In the year 1862, Maharshi Debendranath Tagore was on his way to one of his friends in Raipur – Babu Sitikanta Sinha. To rest he had to find a place and a Chatim tree in Vubondanga served the purpose rightfully. Pleased by the surroundings of the tree, the Zamindar set his mind on buying the property. On learning that his friend in Raipur owned the property, Tagore bought the place and an established a religious meditation centre – Shantiniketan. On 21st of July, the students of class 9 of DPS North Kolkata were taken on an educational trip to this place.
On our first day, after an enjoyable train journey, we stopped at Hotel Basundhara. Soon after having our lunch we left for the University Campus. We were accompanied by several guides inside the campus, who efficiently brought life to the places we saw around us. All of us liked the way the students are taught in Path Bhavan. We envied how they have to appear for weekly tests only. The classrooms under the trees fascinated us. We saw replicas of several works of the great artist Ramkinkar Baij. The Meditation room which opens only on Wednesdays was one of the most elegant buildings in the campus. Later, Mayukh sir, who had accompanied us during the trip explained how the artist used to make his sculptures. Later that day, we went to Amar Kutir where we enjoyed the beautiful view of the river Kopai. Disappointment followed when we were not allowed to go near the river bank. A delicious dinner marked the end of the day for us at the hotel.
Next day, firstly, we went to the museum where we got an insight to Rabindranath Tagore’s life. There were articles of which he used, including vessels, pens and even a sword. The museum showed us that the great man was much greater than a poet. He was a philosopher, a lover of nature and most importantly, a visionary. The replica of the Nobel Prize caught most of our attention at the museum. Unlike the previous day, there was no guide accompanying us but that didn’t matter as Saswati mam knew almost everything there was, about Rabindranath Tagore. The weather however didn’t co-operate with our schedule. It started drizzling while we were still seeing the houses of the Tagore family. We retreated to the hotel shortly afterwards. After having lunch, we left for Sonajhuri. It was close to the river Khoai. We were very happy when our teachers allowed us to disperse and buy whatever we wanted on the condition that we had to be back at the parking area by 5 pm. Sonajhuri was the liveliest place we had seen on our entire trip. The tribal girls danced to the rhythms played by the boys. Under trees, there were Baul singers. Handicrafts were being sold everywhere. Many students got their signatures turned into a painting by a very talented artist. All of us were roaming around, enjoying the environment when all of a sudden, it started raining heavily. It was our last day in Shantiniketan(We could not sacrifice the fun for something as petty as rain). Some of us boys started running away from the market. We ran until we were out of breath. Our teachers were scared we might slip and fall but we kept running. By the time we returned to the parking area, we along with our teachers were drenched.
We assumed the trip had ended with the car ride back to hotel but we had a surprise waiting for us. A group of folk artists were invited to the hotel for our entertainment. Students were asked to share their feelings and experiences. Some of us sang songs while others clapped and sang along. We were tired but we chose to stay awake and talk to our heart’s content. Few students had fallen sick. It was wonderful to see how no one mocked them and instead, supported them and helped them enjoy as much as they could. With a heavy heart, we bade farewell to Bolpur station next morning. The excursion would never have been possible, if not for our school. We love and respect our school, principal, teachers and everyone else who is a part of the DPS North Kolkata family.