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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

V for Bengal

Calcutta was a pleasant surprise for us..the day we reached was puja weekend and so it was a cool slide of a drive to the hotel belying all our fears of the horror stories we have heard about Cal traffic..that night we wandered around Cal till late in the night and were very impressed..lotsa colors, great pandals- each one monumentally designed like a regular structure- architecture and decoration out of the world..people, people every where with all smiles and what a festive look the whole city had..even the next day and on laxmi puja day too was marked with sparse traffic..Thats the best time to visit Cal folks! – weather is fine, great atmosphere and traffic is a dream..
We had one of the best walks all thru the Park street till late night and had a great ride on the metro (that was earlier- sad that metro doesn’t run late)..Metro was cool- very functional and clean, a blessing to cal..
The next 3 days were spent in the sundarbans area- less said the better. Most of the time we were on the boat and sometimes off to some view point or other expecting to sight some animal (2 crow,12 deers,250 mosquitoes,and some Bongs is what we ever saw).. How can one ever sight a tiger (expecting one out of the 250 in that vast expanse of 2500 sqkms!) and with those noisy boats loaded with even noisier people..how did it not strike us I dunno! so bottom line: don’t even attempt sundarbans, if u do for the beauty and for the expanse of mangroves and water or for the great serene look of the rivers joining the sea- just do it for 1 day.. don’t ever try more..its so boring and useless!
Confession: when I compared some prices for sundarbans area and hastily with greed booked a 3 day jaunt for the same price as a 2 day pack and also saw that a single day was even costlier..but that logic dawned only after going there..u pay higher bcos u escape soon;-0 But I shud say that a village we stayed inside sundarbans that did not have any electricity (generator works from 6to 8pm in the evenings alone) was an unique experience..moon light walk was romantic and that village surrounded by water and mangroves on all sides with paddy cultivated anywhere possible..
But the boat drive with so many locals was interesting in its own way..only it took so much time for us to get used to their language- English with those Bs and Os – packed with their typical intonation! Once we were ready with that O filter, that is filtering the thrust of O on the 2nd syllable and filling all Bs with Vs (or almost..) it was fun..But man! I realized I shud have born there..the boat trip was filled with food, food timing, tea/coffee, snacks, food and food..how many times..after a heavy snack, deep fried one at that, at 7 or 8pm folks freak out on a 5 course meal for dinner at 9.30pm! 10 years back I wud never have wanted to come back from Bengal..
One thing very obvious and irritating was everybody spits everywhere in Cal/Bengal..not that it doesn’t happen else where but its too much here..W said there are 3 types of people in cal..1- spitting (60%), 2- making that ugly iigaaaaaaaarhhhhhhhhh noise (35%) and 3- generating saliva(5%)..But Metro is an exception..so if they know one shud not spit there they can be courteous and maintain that decency everywhere else too rit?
Inspite of all this Bengal esp cal is captivating..I wud go there again..
Finally a test: Bob take a bob!
Didn’t get it right? U have to spend a week in Bengal to get that!
Its vow take a bow:-)

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