Few weeks ago I had this plan to visit Kolkata with parents on the onset of my College-Summer-Break. If you know a little of India, Kolkata is definitely on your list, for its Historical relevance, Food, Architecture and more. I won’t hold you with Facts, I’d rather tell why the traveller inside me claims of failing to have seen the Real place despite a 10-Day long Stay and the Extensive-Visits there.
‘BILKUL NAYAA HAI, PHIR BHI
BITE KAL ME GIRAFTAR HAI.’
(New it is, still locked in own past)
I had heard this and the hundred other sayings about Kolkata while growing up, though I had been to this place when young but the memory had faded to White, so eventually I weaved a web of hopes. Perhaps expecting a myriad moments that would Stun the otherwise-Calm me.
I walk for Miles in slippers in the City I pursue my education, away from home, coming across old-architectures(new-For-me), unveiling new lives, streets, places, book-stops,moments. Returning tired with something new to eyes is a successful day for me.
I came across selfless helping nature of people towards strangers in Calcutta(Old-name) because this time I decided to discover places without GPS, relying solely on mine and Maa-Papa’s (Parents) direction sense and hundred instructions we got by the learned ones in Family, but believe me, these instructions merely confine your journey, holding you back from LEARNING.
We allowed ourselves journey on the local-buses, metro, cab, boat and, Oh No! We missed the famous TRAM (Image) there which runs on the road. I had a comfortable tour of the city in a bus, on several days from Park-Street to Dumdum to Kalighat and many other places. I made visits to Victoria-Memorial, Dakshineshwar Temple, Belur-Math, Ganga Ghat, Howra-Bridge and many other renowned places which Google will suggest you if you are a tourist there. Trying Rasgulla,Pani-Puri,Fish and other renowned food there was obvious.
Despite all that a traveller to Kolkata ought to do, Why I claim of my Incomplete journey?
I never felt the real city while on those fast moving buses, the buildings moved at a pace, but never along, in its own direction away from me. Amidst those crowd of the tourists I missed the local reality which maybe I would have found walking on its streets and I didn’t in the Book Shops and Monuments there.
If a place touches Fame you’ll have a set conventions for a traveller there, and it becomes a challenge to break free from that and look at it from a new angle.
Sitting on the buses and Looking at Kolkata from the Conventional lens, this time I failed to discover it through my eyes, but hopefully I’ll meet you again outside the shackles of a conventional traveller, Calcutta!