Educational Tour of the Students of Department of English (UG), Part III: My narration and reflections

12 February 2018

The college days for the Part III students of Salesian College Siliguri are finally coming to completion for undergraduate studies. Many happy memories are embedded in our hearts and mind during the course of these three lovely years. Strangers have turned into inseparable friends and classmates have become a family. For one last time the students of Part III, English Honours wanted to relive those indelible moments little outside their College campus. Nostalgia found its way to the hills of Kalingpong and Pedong. The trip was scheduled for 12 February 2018. Accompanied by Mr Peter Lepcha, Head, Department of English and Ms Swagata Singha Ray Deputy Head, and with the blessings of Fr (Dr) George Chempakathinal SDB, Vice Principal, the nineteen enthusiasts found themselves heading towards Sillery Gaon, Pedong our base camp in a Sumo/Bolero with a brief stopover for breakfast.

Surrounded by pines, flowers, meandering rivulets and hills, we were comfortably nestled in the lap of cozy and comfortable ‘Homestay in Sillery Gaon. Piping hot lunch reminded us of home away from home. We gormandized as if it was our last meal. It was the only way to ward off the biting cold weather. The trip was a much needed and awaited break for us after the stressful selection exams. The hills, woods and cottages offered us “tranquil restoration” similar to Wordsworth experience at Tintern Abbey. The hustle and bustle of mundane life lost its way into the tranquil, rustic scenery. It was an experience of rejuvenation both for us and our professors. Trekking was the highlight of this trip led by our ever adventurous HoD Mr. Peter Lepcha. We climbed the steep cliffs and reached the view point. Lo and behold what we saw from there was breath taking and awe-inspiring 360̊ view of the world’s youngest mountain range. The cold blast blowing against our face was refreshing. How could one not indulge in selfies and groupies to capture those memorable moments? Sadly we retraced our steps as necessitated by our time. A hot cup of tea and snacks awaited the group. Huddling around the warmth of the bonfire was a perfect finale to conclude the day. Sharing our experiences, our hopes, aspirations, expectations and disappointments was a cathartic experience. The feet tapping that followed worked up a hearty appetite. Soulful songs and peppy dances of our friends kept every one entertained.

We bid adieu to Sillery Gaon and headed towards Pedong to visit some historical sites of religious importance such as Crus Dara (Cross Hill) which faces Tibet to remind the frontier missionaries of 1882 who had ardent desire to reach the gospel to that nation (independent then). Sacred Heart Church, Pedong was a history standing before us in the literal form of Noah’s Ark. A stroll through the local market in Kalimpong helped us to procure provision for our return journey. The sumo eventually jammed the break in the college campus at 04.30 pm and we dispersed with the setting sun. This trip, though short held a very special place in our hearts and our minds. Not only did this mark it as our last college trip but our last trip as a course of English Honours Part III. It brought us together and created a bond that seemed to have been taken for granted for the last three years. However it is safe to say now that we are all closer than ever and have created an unbreakable bond. These memories, will be cherished for a lifetime even after we leave college and go our separate ways. We thank our college authorities and faculty for having arranged this trip and making it possible.

Report by:
Shweta Noella Arokiaswamy