – that night we saw our own reflection in pitch darkness.

Bihar, I am glad to have met you….

Farida Dariwala

Bihari is the new Sexy

 

 

Never before I saw Buddha in bones. Here, the flesh had lost its meaning.

Farida Dariwala is a lover of life, and a connoisseur of the ‘Spirit’.
Her wisdom and learning’s have come through life experiences and innate compassionate observation skills on human behavior. Travel inspires and brings her closer to people from diverse walks of life. She uses her deep listening skills to connect to their stories that empower her love for writing and sharing life skill tools that she has acquired over time with a possibility of creating a ripple of hope in their ocean of change.
A Corporate Professional backed by a creative career spanned across 24+ years, she is also an established Wellness coach and a therapist actively supporting people in various facets of their life journey. She believes that each one of us comes with an innate gift and is capable beyond compare. Through her integrated approach of facilitation she guides people through a journey to embrace their true potential. Art has been a strong influence throughout her learning journey where she reaches out to her audience through authentic writing, workshops, one on one sessions and is an active social contributor. Her formidable list of credentials include Creative Movement Facilitator – ART based therapy, Clinical Hypnotherapy and Alternate Integrated Complimentary Energy Healthcare through different forms of Energy Healing modalities. She has received intensive training in healing through body work, aura and through cognitive counselling.
Create Masters of ‘Joy & Self-Empowerment’, her core purpose!

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Quote of the day: “But just as the river is always at the door, so is the world always outside. And it is in the world that we have to live.” 
― Lian Hearn, Across the Nightingale Floor

 

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