Calcutta -City of joy revisited
Calcutta evokes memories of English breakfast, club culture, gentlemanly people, good food and of course Mishti doi - the unfailing delight.
I was a tad sad to see a decrepit airport which must have seen better days am sure. It felt like the airport belonged to another era- caught in a time wrap. Last I knew Calcutta was still a bustling metropolis of India so why was its airport so not in tune with the times?
Our welcome and adios for this trip began and ended with Kolkata- we went on to Darjeeling, Kaziranga, Meghalaya-Sillong, its interiors and back to Calcutta. The imprint of colonization and the ensuing western culture is most overtly seen in the East of India. From building exteriors to museums and colonial homes to the way people dress on weekdays and Sundays – very charming.
In Kolkatta (todays name for Calcutta) the joy for me was the food! I discovered puchkas and jhaal muri outside Victoria which were very different from the pani puri and bhel puri of Bombay. Took me a while to appreciate the unique taste as it has a generous helping of mustard oil which is alien to me. Had phenomenal breakfast one morning at Balwants dhaba next to a gurudwara- the most amazing katchoris (stuffed dal small pooris) with aloo sabzi which were mind blowing awesome! Tea was served in earthen small pots –kulhads. Just for the unique experience this is a must visit place. We also visited the old coffee house on College street- my god it was a world from a past era - you gotta be there to experience it! We had a fantafabulous lunch in Bhojohori Manna and I could have gone to heaven right away! The raw mango pulp juice I had there along with a unique ice cream made from the first molasses of sugarcane - awesome! As you can tell- it was a non ending feast of delightful food journey there! How can I miss mentioning Flury’s. A sweet, clean, good food institution (over 100years old) – we packed stuff from there and brought back to Bombay and gorged on it. Despite the huge fire that engulfed the old Flury’s building it was up and running within 24hours of that horrid day
One sight that left me half smiling and half sad- we were waiting in traffic for the lights to turn green. At the same lights, scores of people all bundled behind a rope with a young man in uniform (traffic related) shrilled his whistle ordering them to cross the road by dropping that rope – humanity surged forward as if in a race! Parallely an announcement over the loudspeaker instructed them when the lights turned amber - “dooooon't crooossss the roooaaaddddd…” the rest I couldn’t catch as we had moved on
The high point in this Calcutta trip was the game we got to see between my favourite KKR team and next favorite DC team in an electrifying huge stadium of Eden Gardens. It is no news how Dada is revered here in Calcutta, but omg only if you are present in Eden do you know how big a God he is here! I absolutely think he was our best captain and had to go thru unnecessary tests all his life proving his worth! What a match it turned out to be! An edge of the seat game which KKR won – no articulation of those emotions in the stadium can do justice to the community feeling and sharing of joy and happiness when Dada Ganguly won the game! With adrenalin pumping, Calcutta dancing on the streets with joy after this brilliant victory, we made our way into the jam packed streets singing Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo as we made tracks into the night happy with a satisfying day behind and knowing the sunrise ahead would be amidst the monks and monasteries of the Darjeeling hills awaiting our arrival:)
Posted by Mee at 05:02