Wednesday, 11 April 2018

My Project "My Wish My Desire"

Dear Friends,
I am starting a project called "My Wish My Desire". In this project I will publish a picture of the people with their wish and desires...
This is first picture of the project....
A Curious Young Monk of Sikkim - 1
  
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I was strolling in the monastery of Sikkim. Suddenly I saw a young monk staring me. Actually he was curious about my camera and wants me to click his picture...
This young monk is taking education in this monastery. His Wish and Desire is to offer his whole life to the monastery and work for Humanity and Buddhism after education...
He had family in his village house but now as he become monk so he don't want to talk about them anymore. He has been come out from all the emotional bounding and concentrating on his education only...

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Meghalaya : A Beautiful State of North-East

I just return home from my journey of Meghalaya.  Meghalaya is a North-East part of India know as ‘Abode of Clouds’ also...

I spend almost a week in the place and explore so much about Meghalaya...


Khasi is a tribe of Meghalaya and Khasi women are very friendly but don't like anybody click there pictures. These women I met in Mawshbuit village. They refused for picture but start laughing when I clicked there pictures...
 




Police Market in the night




Traditional attire of Khasi Tribe





Elephant Fall : Though the water is very less because there is no rain from 3 months




Khasi women are self depend and business women. 
They work outside and take care of the family too



Cherapunji without rain



Kidos Having fun with my camera




Nohkalikai Fall but looks very weak without water




Living root bridge : Local people use these bridges in monsoon when rivers flows with water. Bridges are made by the local people for their use but now these bridges are main attraction for outside people



Village Mawlynnong




                                                        Church of Village Mawlynnong





River Umgot, the clearest river of India. It flows between
India and Bangladesh







Sunset in Umgot River


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Experience of My Delhi – Kolkata – Darjling – Sikkim – Delhi Journey – Part 6

In the morning, I off to the taxi stand for Gangtok, Sikkim and find out share taxi. Taxi will move after a while so I stroll in market. Shops are still close but market is bustling with people. Its religious month of Sawan according to Hindu calendar and all are going to offer water to Shiva temple. Women and girls are wearing bright colors traditional dresses and jewelry and carrying pot of water on head. Religious songs are blearing loudly in temple. Here people are great devotee of God Shiva and they worship him a lot...

Taxi starts in some time. I acquire a front seat. We passed through many villages. Toy train path is following the road. I love travel by share taxi coz it shows so much about local life and the relations between people. Taxi guy is stopping almost everywhere and talking with the people and carrying their belongings to one place to another. They are talking in Nepali so couldn’t understand but their face expression says their mood. I am only outsider in taxi and all are shocked to see that I am travelling alone. Though all are very cooperative…

Outside I could see huge tea gardens spreading all over. Green bushes of tea plants have planted beautifully, which are giving an aesthetical sense to the topography and between these gardens, a narrow road is looking like a yellow ribbon. Beautiful villages are like treat to watch. People are the followers of Buddhism equally as Hinduism. Road become tough and heavy landslides are making it dangerous… 

All are busy in chatting inside taxi. Taxi is in deep jungle area now and suddenly I saw a muddy river flowing with fast current. I asked driver but someone from behind reply – River Tista. Color of the river has changed in monsoon. I again missed song sung by Yashudas – Tista nadi si tu Chanchala…



Anyway, river is playing hide and seek. Some time it come closer next goes far away. We crossed a huge bridge on the river Tista covered by Buddhist flags. Now we are near Sikkim.  On the road, few artists are making dummies. I am sure they are preparing Goddess Durga’s statues for Durga Puja. Now road become wide and plain so driver speed up taxi.  We reach Sikkim in a while. Weather is hot beyond my imagination coz I was thinking Sikkim would be cold…


Every road has a footpath and only paddlers are walking on them. No encroachment by any of street hawker. I find it cool and safe for walk. Language is not an issue coz everyone can speak Hindi and English both. I reach hotel take a quick shower and back to the road. Apart from Darjeeling Sikkim is warm and more populous though it is not crowdy. I am hungry so I went to the restaurant. I order for food and ask manager – where can I go and how can I go there ? He suggests – book taxi and roam around... 

Instead of Darjeeling Gangtok is more happening place though here too its off season time. I came out and stroll in the market. it’s hot I start sweating. Here again touts come and asking me for taxi. I hired one taxi to roam around…



Driver is 40 years old middle-aged man. I told him to roam around the city so that I could explore city in one day as much as possible.  He told me – I will take you outskirt area of the city so that you will get city look and outside city too. City is actually looking beautiful Peaceful and well designed. Everywhere I can see the footpath along with roads. No dust and garbage anywhere. Driver is less talkative so he is not telling me anything about the city. After crossing city, I reach to the outskirt of Gangtok... 



Gangtok has covered with lush green jungle and in monsoon its looking beautiful. Driver stopped car in front the building. Though building is newly made but I can see the Buddhist architect on the walls and in the gate. Driver tells me locking the car – Ma’am here you can see local handmade product. I went inside to see the glimpse of local culture. There are many counters selling different local stuffs…

I find local dresses, which are bright and colorful. I find different type of masks depicting the local mythology and many bamboo and brass stuffs. I buy one bamboo mask and one brass mask of Buddha for me and back to the car…



Now I am in outskirt area. I only see the jungle and hills. Few waterfalls are flowing from the hills and few water activities are going on it. Luckily it is not rain and fog so I can see the valley view clearly…



Taxi is moving in empty road. All are deep green everywhere. Driver again stopped car in front of huge building and mumble – this is monastery. You can go inside and visit the place. I happily get off from the car and take my way to the monastery. Many monks are strolling here. Few are gossiping in groups and laughing loudly. I went to the main temple but it is close. One monk told me it would open in the evening. I stroll outside of the monastery. Its huge and beautifully architected. Few kid monks are also having fun here and making place lively. I talk to the monk sitting in a corner. He talk to me putting his head down – I am here since last two year and I will go to other monastery soon. I travel one monastery to other monastery and live there. He then keeps silence. I stand there for a while and watch the city. While I return, I went into few more shops but just back. It was evening and heavy downpour start. I back to hotel and take rest for a while…

I off to the MG road in the eveing. MG road is like Mall Road. In the night, this road becomes glamorous with people lights and other fancy stuffs. I am feeling as I am in a big city. Everything is so well managed here. Broad road is dividing in two parts. Fancy lights and fancy fountains are making it more glamorous and beautiful. Mostly locals are strolling here. I bye few stuff for me, finish dinner in a restaurant, and back…



In the morning, I off for morning walk and reach to the Paljor football ground where players are practicing football with coaches. Here people are huge supporter of the football.  This stadium is big stadium. Behind the stadium, I can see the glimpse of Kanchjanga peak but for a while only...

I back soon and get ready to leave. After finishing breakfast, I come to taxi stand and take taxi for Jalpaiguri. After crossing city road become narrow and dangerous. In many places huge landslide making it extremely risky and precarious. After a very long journey, I reach to Jalpaiguri Railway Station…

My train is on time. I take my seat. Compartment is already full with other passengers. Its evening and sun is going down outside. Soon it becomes dark and after finishing dinner, I slept…

In the morning, a woman with two teenage boys comes in the compartment. One of them is not able to hear and speak but he is very naughty. Other boy is normal and he is best friend of the other guy and both are making so much naughtiness. But the guy who cannot hear and speak has a bad habit of eating tobacco and in every 10 minutes he is going outside and eat tobacco. Though his brother is stopping him but he is arranging tobacco for him too. We all did try to convince him not to eat it but he has not stopped eating it. Instead of this bad habit, he is a nice and civilized fellow who is making fun with everyone and entertaining everybody…



But train is almost 6 hours late and now getting tensed coz I have to catch Nainital bus by 10 in the night.  After so much tension I reached railway station by 9.45 and I almost ran to catch my bus and I catch it…

End

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Experience of My Delhi – Kolkata – Darjling – Sikkim – Delhi Journey – Part 5

I already had booked the hotel so I fulfill some formalities and acquire room. Room is good and from window, I can see the cluster of houses but all are old architect houses so not disappointed. I take quick shower and come out. Hotel is in market so it was not difficult to find a restaurant. Market is absolute lazy and lifeless. I ask to restaurant guy the reason. He says taking my order – its off season. In monsoon, nobody come here. Restaurant is almost empty and no food was prepared there. He starts cooking everything after taking my order. I get food after half n hour. He serves food with sorry and justified that he made everything new so it took time. But I am happy with it coz I get fresh and tasty food…

After food I stroll on road. I can see the presence of locals on road. Mostly are women wearing local dress and some are in new stylish dresses too. Generally, shops are running by women. I can feel the women empowerment. Crossing market, I reach to Mall Road. Mall Road is main road of the city like all hill stations. All posh buildings and offices are on Mall road…


I saw many old architect buildings on the road but an old church seeks my attention. Church is abandoned so can’t go inside. I capture few pictures from road and move. Governor House is also in the road. Many dogs are sitting outside the building. Seems they are assuring the safety of building. Anyway, as I move further it become fogy. One side of road is cover with green deep jungle and other side is open valley. I can only see the jungle because valley is underneath of deep white fog…


In between the road many sitting points has made. People are sitting there and enjoying weather with company. All faces are smiling. Most of them are old. They are rotating bead garland in fingers while chatting with their friends. New generation is also here. All have their own groups and they are busy with themselves. This is good to see. Weather is clear now so I can see the open valley along with many villages. I stand for a while to enjoy the beauty, and watch people enjoying…


Now I turn to the opposite direction of road. I found a huge field where many shops are taking place. Huge golden statue of Nepali poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya  is seeking attention. Youngsters are strolling here. Their faces language and dress pointing that all are locals. I spend some time here then back to hotel. In evening, I open my window and saw the city engulfing in the arms of night and suddenly city starts lighten by the lights…



I went out for dinner and stroll in market streets. Each street is connecting with another street and all streets have different stuffs to sell but market is lifeless due to off-season. I went into sweet shops street. I bought some sweets and talk to shopkeeper. He tells me working – I am from Bihar and settled here and running my own business. He says – most of the Biharies working here because there is no work in Bihar. He packed my sweets and I back to road again. After strolling for some more time, I went into restaurant. I can guess that the restaurant is Bihari coz music playing inside is Bhojpuri. Few customers are inside but all looks locals though Bihari. I order for dinner. Restaurant guy asks me – where you from ? Nainital – my straight answer to him. I ask him along with my answer – where you from ? He replied with smile – Bihar. You can see many Bihari here. He again repeats the same lines, which I have already listened. He curse politicians for not to develop Bihar. I finish food and back to hotel. By the time, I back to hotel market have been closed and silence is overtaking everything…

In morning, I went for morning walk. Its fogy and drizzling. I took different road from mall road and walk through the societies and colonies and local buildings. Kids are getting ready to school. Housewives are busy in household work while working people are getting ready for work. Women are also going out wearing their traditional dresses. I take a long walk between all these daily works and back to room. Finish morning works quickly and back to road again. After breakfast, I went to the market…

This time market is bustling with people but yes, most of them are locals. Market has decorated with flags. I think some festival is near and people are decorating market for the festive season. I roam around and saw many slogans asking for Separate Gorkhaland. They want their regain separate from Bengal coz they think their culture their language their atmosphere and their other problems are different from Bengal. While I stroll in market, many touts and guides come and attract me with their city tour plans and discounts. Some says - we would show you 7 points some says – we will show you 5 points some says - 11 points and accordingly telling charges and off season discounts. All are telling me what they will do but nobody understands what I want. For some time this is okay but after a certain point, it irritates…

I ignore everyone and hired a taxi not to visit tourist points but to see city. Though I wanted to go for trekking but as it’s rainy so everybody advised me not to go for trek. So I plan to go for tea gardens and zoo and if I will get back on time I will ride on toy train. My first destination is Zoo. Darjling zoo is the highest altitude zoo. My interest to going there is to see Red Panda, which I have not seen before. I cross the market with full of traffic jam. I am surprised to see that when there is no tourist still traffic is jamming what will happen in tourist season. Anyway, car move further and I get rid of jam and market…


Drizzle has started and fog covered everything again. Darjling is undoubtedly a beautiful place and in monsoon, it becomes more beautiful. City is neat and clean too. I didn’t see any water logging here. Water has properly drained out. Viewing the city, I soon reach Zoo. In India, this is the largest zoo. It spans 675 acres in the altitude of 2,133 meter. Driver drop me on road and from there I take a walk uphill to reach zoo. Way is decorating with many wild life stuff and road is cover with different species of trees and shrubs and bushes… 

Inside the gate, there is a souvenirs shop. Crossing this I enter into zoo and feel like different species of birds are welcoming me by chirping in different tunes. Zoo is almost covering with fog but luckily not raining. I saw a Himalayan Black Bear strolling in his open area though the area is huge but who can trust on bear so its safe to move. In this zoo I saw few animals first time like black panther and cloud leopard. Endanger species are here too but my curiosity to watch Red Panda is still there coz I have seen many animals but not the Red Panda… 

Due to off season I can enjoy everything according to my choice. I am strolling one cage to another cage hoping to see Red Panda and for my pleasant surprise in next cage two Red Pandas moving on the tree branch but drizzle start just now and Panda went into his little home and pop out his cute face from there. It was so good to see this cute animal live. They look like a toy. I don’t trust my eyes if they don’t move. My wish to come here is fulfill now…



By now heavy downpour starts. I get shelter in a shop outside the zoo campus. Shopkeeper is again from Bihar and selling snacks. I back to cab where driver playing cards with his friends. When I saw him he giggle at me and come to the cab…

Now I will go to the tea gardens. Weather is clear, I can see the huge valley, and in this huge valley, I can see few villages too. Mountains are very high and terrain is very tough here. After crossing a long way through the valley, I reach tea gardens. Driver shows me huts along with road and says – these are tea garden owner’s huts. They sell tea here from there garden. They grew many varieties of tea in the gardens. He then drops me in front of particular hut. I went inside. A lady actually a girl working here says –You please go to the garden first. When you will back I will serve tea from our garden… 

I get amaze to see the garden. Small little green bushes have covered all the land and I can see only green bushes as far as my eyes can see. Being alone in the garden I wander freely though it’s still drizzle and fogy. I saw a poster hanging on every bush written something in Hindi Script. I went near. These are the regretting words from the workers, who pluck tea buds. This is emotional. I have never seen this anywhere. I want to spend more time in garden but rain start and I get back to hut. Though it’s a different hut and no idea whom garden I was strolling coz all are connected. Anyway guy in this hut show me my hut... 


Gorkha Girl, shot height broad face and small eyes, welcomes me again. I get wet so she offers me a place near fire to sit and ask my experiences about tea garden and she also asks me about myself coz she is amazed to see me alone. After small chat she show many types of tea and ask me which tea I would like to drink. I am not a tea lover so I ask her about the teas. Then she points the first counter and says – This tea is very expensive. If you smell, you will find it sweet and soothing. Then she explains about others tea. Its still drizzle and become cold. Lady now stands in front of gas stove to make tea for me and after a while she offers me tasty tea. No idea what tea is this but it’s tasty. I can feel the hard work in the taste and remembering the song sung by Bhupen Hajarika ji - ek kali do pattiya. This beautiful song is base on tea workers…

I bring two different type of tea which are according the lady is famous tea from the garden…

I back in drizzle. Whole city is in the grab of deep layer of fog. Though I can’t see anything but this is giving awesome feel. I want to ride on toy train so the driver drops me at the taxi stand and tell me the way of toy train station…

I reach station but nobody is here and no any train I can see on station. After strolling a while  I come to know that station has been closed now. Last train has left.  With heavy heart I back to market finish food and went to hotel in heavy rain…


In the evening I went out for dinner but it’s little late. All shops and restaurants have closed. I only saw a street stall selling street food. Two Gorkha sisters are running this stall and selling egg roll, momo and chowmien. I order for egg roll and talk with the girls –you both are running this stall ? One who is more confident answer me – yes ! we are sisters. Then I ask - So whole day you work here like this ? No. We are studying in collage. In daytime, we go to college and in evening, we come to market and run this stall. I ask them a little political question now – Do you think Darjling should be separate from West Bengal ? They both replied together – Yes. Darjling is completely different form Bengal. Darjling is hill area. Our culture and language is different. We have so many issues here. Darjling should definitely separate from West Bengal. For a while I thought that I have started wrong discussion but both get normal soon. I finish egg roll and when I turned one of them says – don’t worry. You are safe here so don’t get tensed as it is dark and alone. We everyday go in the dark. I smiled and back… 


This is my last night in Darjling. I saw outside. Silence is all over. Front buildings, streets, market, temple all are silent. I gaze sky, which is covering with clouds. its about to rain and getting cold too. I back to bed and fall asleep…

Continue...

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Experience of My Delhi – Kolkata – Darjling – Sikkim – Delhi Journey – Part 4

I reach station before time. Waiting rooms are bulking with passengers so I stroll at station. Every pinch of this huge station is pack with passengers. Sultry weather is making me sweat. Luckily train is on time and I find my coach easily and acquire seat. One family is already there busy in gossiping in Bengali…

In a while, one more passenger enters into coach. Family is still busy in talking loudly and moving from here and there without caring others. Evening light is shadowing everything outside the window. Suddenly very low voice comes to me. I turn my eyes inside. Man is interacting me – where are you going ? I turn to him and reply – Darjling. How will you go from Jalpaiguri ? – he asked next question. No idea – My sudden reply. He advised – you may take share taxi. Taxi stand is just outside the Railway station. You will easily get share taxi in the morning. Useful advice. I ask about him. He says – I am army person and going Jalpaiguri for official work. I am actually from Maharashtra but posted in Kolkata…

In family, I noticed an old lady staring me continuously. She been staring me since I entered in coach. I don’t know why ? One more lady in the family is chubby short height middle aged woman. She is sitting on upper birth like a queen surrounded with food items. In every second, she picks something starts eating and distributing. She is talking continuously laughing loudly. One boy in the family around 17-18 years has start singing in every five minutes. He hums few words then stops again he starts humming and stops. Whole family seems hilarious. Old lady is still gazing me…

Its dark outside. Train is far away from Kolkata. Area seems like village area. Huge crops fields along with small huts are visible. Suddenly heavy rain starts and all become blur. Family is still busy in themselves. Lady is busy in eating and distributing. Boy busy in humming and old lady is still staring me which is really awkward now but as she is too old so I haven’t say anything to her. Army person is napping…

After dinner, I lie down.  After a tiring day, I soon fall asleep. Middle of the night old lady has start speaking. In the silence, her voice echoes. I scared and wake up. I saw everywhere but all are snoring. I stand up and notice that she is talking in sleep. Oh, this old lady is really scaring me now. I watch outside. All I can see is huge fields, rivers and jungle. Its bit cold too but I spend whole night gazing out…

I am relieved when it dawn. Huge green fields, rivers, water ponds, small hut are still in scenario. Few towns are also taking place but for a while only. Again heavy rain starts and become cold. Family get off at one junction but around 13-14 ladies get inside. All are wearing bright traditional dresses and imitating jewelries are enhancing their beauty. Their nose peers from both sides, which is making them more attractive. Small girls are also in the group wearing vibrant frock printed with small flowers on them. Girls are busy in playing and ladies are busy in chatting. Seems they are coming from some party or festival. They actually filled coach with the vibrant energy. Well after a while train reach Jalpaiguri and for my relief rain has stopped…

Coming out from train, I sweep between the ocean of human. Jalpaiguri Railway Station is huge and busy station. When I headed outside, I saw a poster asking Donation for Kedarnath Tragedy. I am sad about tragedy but glad to know that last corner of the country is worried about it. After walking long I reach taxi stand where touts are shouting everywhere. Some touts are going Nepal too coz Nepal is attached with Darjling. There is small market along with the taxi stand. Whole market is dump in muck and rainwater is logging everywhere. I found a restaurant and went inside… 



A young guy comes to take order. Thin tall long hair guy gave me menu card and ask for order. Though he is speaking Hindi to me but he is speaking in Nepali with others too. I find all North Indian dishes here too. After finishing food, I come out where I get a share taxi for Darjling. Taxi has already occupied by a family, few young boys and some others too. Only one seat left which I occupied. After a while driver start taxi and soon we reach Siliguri. Siliguri seems a big city and a green and clean too. Driver tunes a Nepali songs and journey become more enjoyable with melodious Nepali songs. Driver is a young guy but very short tampered and aggressive. He is shouting on everyone and getting aggressive in every little thing.



Anyway young boys sitting in cab are musician and football players. They play guitar and sing Nepali songs. All belong to Darjiling and coming from Jalpaiguri where they had football tournament and they are in winning team so all are celebrating success with music. They tell me with big smile that real celebration would be in night and all laugh together…

By the time, Siliguri left behind. Now hill area has started. Roads are turning and twisting. Fog takes place. All are green. Mostly are due to tea garden. Huge tea gardens are both sides of roads making scenario beautiful. Suddenly driver plays Hindi songs and his lips and head is moving with the lyrics. It’s a romantic song so I think driver relate with the song deeply and emotionally...



He stops taxi for breakfast. I don’t know where but its green, fogy and rainy. After this point tough hill area starts and roads become more and more hilly. It was almost fogy and rainy. I couldn’t see anything outside. From one point I see the toy train trek but no toy train is running on it. Soon cab reaches Darjling. Here its raining and I can see the people working in rain. Darjling is just like a one more hill station so I am not feeling stranger here. Only people and language has change but you can easily communicate with people in Hindi or English. Its raining heavily here. Crossing these small towns, we reach to Darjiling. I can feel the change here too. People are more technology savvy and all old and traditional construction is changing with new construction. Driver drop me at taxi stand. From taxi stand I take help people to reach hotel and crossed some streets I reach to hotel…

Continue... 

Friday, 8 December 2017

Experience of My Delhi – Kolkata – Darjling – Sikkim – Delhi Journey – Part 3

wake up early I went to morning walk. Streets of Kolkata are still in sleeping mode. Footpath has acquired by baggers for sleep. I stop at bifurcation and not able to decide which road I should follow. I saw tram lane is passing through one road so I will follow the tram lane road. This area has many societies and shops but not big shopping malls. School going students are giving life to the road. Kolkata is simple metro city. Life doesn’t run like Delhi or Mumbai here. People are not rich but well literate and simple. After a long walk, I way back to hotel. Road become alive while I return to the hotel… 


I get fresh and off to see the city without any fix agenda. I ask hotel boy about tram. He says – Tram stops in stopping points only so you have to go to stop points. He also shows me the direction for tram stopping point. First tram come and I sit in it without even knowing where the tram will go ? interior of tram tells that this is oldest tram. Paintings on wall are depicting British time. Sitting arrangement for ladies and gents are separate. I sit in ladies area. A huge old fan is hanging on the roof and blowing wind with full speed. Driver wearing khaki dress ask me - ticket. But as I have no agenda so I ask him with smile - Where the tram will go? He looks at me with smile and asks - New in Kolkata? I move my head in agreement. He suggests - I will drop you after two points, from there take another tram for metro station and then take metro for Maidan. Great!!!  I am glad that I have agenda now…


He drops me after two points. I wait for another tram and enter into it. When I ask conductor for ticket to Maidan he tell me – its wrong tram and said he will drop me on next point. He didn’t collect ticket from me. Next tram was again a wrong tram and conductor again drop me into next point without ticket and tell me that I should wait opposite direction for Metro station tram. People are really helpful. Anyway I travel so much in tram now but next time I get right tram for Metro station…

Watching city through the tram is also an experience. This tram is new tram. Interior is new inside. No separate seats for ladies and gents. Fan is new and driving seat has also new technology. Kolkata is really a different place in so many means. This is the place where every old machinery is still in working condition and rents are still cheap. Kolkata is still a cheap state according to expenditure…

Most of all now I am enjoying my nomadness…

I stop in Metro station and went inside. Crossed few security checks I reach to ticket counter and take ticket for Maidan. This station again decorated with mosaic paintings depicting Hindu Mythology and British era but photography not allowed here. Waiting for few minutes’ metro comes and I get in. Metro is jam-packed but luckily this is new metro so I will get all the announcements and this is AC too…

After 30 minutes, I reach Maidan. Maidan is huge and posh area of the city. This is newly made area so it is well managed. I didn’t find any hustle-bustle here. Roads are broad so traffic jam is very less but before go anywhere else I will search a restaurant and eat something coz I am hungry and drizzle has also start so I need a shelter too…


I find a restaurant and went inside. This is double story restaurant and I went to upward. Boy around 18-19, come to me and ask me in Bengali. I request him to speak in Hindi. He speaks in Bengali mix Hindi and put menu in front of me and asks - what will you have? I don’t see the menu but ask him – what you have? He tells me everything in single breath. I stop him in middle and look up the menu card where I find all North Indian food. I order for Aloo Paratha and tea…

This restaurant is small but well managed and well designed. All young students are here and they are talking about their studies and there preparation for next exam. I think this restaurant is also an Adda type restaurant. After a while, he gets my food. After food, he brings me tea in an earthen pot. I appreciate it. This is natural and harmless stuff. I ordered two glasses tea now…

I came out but it’s raining heavily. Sardarji sitting in a main chair tell me to wait there and we start a little conversation. He tells me – I was child when my father migrated here and established this restaurant. Now I am more Bengali then the Punjabi. He tells me – in Kolkata you will find Punjabis’ South Indians and Bihari doing business. Rain has stopped and my final question to Sardar ji is – Where can I go from here ? Sardar ji advise – take taxi and go to Victoria Memorial, which is not very far…



I take taxi to Victoria Memorial, my next destination. Traveling through the taxi, I saw this area with broad roads, huge buildings, big shopping complexes. Few minutes later, I was in Victoria Memorial. Tourists are taking pictures at the building gate where two huge marble tigers are taking place. I went inside the gate. Huge white color building has surrounded with the green grass fields. Grandness of the building is showing the luxurious life of British period. This is more lavish inside. Huge rooms have decorated with precious stuffs. I follow the stair and reach second floor. When I saw downwards, it was like I am standing on high peak and watching downside. Many tourists are here so after roaming little more I went to other side of the building where I find the Canteen. I went inside the canteen just to check the rate list and I am again surprised that the rates are very low. Even when I went to the toilet – worker sitting outside demand me for 1 Takka. When I asked takka ? he says – 1 rupees which is so cheap…

After spending some time, I back to road and start walking. As I have no agenda so want to know my next destination. Again I ask to a local person - where I can go ? He suggested me concentrating his eyes on his wristwatch - take walk for metro station, which is nearby, and go to the Thakurbadi, home of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore…



With my next agenda, I walk on footpath towards metro station. While walking I saw many huge buildings along the road including Birla Planetarium. Roads are broad and neat. Many type of mosaic works I can see on wall on different topics. Weather is sultry so I am not enjoying walk but metro station is not coming. Everybody tells me – just to come. After a long-long walk I reach metro station and collect ticket for Thakurbari. In next 30 minutes, I reached but still have to walk… 




I crossed long footpath. Sidewall of the footpath has decorated with mosaic art. Actually, this is good to see and keep city beautiful and clean too. Anyway, after crossing footpath I enter into a busy market. Whole area is showing the essence of old Bengal. People are lethargically sitting on road and busy in talking. Road is cramped with rickshaws, hand pulling rickshaws, car, scooter, pedestrian everything. I take my way between everything and watching the architect of old buildings too. Now I am in broad and open society area. I ask here the way of Thakurbadi. He hurriedly replied – go further and take left from there. This is first time when someone replies me in hurry…


Heavy rain starts when I reach Thakurbadi. I wait almost half n hour at the reception. I saw a big red color building through the heavy downpour. When rain stops I move to take ticket and deposit my bag inside then went upstairs. I went into room belongs to Rabindrnath Tagore and then went to many other rooms. All rooms are showing the luxuries life style of Rabindranath Tagor. Rabindra music is blowing in the air and making everything calm and cool. I saw a girl showing reverence to Rabindranath every time and in every room. She seems to be influence by the Rabindra. I ask her. She says with glittering eyes – I am learning Rabindra Music and I am a huge fan of Rabindranath. This place is like a temple to me. I love to come here whenever I get time…


Now I have to back to hotel so I didn’t ask anybody where to go ? I crossed a long lane of different markets. First market is Idol market. Huge idols of Hindu God and goddess are here and makers are making them here too. School kids are going home from the school, heaving fun with each other, and teasing each other too. Crossing this market, I reach to sweet market and sweet makers are making sweets here but unfortunately no one is making Misti Doi and now I enter into iron smith area. This area is dirty and road is clogged with rain water. I anyhow cross the area and take taxi to my hotel…

Collect my bagpack from hotel I take taxi for the Syaldeh Railway Station for Jalpaiguri. Now time to say bye to Kolkata but with promise that I will back again, and again I will wander like this… 

I really enjoyed my no-madness here…