Sunday, 22 January 2006

Making up

Enough now. Enough cribbing about Kolkata. This city, with all it's dirt and smoke, traffic jams and overpopulated suburbs, stinking garbage dumps and potholed expressways, still does have it's own charm and beauty!
The Oberoi Grand
Today I had decided that I'd stay in and concentrate on how to fit in at least one more book into the allotted 10 kgs, and a long overdue haircut (self-administered of course). However, having found out that my agent had refused to pay for my ticket, I had to drag myself out, absolutely unwillingly, for one final trip on the metro. As luck would have it, the airline office was just off the only metro station I had never been to before, Chandni Chowk.
Esplanade: quintessential Calcutta
Thankfully, I managed to get my ticket at last, after double, no, triple verification of my passport, visa, guarantee letter and a secondary ID, and headed to the nearby Esplanade. Something about the city skyline against the deep crimson of sunset pulled me away from the metro station. I found myself walking rather aimlessly along the wide roads of south-central Kolkata. Not that aimlessly actually. From the Esplanade, one can see three rather remarkable features of the Kolkata skyline: Shahid Minar, the four stupendous floodlight columns of the Eden Gardens and the Vidyasagar Setu (2nd Hoogly Bridge), and I was gravitating towards each of these in turn.
Shahid Minar
Eden was sadly dark, floodlights dead. And by the time I reached the banks of the Hoogly, a good 40-minute walk later, the lights were beginning to twinkle from across the expanse of inky water. Huge black shapes metamorphosing into barges, tiny ferries with lanterns precariously hanging on their masts, an unending streeam of cars with their headlamps flickering across over the bridge, but all mercifully out of earshot. Only the silent river flowing slowly by, and the city churning with it's usual business, leaving this little bit of pavement by the river in peace. Until of course the local went thundering by along the tracks barely 10 metres away :). What did sadden me a little though, was the total absense of lights on the unmistakable iron superstructure of Rabindra Setu (Howrah Bridge). Ah well, something to look forward to when I get back from the ship!
Vidyasagar Setu (or rather, a part thereof :D)

Feeling: thankful
Listening to: Coldplay - Yellow

4 comments:

Prateek said...

Kray! A trip to a metro station within a couple of lines! What's gotten into you? What happened? Are you not well?

Have a blast, and keep spamming on epones@gg. :)

kray said...

@ prateek :)) brevity dost, is a virtue :D not that I'm all that virtuous.. still!

@ neone who's reading: am finally back on the ship! turning out to be rather hectic. will post some cool pics of Yangon when I get the time!

crazylilthing said...

i told u .... calcutta is nice :D waise i have fond memories of esplanade too .. its two stops away from college (by metro ) so we used to go shopping wenever we felt like ..

kray said...

best is the fact that it's just such a short walk from Park St., maidan and Victoria M.!! and new market for the shop-till-drop kind