Kolkata day 4

Oh man day 4 is here but not much stuff to talk about. So today it is gonna be short and sweet 😉

Well, in this new guest house I didn’t wake up too early. There was less light and almost no chirping of birds. Day started well with DD1 playing an interview with Gulzar saab. Also, the guys prepared a real good breakfast; aalu poori. So after filling my tummy properly I left for the office and was there in around 20 minutes. It was a wet day in Kolkata and was drizzling almost for the whole day. I continued with the regular dose of tea every 3 hours :D. In such a weather tea becomes even more important :D.

In the evening, I had planned to meet an old friend. He planned for a dinner at Arsalan, a very famous Mughlai restaurant. We had some kebabs & special biryani in the dinner. His house was pretty far from the place we had dinner at. So he needed to leave for home in time. For me also, it was the time to catch a taxi and get back to the guest house. It was great catching up with him after long time.

So that is the gist of what I did on Day 4 in Kolkata 🙂

Kolkata day 3

Okay…here we go with day 3 😉 and I think I am doing a real good job :D.

Like yesterday, today again I was up at 6. Killed some more time in bed and finally got up at 7. It was a holiday for me so there was plenty of time for some site seeing. Started calling few contacts but nothing worked out. One dude, who I thought was here, had already gone back to Delhi. Another friend was busy in some house hold stuff (he is married actually :D). So I thought about planning something on my own. There were few good places that I could visit and I had to meet one of my ex manager and a good friend too. He is getting married on 10th of this month. I probably won’t be able to attend the marriage so it was the best time to meet him. So I asked the guest house guys to book a cab for me. The cab was there in an hour. I had my breakfast and left for the city. Visited a mall to buy a gift and then left for Victoria Memorial. If you aren’t aware what it is, Wiki comes to rescue 😉

The Victoria Memorial, officially the Victoria Memorial Hall, is a memorial building dedicated to Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom and Empress of India, which is located in Kolkata, India – the capital of West Bengal and a former capital of British India. It currently serves as a museum and a tourist attraction. It is an autonomous organization within the Government of India’s Ministry of Culture.

It is a really beautiful example of architectural excellence. There was lot of interesting stuff related to history; old pictures, weapons and other information displayed as text or paintings. I spent more than an hour over there enjoying the old beauty. After that I had a glimpse of Hugli bridge,  Howrah bridge, High Court, Raj Bhawan and few other places.

Finally I left to meet my friend. He was staying at his in laws house for preparation of some music item he needs to do before marriage :).  It was really nice to see him after so long; may be 2-3 years, I think. Had some Bengali sweets there and left for the guest house.

The guest house guys had already told me that they will be shifting me to a new guest house. So I packed my bags and left for the new guest house. So here I am writing this post ;). Just like any other new place, feeling bit strange here. Another issue is that no set top box with TV, they have got some local cable rather. So not many Hindi/Punjabi channels here :(. Lets see how the coming three days go. I seriously hope that I will be writing day 4 as well :D.

& oh yes it is feeling bit cold here. Don’t know why. May be it is some other part of the city :D.

Kolkata day 2

Oh yes, there is some energy left in me to write day 2 ;). Well, the first thing; man the sun rises really early in this part of the country. Am I being an idiot or being in east really does matter? I mean at 6 in the morning, it was full light in the room, birds started chirping outside and I was wide awake. I did try to sleep a bit more but that was a miserable attempt to be in bed for another hour or so.

I had to go to workplace by 12 noon so I had plenty of free time. They prepared aalu paranthas in the breakfast but not so good, totally understandable though. Preparing good paranthas is kinda North Indians’ patent :D. Anyway a cup of tea can always fill the gaps.  So had my breakfast and tea and left for workplace by 11 or so. It was hardly 4 kms so reached there by 11:30.

Change of weather has its shot and nose has started running a bit. Also those guys have their ACs switched on in the office, so it was even more troubling for me. To reduce the bad effects, I kept on taking regular doses of tea from a khokha outside :D. After a suggestion from a colleague, I also tried a cake from the same khokha and it was really good.

For some time there was nothing much to do and I was sitting kinda idle. So I thought why not look for a Café Coffee Day around. Well, I searched in Google maps in my iPhone and it showed the nearest one, some 300 meters away. Before leaving for CCD, I had an egg roll (for just Rs 10…if you have seen the rates in some posh areas in Delhi, it would sound inexpensive for sure) from a shop nearby and it was real good one. So to look for CCD, I started following the directions given by Google maps. Luck gods were not happy, I tried for 15-20 minutes but couldn’t locate where it was. Finally had to come back and had to take tea from the same khokhe wala :P.

By 6 pm, I was free and left for the guest house by yellow taxi. And oh boy I saw something new about taxis here. When you stop at some red light or in some traffic jam, their meter starts counting the wait time and the charges are added for the time you spend waiting. This is not the case in Delhi. Also the charging meter of these yellow taxis is bit complicated one. Wikitravel says:

The fare is 2 times plus Rs 2 the reading of the meter. The Meter starts from Rs. 10, which means Rs. 22 actually.

Now I don’t know what the heck is this. Nose is running so not able to calculate what exactly they want? Why can’t they bloody set their meters to show the actual fare? 😛

The last thing “dinner” for which we all are fighting ;)…these guys were serving fish & rice that I was in no mood to have. So I went out, walked half a km and found a Punjabi dhaba where I could have daal roti. The food was good and not very expensive too. After enjoying the dinner & the evening walk 😉 here I am at my guest house.

Almost all the free time, I have been Facebook’ing. So much on Facebook that I am kinda fed up of it now. I think, need to stay away from it for some time. Or I shall not touch it after getting back to Delhi.

Tomorrow I am totally free. Let us see if I can utilize it for some site seeing or it also gets dedicated to bloody Facebook ;).

Good night guys…

Kolkata day 1

I am almost bored to death and got nothing better to do than to write a post :D. So lets get going 😉 .Today morning, I came to Kolkata on a official trip. It was an early morning flight at 7 AM so that required me to get up at 4 AM. Really tough shit to handle, in this weather especially. Anyway, I managed to do that somehow ;). The starting was not so brilliant as someone switched off the power to the refrigerator and the milk got screwed up. So that means no tea for me :(. Well, digested that shock and left for the airport. And oh boy there was more in the stock. The taxi got punctured. Another 15 minutes down the drain. Driver changed the tyre and started moving towards the airport. The flight had to depart from the new terminal T3 and there is a different route to the new terminal. The driver took some other way and said that we can go from here too. We had moved a km at the max and found that there was a traffic jam…oh yes baby traffic jam at 6 in the morning ;). So he took back from there (wrong side…) and took another way.

Finally reached the airport in time and was able to check in, get security check done and board the flight, everything in time. No breakfast was included in the ticket price. I thought about having a tea. Well ordered that and man believe me…it was the most pathetic tea I had in months.

And early morning flights are full of laziness. People hardly talk, most of them are half asleep ;). I too, after some time put on my earphones and played tumhe dillagi bhool jani paregi. What a relief! Overall the flight was pretty good. The take off was real smooth but landing was bit crappy. The plane touched the ground like a stone and the pilot applied the brakes as if plane was going to fall off some planet’s corner :D. Well, investigating the wrong area probably, so should leave it here.

I got my luggage and started waiting for the taxi. It took around one hour or so to reach the workplace at Park Street and spent the whole day there. I had no breakfast so was eagerly waiting for the lunch time. Everyone told me that Park Street is a real good area and there should be many good eating joints. There was one called Shiraaz nearby and I enjoyed bhuna chicken & afghani naan :D. In the evening after getting free, I had a round of Park Street but it looked like bit closed. Also being alone, it was not much fun. Finally landed at the guest house and had good cup of tea which really helped in giving the body the much needed energy. Had that cup been not there, this post would never come :P.

Few things that attracted eyes; traffic situation is almost same as Delhi, lots of time gets wasted due to traffic jams. Traffic police and waiters wear white color uniform, totally unfit for the kind of job they do. Also the yellow taxis are all around, somewhat like autos in Delhi. To a bit of my surprise, pretty good number of people speak and understand reasonably good Hindi.

So that was the story of the whole day. Just had my dinner and these guys made really good daal, aalu gobhi & roti. He asked for the trademark fish n rice but I am feeling bit cold’ish so decided to settle for standard daal roti & the dinner was real good.

Enough for day 1, I think and now the time to end this post. Let us see if there comes any part 2, 3 or so :D.

And oh yes, any suggestions for good places to visit in Kolkata are welcome 😉

BTW Calcutta was such a beautiful name. Why did the change it to Kolkata. May be due to the Ooo’ization Bengalis do of everything 😛 (no offence intended).