26th of September 2009. Another trip. A time to go to East India. Planned itinerary reads like this- Kolkata-Sunderbans-Darjeeling-Sikkim. Having planned for so long, it has now come to fruition. A 9.10 am flight brought me to Kolkata - Bong land. The humidity hit me the moment I stepped out of the airplane. It sucked the living air from my lungs and the sweat- sigh..the less said the better.
I am staying at R's house and I had a very nice time. She fed me well, looked after me like my Mom would (which is saying a lot) and I actually relaxed for the first time in almost two-three weeks. Pujo is here and she has decided to take me around to see the 'pandals' starting from the one behind her house.
The crowds were crazy - like a virtual sea of people. R had some fancy pass which enabled us a quick entry and exit. The goddess was bootiful and all dressed up.
I ate 'phuchkas' which were quite ordinary. I didn't manage to ever try better ones in all the time I spent in Kolkata. Decided against going to another 'pandal' because of the insane crowds.
People were decked up to the nines in high heels and wandering around from pandal to pandal. Ended the day with a visit to the local crematorium where stood a 600 year old temple of Kali crumbling to pieces. Dinner was late - almost 11 and a good night's sleep got me ready for my Sunderbans trip starting early on Sunday.
The highlight of this day was sitting in both an auto and a rickshaw. Oh and in the auto (which is normal Bumbai wala auto), there are seats on either side of the driver. I sat on one and held onto dear life as sped along the road :D
The rickshaw was a different experience - you are elevated to a certain height and look almost regal. Well not so regal with the traffic fumes blowing in your face but you get the point.....we went along the bylanes of Garia in South Kolkata which reminded me of Vasant Kunj in Kolkata - the small narrow bylanes and the row houses...