Monday, July 17, 2006

Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Bombay and now....

Pune I believe. Well, not believe I have to go to Pune tomorrow.
Since Thursday I've been spending so much time on the air/road its beginning to take its toll. In a way its good, good not being in Bombay, because the couple of times I did catch the train last week were very weird. The rides were strangely surreal and quiet. Anyway, life moves on, the stories carry on, but by next week everything would have been papered over - and the government desperate to censor dissident views goes after bloggers as well - the number of hits to this blog are down dramatically and people have been emailing in with queries why access has been patchy of late and I'm told through very relaible sources that Priya Ranjan Das Munshi, Indian football's most able administrator and sycophant-in-chief (no wait, that post goes to the Surdie - so make that - the wannabe Goebbels on the ruling committee of sycophants) has decided to censor blogs on the blogspot domain. Awwww.....
Anyway, in Calcutta (and the one reason I really respect Aveek Sarkar is because he hasn't fallen prey to misguided Bengali chuvanism and still calls the city Calcutta) I did something that I haven't done ever in the city of my birth - I went and had offered prayers to the Devi at Kalighat. I'm not a particularly religious person, though if you looked at my right wrist you might think otherwise, but I somehow like going to temples. And yesterday, I thought I had to go because last Tuesday's incidents had really shaken me up, I was scared and knew in the back of my head that had circumstances been different I could have been blown up because someone wanted to prove a political point.
Anyway, I don't know, I felt good about going to Kalighat, though I must admit the temple is a mess compared to temples almost anywhere else in the country and even Dakhineshwar is a million times better - at least it was when I last went there over 15 years ago. But you have to say something about the order and cleanliness of South Indian temples - I went to Guruvayoor on my journey through Kerala and while environmentalists can get all worked up about the condition of the elephants - visiting the temple itself isn't an exercise in manic bribery.
Now my happy life takes me to Pune tomorrow, travelling is actually beginning to take a toll on me. Never thought I would ever say that! Chalo, even though I should chill on the sugar I will make a pit-stop at Kayani Bakery on the way back.

8 comments:

thalassa_mikra said...

I'm sorry but Kalighat is always a very unpleasant experience for me. My mother drags me there kicking and screaming every time we visit Calcutta. The only bright spot of the visit is that we get to go to the Adya Ma temple nearby, which has a small snack shop next to it. They make absolutely fabulous luchi-chholar daal. That's one incentive to go.

GBO said...

Boss all blogs are blocked but anyway we get around so all the best, cheers, GBO

MeinBekarAadmi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
K said...

Thalassa, I felt good about going there not because of the chaos - Kalighat is insanely chaotic but just to do the darshan. South Indian temples are just so much more better organised as is the that massive Birla Mandir. I mean no matter what you say about Cal's turnaround - Kalighat is still symptomatic of Calcutta - redo kalighat and then maybe even Cal can be born afresh.
GBO - Karmic Retribution for electing an Italian and supporting her facist regime of sycophants.

thalassa_mikra said...

Oh, I'd prefer Kalighat to the sterile and kitschy Birla Mandir any day. But speaking of Bengali pilgrimage sites on the whole, there are better places.

Including Bakreshwar in Birbhum, which is surrounded by lush verdant countryside, has a few natural hot springs nearly, and has none of the aggressive hassling of Kalighat.

And K, no fair. Criticise her as much as you want, but what's with calling her Italian? She's as bona fide Indian as anyone else in the country. And are you invoking facism simply because of her Italian origins? As far as I know, Sonia Gandhi has never been a Mussolini admirer.

Anonymous said...

K,

Did you get shrewsbury biscuits from there?

-S

K said...

S - No I couldn't go to Kayani this time thanks to the awful Pune traffic.
TM - No insults - but if people call me Bong, I call Parsi friends Bawa's, Keralite friends Mallu so I choose to call the Italian, Italian. Yeah, she holds an Indian passport, and is possibly more Indian than say Mani Shankar Aiyar or some other members of her cabinet, but Italian sounds - hmmmm - Italian. I wonder if she makes good pasta?

Anonymous said...

Ahhh. Finally. Blogspot has been unlocked. Not that I couldn't access otherwise, but still ;-). Now let the morons unblock the so-called hate sites also


Alok