Last Man Standing


I was enjoying Ranjan’s brand new Armada Grand  on Grand Trunk road while going from Aurangabad (Bihar) to Sasaram during early monsoon  in year 2000. Ranjan, one of my dealers in south-west Bihar, was on the driver seat. G T Road is busy for more than four centuries now. It becomes even busier in Bihar due to terrific road conditions. Some parts of the road were in pathetic condition and so accumulated huge traffic. We were near Sone Bridge, one of the longest of its time over Sone River, and waiting for our turn to move. Sides of road were filled with new clay in a process of widening before monsoon. But this time with some rain, it was more like a deceiving mud which was looking like a flat and hard surface. We soon realized it when tried to reach an approach road towards a village to avoid traffic. Our vehicle drifted, skidded when tried to stop, and started slipping in an attempt of undoing what we just did. In few seconds we were off the road.

Sometimes I feel that no option is the best option. We looked at each other, and in sync of thought, decided to go towards village and then to see old bridge on Sone River, part of G T Road then, build by Sher Shah Suri in 16th century. Good we decided so; otherwise I would have missed a lifetime opportunity to witness a vanishing Heritage.

Some drive and some walk was enough for us to make it to the place. In low water, at the start of monsoon, the debris of that bridge could be seen. Still standing tall, like waiting for us to tell his story, the time-worn bricks of survivor pillars hosted us.

This is no more a tourist place. No one usually comes except those researching history. Imaging what this entire place had witnessed in history of time; from trade caravan to army troops, change of empires, from monarchy to democracy. This place survived everything but geological changes. Sone River started becoming violent during peak monsoon. That was the time when British decided to build a parallel flyover, taller with more strength.

This is one of the entries from my old diary.

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