Indigo announces the departure of its flight 6E 236 to Delhi. Passengers are requested to proceed to gate no 2A for boarding.
I was at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Airport in Kolkata. As I heard this, I thought about the last two months that I spent in Didi's Sonar Bangla, something she is so desperately trying to convert to the 'London of the East'.
Over the last few years, spending at least two months in Kolkata in a year has been kind of a routine for me. This time, it was no different. I reached Kolkata as soon as my exams were over and joined Dr Nibir Mandal's team for my internship. Saying this was memorable would be a bit too cliché, I guess, but it certainly was.
Life at Kolkata was certainly not easy. In fact, I probably hate all metros because of the reason that they are metros! Traveling takes times which are probably higher than I would require to reach Haridwar from Roorkee. Add to it the swarms of people who would rush into every available public transport.
Take for example, the day I was stranded in the Kolkata Metro. The general trend is that atleast half of the people would get down at the stations 'Central' and 'Chandni Chowk', similar to 'Central Secretariat' and 'Rajiv Chowk' of Delhi Metro. It so happened that the train stopped one station before 'Central' and the signal remained red. The number of people stuffed inside that metro was just unimaginable! We were finally informed that there was a fault in the track, and services were suspended indefinitely. There were so many people that the security had to interfere just so that the people would leave. The fact that I didn't manage to get any means of transport, not even taxis, for another hour, is a different story altogether!
In this period, I did make a really good friend though- Alok Chaudhari. A very camera shy person, he loves comparing BHU's campus with that of Jadavpur University! A proud MacBook owner, he's one foodie who provided me with great company in the city of Kolkata- apparently known for its food. At about 5'10'', he really falls for tall chicks, preferably taller than him! As he had completed an intern the year before at the same place, he was a good source of information for me during the whole internship! Being a true Banarasi, not even a single day passed without him complaining about the food in JU, especially the way tea is prepared in Kolkata- he calls it the British influence! On the contrary, I really loved the food, considering the horrible food I have had to eat for the last two years in Roorkee. There was also a cat that apparently loved us. It would come to come to us whenever we would sit with non veg food. It would look at Alok with its shiny blue eyes as if they had separated centuries ago, and Alok would occasionally end up giving it scraps. Although annoying, he still maintains that it was very cute! As for me, well, I am neither a dog person nor a cat one. So, you get the idea!
|The time I spent with my cousins was also very pleasant. As a picture speaks a thousand words, have a look at the ones on the right, which summarize my time with 'em.|
A trip to Science City convinced me that it no longer met the standards of a modern day amusement park. The dilapidated condition made me really sad, considering it was so close to my heart as a kid.
The South City Mall, which was just 5 minutes from JU was also a place I frequently visited. It was on my way home, and I would even stop for ice creams occasionally! As it was quite far from my Kolkata home, I would hardly visit it before this trip. However, during those two months, I visited it so many times that the layout has been imprinted in my mind.
As I was boarding my flight, every single memory flashed through my mind as I was listening to 'November Rain' in my iPod, where Axl Rose says, " 'Cause nothin' lasts forever, Even cold November rain" ...