THE HARAPPAN QUEST: PROLOGUE
“Wow yaar….yeh jagah kaunsi hai?” exclaimed Sagar Pandey.
Looked like nobody in the bus had a clue.
Well, nobody because there was only the bus driver and a conductor on the bus apart from the four girls. And the driver and the conductor didn’t seem very….sociable.
The Pandey girls were on a 15-day trip through different heritage places throughout Rajasthan. Out of sheer boredom, the girls had signed up for this college trip for which no one else had. The turn out was so bad that the teacher who had been assigned for it, didn’t bother to go around the places and smartly slid out of the bus saying she’d spend the two weeks at Jaipur where her sister lived and that the girls must meet her there on the 15th day.
But the Pandey girls had been thrilled to get a whole bus to themselves taking them around all the places. And this was the first.
“Kalibangan”, announced Annal Pandey in a royal voice.
“Haan haan pata hai baingan kale hi hote hain…lekin tujhe yeh baat achanak kaise yaad aayi?” asked Medhal.
Annal: “ Arre is jagah ka naam hai Kalibangan! Ya aisa hi kuch. Sonal! Itiniery sheet mein dekh na kya likha hai!”
Sonal, who had been listening to the song ‘Tum toh thehre pardesi’ for the last two hours, seemed irritated to be told to work and opened the scrambled paper.
Sonal: “Yahan likha hai Kalibangan: Harappa site. Stop for refreshments.”
Annal pondered on the words “Harappa site” for some time.
Sagar: “ Harappa? Jahan pe puraane log rehte the?”
Annal: “Haan…wahi waala..”
Sonal: “Yaar tum log kya baat kar rahe ho? Kaun rehta tha?”
Medhal: “Arre puraane log. Matlab early man.”
Sonal: “Oh achha.”
Just as soon as they de boarded, the bus started again, staggered onto the road to find a place for parking.
Medhal: “ Kya tum log bhi wahi soch rahe ho jo main soch rahi hun?”
Sonal: “Haan. Yahan pe Punjabi log rehte the.”
Annal: “Haan aakhir Harippa aur Harappa toh wahi log bolte hain!”
They all stood in silence to pay respect to the awesomeness of the discovery that they had just made.
A whole city was lying in front of them, holding treasures and knowledge that belonged centuries ago.
The next fifteen days held the key to a whole civilization waiting to be discovered by the Pandey Girls.
They were not new to such challenges away from home, of course. They’d learnt a lot from the England trip.
The England trip? Well, that’s another story.
For now, the Harappans have just been announced to be Punjabi.