Friday, December 21, 2012

The Supposed Day!

21st December 2012, the happening Mayan prediction finally proved wrong. Years back when the movie 2012 was released I was actually terrified with the concept of the world coming to an end. The crack on the road or the tornado hitting buildings was undoubtedly petrifying. So, when I came to know about the prediction that 21st December was the doomsday because the Mayan calendar do not show dates after the ‘supposed day’, I was perplexed.

Actually, I was not worried at all. Dying is a painful thought only if you think you are alone. But in this case, am not the only one, the whole civilization is coming down. Therefore, staying alive alone without anyone to talk with is an option I better let go.

What would I do if I know that tomorrow is the last day to live? This is a thought that often comes to my mind. Well the answer is ‘Nothing’. It would be the usual life. For instance, if Mayan prediction was right then today I would not have been writing this blog. Most of the people would have mocked the whole concept. Amidst all this, living normal daily routine life is all I have done and I believe many others would have done the same. Finally, when the floor starts to shake we would have said, “What the hell!!” and by the time we tried to reach home, things are already drop dead.

Ah! But we are alive, ready to enjoy this weekend and next 100 years weekends (am talking about my descendants as well), until and unless another tribal calendar forgets to count the dates.    

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kolkata Journal…

Let me start by reminding you that I do not live in the southern hemisphere. So, the idea of getting up at 5 in the morning was really getting on my nerve, especially when the month is December. Finally it was decided that we will be starting our trip around the nooks and corners of the city at 6 am. Now, I rest in peace (1 hour does make a lot of difference because it is a Holiday). This was decided via chat and suddenly the door bell rang and my US wala brother entered our home. I was really excited to see him and when he heard about the Saturday plan, he synced in because even after coming to Kolkata for last 20 years, he hardly knew what the city is all about.

The alarm rang like anything and I switched it off thinking there is still time. Suddenly my Mom called me up and I found myself left with only 15mins to get ready. Well, am kind of a sonic personality. Sharp at 6 am, both of us were ready, waiting for my friend at Lake Town, Jessore Road.
Boarded on a taxi, all three of us set our journey towards Burrabazar Folpotti.  

Photo Courtesy: Kunal Chakraborty

The route was a very known one because every time you take a bus or a car to Howrah, you need to cross this place, provided you are traveling from North Calcutta.  As we got down trying to find our way through the huge trucks, I already found my subject, so did my friend. We went around clicking and my brother was looking at the huge trucks loaded with fruits with dazed eyes. 

Photo Courtesy: Kunal Chakraborty
These people were really sporty, coming ahead and ready to pose in front of the cameras. Initially I was thinking the idea was crazy because I was carrying a simple SX150 whereas my friend was holding a DSLR in hand. But then I realized, what’s in camera, it’s all about fun.

As we end our session at Folpotti, the next stop was the Greek Church. It was massive but simple with huge columns and a long aisle. The alter was nicely decorated and there was no one inside, except the long wooden chairs and the big organ.

A Jewish synagogue was located on the opposite side of the road and I so badly wanted to see it, but we didn’t have the permission. 

My brother said, “Let’s play a foul.” He went straight to the caretaker and with an US accent he spoke in Hindi. Referring himself as the representative of Jewish Federation in USA, he said that he has come to Kolkata for carrying out a photo session in Maghan David Synagogue. In the meantime, he took my friend’s phone number and then asked him to call up the company (God knows what company!) to know about the detail regarding this appointment. I realized, things were going to be really funny and I have to zip-up my laughter.  So, with acute interest, I was trying to read the Jewish scripture. Yes, it was all Hebrew to me!  All of a sudden, my brother called up someone and passed on the phone to the caretaker telling him, it was priest on the phone. The conversation continued and I hardly had the idea that it was my friend who was talking as the priest. Finally, the manager called up and we were not allowed to enter the Synagogue. 

In spite of a failed plan, we laughed like hell the moment we got out of the premise of Moghan David Synagogue. My friend said, he was trying to find out a name when the caretaker asked who he was talking to. Anyway, it was real fun. 

Next, we went to Dalhousie and arrived in front of the Writer’s Building. Strolling on the open wide road, we visited Lal Dighi and then walked towards the bank of Ganges. We thought of going to the Princep Ghat and hence took the trailing tracks to reach as fast as we could but it was pretty far and we had to drop the idea. 

It was already 8:45 am and as per my friend, too much sun is not good for photography. Therefore, the journey came to an end. But before calling off the trip, we decided to visit Indian Coffee House at College Street for breakfast. Describing my brother the reason for the popularity, we ordered 3 cutlets, sandwiches and 3 coffees. Oh! I forgot to mention our morning tea in ‘bhanr’ (earthen cup) with fresh made Jelabi at the road side tea stall. My US wala brother cherished it; after all it was his idea and we tuned in. 

The trip for the day ended and we boarded on a private bus and we were back to Lake Town by 11 am.

Winter mornings are always hard to kick out from the bed but once you hit the road, you can appreciate the beauty of the foggy and silent Kolkata. There were people sleeping on the roads, covering themselves with a thin blanket. Life for them is hard, whether it is in the scorching heat of summer or in the chilling night of winter. But they know how to live even in the hardest moments of life. May be the smiles on the faces and the fun on the roads are the magic salts that give them the hope to breathe forever.