Back from Kolkata and everywhere

This September we went on a two week trip to Kolkata-Gauhati and thereon to Shillong. Some pictures (because the camera decided to play up) are here.

In short it was aimed to be “get away from Pune and, get to see glimpses of Runa’s childhood” trip. And, it was worth every hour. As is becoming the norm, the time at Kolkata was either spent eating or, meeting up with the gang. Since we were at Kolkata till just before the Pujas, all I did catch glimpses of were work-in-progress pandals especially some which did not anticipate the heavy showers. The showers also spoilt our traipsing through College Street (on Eid no less) and, encountering bookstores trying to salvage books from water-logging. We took the Azad Hind from Pune to travel to Kolkata and, two immediate incidents deserve mention – an elderly gentleman came in (with probably his son) and, confirmed the seat number in Bengali. Given that Azad Hind is full of Bengali speaking characters during Puja season, I did not pay much heed to that. Turns out that they had thought that it was the Bilaspur Express which had left the station by that time. One hopes that he made his journey safely. The next one was an anecdote from the folks who occupied the lower berth. Their son said that he wasn’t keen on dinner because early in the afternoon he joined two of his office mates to consume four full tandoori chicken – that set the tone for the journey. Having the upper berths in a 2-tier does give some privacy and, it wasn’t long before I took the chance of trying to sleep the journey through. Howrah was, as it is always, a thorough mess. Including the fact that the pre-paid taxi booth had less number of the black-yellows. Most of them were standing outside the queue as is their norm.

We moved on to Gauhati and, interestingly enough, the cabin crew of Indigo for this route are inexplicably rude. No “please” or “Sir” as is evident on other routes. A plain simple rudeness that effectively shoves folks into seats and browbeats them into silence. I wonder if this is an organizational instruction because the return leg had the same annoying behavior. Gauhati was an orgy of well-cooked food and, session after session of stories. One of the days we went to the river side to catch a bit of the sunset (there’s a picture in the set). Thereon to Shillong and, Runa caught a spot of cold and cough that has been bothering her since. She took me around her school, hospital and, other sights. And, I was bowled over to note that one can actually walk around Shillong inspite of the dangerous traffic. Shillong was another round of good food.

And, then it was back to Gauhati, thereon to Kolkata and, finally to Pune via Ahmedabad (on the Indigo flight). Runa calculated that we touched 9 states during this trip. Nice

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