Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kolkata Sep 2009.

The Night of Travel:
The train was to leave at 7 30 pm and me, Pakya(Sourabh N Nayak) and Baldya(Sandeep Vishwanath) reached Yeshwanthpur railway station at 7 15 or so to meet up with the fourth partner for the journey, Mr Srikanth Manikarnike later christened as Chopusey in the due course of the journey(considering his love for American Chopusey as the preferred dish whereever he goes).

Train left from Bangalore en-route to Kolkata. Then, by 9 or 10 pm, we were all hungry and hence I took out few chapathis which my sister had prepared. We had masala chapathis with tomato chutney. Super oota.

Then, we started getting aquainted to our neighbours in the train. Neighbours were trained army cadets. They had just finished their trainings and going home before they ll get posted in various parts of India. Found it interesting and inspiring to know about them.

Pakya was busy with his boob, eiks book on the Story of India. Sandy was busy reading his book on common-sense called Screenplay. Chopusey was busy reading his Jeffrey Archer novel. My scoop session had everyone engrossed on the night of journey. I planned to take a novel but could not. Then, Baldya gave me his notebook where he had written few of his ideas on direction, screenplay and other related ideas. Once I had finished reading that book, I was again without anything to do. Thats when Sandy gave me Mankuthimmana Kagga, a a great literary art in kannada literature by DVG. Started reading that and thats when some topic broke out and suddenly I found myself telling the scoops of South Indian film industry and related to some sportspersons in India. The situation which took which movie maker to make which movie and at the expense of what and what was the motive behind that was explained by me. Then Pakya gave me a comment saying that you know how to tell a story. I freaked out, literally. Dont know what I was saying. Some people take drugs and alchohol to get high. Take me out of bangalore or even my locality vijayanagar, and I ll get high. Donno what things I ll say.

So, this happened that whatever illogical statement we made was counted and obviously I leaded the charts. The count was incremented and maintained very religiously.

We reached the Howrah railway station Kolkata at 5 am, a solid 32 hours journey moving across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. A noteworthy observation was the acres and acres of paddy-fields in Andhra Pradesh. It was such a picturesque site.
So, we were banking on the SBI guest house which was meant for SBI employees taking Baldya`s father`s SBI employee ID as reference. But when we went to one of the SBI guest house in Jadunath dey road. The hotel guy said coolly that the rooms were full. Then, when we searched for room in nearby area where the hotel receptionist gave a surprised look and shock at the seemingly unprepared us. This made us think of the trouble we were in. A whammy of fear in an unknown place!!. We were trying to book a room when it was the peak Dusshera season. Finally, somehow got into Kakudgachi area SBI guest house getting after some circus.
Got ready and saw few pandals of Kali mata accompanied by Tonmoy(our college mate) who works there in Kolkata.
Then, full taxi ride. Went to Kolkata Park Street for lunch followed by a desert at Flury's one of the oldest teahouse which serves European style confectionaries(found in 1927).
After that, we began sight seeing. Saw the church St.Pauls Cathedral, then Victoria Memorial(an alternative to Taj Mahal a memorial dedicated to Mumtaz). Tony left us after getting us to Babughat, next to the great Eden Gardens cricket stadium where Kali idols were immersed. It was a sight never ever seen by me.After seeing the young and the old enjoy the immersion of Kali idols in zeal on the banks of river Hooghly, the sorrow of Bengal. Sandy was so interested in the Kali idol immersion that he said us to carry on and that he will come back to the hotel room after some time. We were also of the same mindset. We stayed there for a good 4 hours before it was dawn.
It was so exciting to know the craze of people of Bengal especially during the Dussehra season.
We next went to a mall near Salt Lake city late night when we even managed to go to a disco. I wanted to be a disco-dancer there but there was no company for me to dance with. Hence, Mithun da inside me is still to be unleashed, atleast in West Bengal :). The day ended with a not-so-good meal(fish fry and biryani)

The next day, Tonmoy was to go to office. So we were all alone in the unknown city, with a tour`s guide in hand though. We had taken help from Tony for the route to world famous Kali temple. We were supposed to get a metro from Girish park station which was 20 mins away from Kakudgachi, our place of staying.
So, we got up and got ready to embark on a journey that we planned for the day. We took a bus to Girish park. Took a metro to Kalighat, the place name where there s the Kali mandir. Still can recollect a few stops en-route to Kalighat(Esplanade, Park Street....)
Kali temple experience was good. A person offered to get us the darshan of Kali mata. Once we refused to take flowers to offer Kali, he ditched us. After that, somehow we got the darshan of Kali mata where it was filled with people to the limit of breathlessness.
After Kali temple visit, we went to a nearby saree shop. Me, Chopusey and Baldya got sarees for our mothers. The shop keeper didnt give us even 1% discount, dont know why.
Then, Chopusey was supposed to meet his friend from college, a localite in Kolkata who had also been to Kolkata for Durga pooja. He went to meet him and me, Pakya n Baldya planned to explore the city.
We took a bus, trams and roamed around North and Central Kolkata. The best part about the trams in Kolkata is, the maximum price of ticket to roam around per trip is Rs. 4(yeah baby, you heard it right). Such a nice feeling to be travelling in tram. We also happened to interact with the conductor of tram on our way back to the guest-house. He showed us the College Road, University and other areas of Central Kolkata along with the significance of the same. An enjoyable tram experience indeed!!
After this journey, Chopusey joined us by 7 pm. We did a quick logical analysis and came to a conclusion to leave for Darjeeling that night.
Please do await my equally exciting Darjeeing saga in my next blog entry.


  1. Thanks a lot guys. Hope you enjoyed the stuff!!

  2. Kolkata formerly known as Calcutta is prominent city in eastern India and the city serves as capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Kolkata is located in eastern India on the east bank of the River Hooghly. When we say Kolkata that means it also includes the suburbs. The population of the city is 15 million. Kolkata is the third largest city in India and world’s 8th largest agglomeration.Kolkata shopping