Monday, October 19, 2009
The one where 'I had an uneventful day in Kolkata doing touristy things'
29th September 2009. A day spent fruitfully. Victoria Memorial. Mocambo's. St.Paul's Cathedral. Bengali saris. Like dil se khush ho gaye hum. Walked the streets of Kolkata in the dirty sweaty heat. Victoria Memorial - gorgeous in the light and standing utterly majestic against the array of blue-gray clouds.
But on the inside, it was an entirely different story - the Museum was awash with a sea of humanity who had absolutely no clue about why they were here - one more tourist spot to take off the list.
Thomas and Willam Daniell painted watercolours of an age gone by - to see India through their eyes - eyes belonging to the 1700's - 1800's - reminds me of a glorious past. A past which was well exploited by the romance of watercolours. The paintings are beautiful and the little details make them really interesting.
Old photos of Kolkata were also on display. I love the sepia-tinted nostalgia evident in photos like this. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Queen Elizabeth, Nehru, Jinnah - all real people - standing, waving and smiling through a black and white window.
Really really wanted to see more but the sea of people were starting to drown me and I was literally scrambling for air at some point.
I literally ran my way out and ended up waiting at the steps as the rain came down on us. Five minutes and the sun shone with clear blue skies.
Headed towards Mocambo's at Park Street for grub. Food was decent but the ambience was brilliant. After a nice lunch spent in the company of T, went in search of St.Paul's Cathedral. Wandered around and got lost - ended up at some Tamil church in the bylanes of Kolkata.
A call to a friend in Kolkata made my life easier and lo behold stood St.Paul's. Old tablets inside spoke of young Englishment dying in cemeteries very far from their own homelands.
Then came the bestest part of the evening - sari shopping. Had been recommended 'Adi Dhakineshwari Bastralaya', near Kalighat Metro and I had such a happy time spending much monies on something that brings my Mom loads of happiness :) Dinner at a friend's place with some yummy methi chicken thrown in totally made my day.