Thursday, September 28, 2006


Day 28, Sep 28, 06: Kolkata:

Yesterday was quite a boring day except for the fact that I was completely stressed about my whole bank fiasco. The rest of the day passed without much incident apart from the Rolls at Park Street and lunch at Song Hay.

But today’s high point has got to be OLYPUB. Jaideep and Mainak had been raving about this place ever since I got here. Of course I had heard about OLY even while I was in Delhi and on various previous visits to the city, but never had the opportunity to head there. We finally did today.

The place is like the Destination for the hard working executive or the cash strapped college kids. The fish fingers and Chicken Reshmai kebab is splendid. Unlimited Chana chur goes without saying, as is customary in a lot of Kolkata bars. The plate just keeps getting replenished. But what is out of this world is the Mustard Sauce. I’ve finally come to a place where the mustard sauce sends that pungent salvo up your nostrils and opens up the “tear gates”. Believe you me; a spot of that Mustard Sauce is all you require.

Apart from that, the spirits poured out of measuring pegs right at your table, live upto the tales that have been narrated, both in size and price. OLYPUB is sans any kind of comfort, with one sole purpose of satisfying its loyal clientele with the promise of cheap food and spirits.

I don’t thing the décor has been renovated since inception.

All I have to say is that, at the end of the day, it’s a great place to hang out and chat with friends, if you’re not one who’s accustomed to the finer things in life.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Dilemmas of Moving Base

Day 27, Sep 27, 06: Kolkata:

Yesterday I got the fright of my life. The joy of depositing my first pay check was shattered by the trauma of no means of withdrawing my money. Well here’s what happened.

Shortly after depositing my cheque at the teller, I decided to check my balance at the ATM outside the branch. Well all went smoothly, till at the end of the transaction the machine swallow up my card and asked me to go to the nearest branch for assistance. So I went in and after locating the person in charge of such matters was assured that I’d get it back. I just needed to come back in half an hour or so. I headed back to office and several hours later returned to the Bank.

I was shocked to hear the person telling me that my card had been hot listed, whatever that meant. So I wouldn’t get it back. I thought I’d talk my way out of this one and get it back only to be shocked by his answer that the card had been destroyed as was the procedure for all cards that had been hot listed. Man, I was going dizzy by now and wanted an explanation for such an extreme measure. He explained that a hot listed card was one that was reported stolen or had been blocked by the Bank for precaution towards further misuse. I needed to call Phone Banking to get a new card. Just by the way someone behind the counter said that it was possible that they had sent me a new upgraded card so I should check that.

So a brisk walk bordering on a jogging brought me back to office. I’m not sure if the sweat I had broken out into was due to the hot and humid climate, the walk or stress, but I was glad to be back in the sanctuary of a cool office and set upon making that much needed call.

Well Kolkata Helpline was not being answered, so I made a call to the Delhi Office and after much probing got to the bottom of it all. They had issued me a new card, but since I wasn’t there to receive it, it went back to Chennai and was resent to the branch where my account was. Yippie! Now I’ll just have to go to Delhi and pick it up from there. Fortunately or unfortunately I have to go back anyway to pick up the rest of my belongings which were supposed to come with someone else, but he backed out at the last minute.

So Delhi here I come, well after Pujas that is.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"Puzzling Question"

A quick trip to Head Office to finally get my permanent entry permit into the building brought me face to face with this beauty. It must be the MD’s car; the new Toyota Camry. This model is a quantum leap from its predecessor which looked more like a boat. This mean machine looks like it’s ready to leap ahead and chew miles and miles of tarmac. I wonder where it will achieve that feat in Kolkata though?
So while we were discussing in sheer paranoia, the future of the young adolescent absconding from home and out with his friends, my younger aunt was celebrating the completion of yet another one of her gargantuan puzzles.

Nothing Like Old Pictures

Day 26, Sep 26, 06: Kolkata:

There’s nothing like pictures. Though yesterday was quite a boring day all together, it did have an exciting end to it. We were asked to wait a bit and our finance guy gave us our pay-checks for the month. Yippie! My first pay-check in Kolkata and the government takes quite a bit away from it too.

Apart from that, my teenage cousin is driving my aunt crazy. He didn’t come back home yesterday as he had gone out to a friends place. I realise now, how I drove my dad up the wall back then. But I guess that’s the joy of teenage life and better still for her to experience the joy of having a teenage son. A bit of high BP is mandatory for all parents; I guess it acts as a rejuvenator at that age.

Ok it seems like am making fun here, but I guess everyone’s got to go through it. It’s part and parcel of bringing up children. If you enjoyed cuddling them in your arms, you’ve got to accept the impending monsters they are going to become in these troubling adolescent years. They’re also experiencing all kinds of new feelings and also want to try thing on their own. The way here is to be tactful and handle them without losing objectivity. Ok enough about handling wild teenagers.

While my aunt was frantically making calls to Rahul, I decided to raid his toy cupboard. Aaaaah! The LEGO is still there. I took all of it out and gleefully starting putting the pieces together. I can go crazy around LEGO and Matchbox cars.

Anyway after that a post mortem till midnight on the behaviour of her son and I was off to sleep.

The morning brought on a blast from the past. While my aunt was settling one of her cupboards, I noticed some albums and decided to pull them out. That revealed a Pandora’s Box. There were dozens of them. And while I went crazy seeing pictures from when I was a tiny tot, I hit upon a brilliant idea. I’m going to start scanning and keeping all these pictures in digital format. Pictures bring back so many memories and connections to so many relatives who you don’t see that often. Stories of who is where and up to what, how they are related et al. I have to go back and devour some more of those albums. I think all this is going to work really well for the family tree I have been constructing. I’ve gone back several generations now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Weekend No.3 Gone in a Jiffy

Day 25, Sep 25, 06: Kolkata:

I think this Saturday working thing just makes the weekend fly-by in a haze. Before Sunday begins, it seems like I’m on my way to office on a Monday morning and usually at the gates the earliest, waiting for the shutters to go up.

Anyway Saturday was quite a lazy kind of days and we went out for Momos on Elgin Road, the Mecca of great momos. About three plates of Momos and a bowl of Thupka for lunch and I was done in.

Got back home and then headed out to Chandni Market to buy a hard disk for the computer at home. Man that market is bustling with people. The shops seem to be overflowing into the road. The crazy part is that suddenly from within the sea of humanity you have a hand rickshaw guy tingling away on his little bell, or even worse, a bike or scooter fella laden with wares trying to manoeuvre his way through.

Chandni Market is famous for all things electronic and electrical and maybe more. I have never seen so many different DVD players in my life and that too stacked up to the ceiling in come places. Light fitting, computer hardware, you name it and all at nearly half the price than what would be available at any showroom. The catch is, 1. You should be able to bargain and 2. You should be able to spot what’s genuine and what’s not. Even if it’s an imitation, sometimes they are really good. And if you’re luck’s good, it might just last longer than a branded one from one of the many showrooms in the swanky malls.

After that we went to New Market and my aunt took me to Anand Stores. We used to go there with my mom and all our stores were bought from there on Saturday or Sunday. That was a good quarter century ago. Wow! The owner was quite thrilled to see me and enquired about my brother and sister.

After Saturday’s adventure, Sunday was a treat. Got up in the morning and got into action moving furniture around. While my aunt was at it, I convinced her to get the drawing room painted too. The kitchen was being done. So we visited the paint shop, came back, had lunch and then headed out to a garments sale at Ice Skating Rink. Nothing impressive, so we stopped by at the DI (Dalhouse Institute) Club and had some “nimbu sikanji” and momos.

After that we went for a drive down The Strand Road. I must admit, in all this excitement, I was expecting it to be like the good old days when both sides used to be packed with Puchka walas, Bhel Puri, Cold Drinks, Ice Cream wallas and lots of young Calacuutans on bikes romancing and families out for a weekend treat. None of that! All the street hawkers are gone and its quite a subdued affair, bordering on non-existence. Well the bright side is that it’s much cleaner now and the rejuvenation of the Princep Ghat looked impressive and does warrant a visit. I can’t wait to bring my bike down from Delhi.

Tea is still sold like this. You can buy packaged tea also, but if you really want to relish an early morning sip, there is a variety of Assam & Darjeeling Leaf Tea for the connoisseur.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Finally It's Stopped I hope

Day 23, Sep 23, 06: Kolkata:

Yesterday after finally reaching office when it had let up a bit, we decided to leave early as it was a holiday at most places and the turnout in office was also minimal and the office mood was dismal.

Kartik and I finally have come to consensus on the name of our Pan wallah. The debate was whether we’d name him or Mishraji, our driver, “OMKARA”. The pan guy was unanimously voted.

So at about a bit past 4 pm when we decided to leave the rain started pelting down even harder and by the time we reached Amrit’s place on Theatre Road, it was inundated.

So we guys spent the rest of the evening playing “Pool”. It’s been quite a while since I last played, but not before long I was hitting pull shots and both our games began sharpening up. I also got a grand tour of the house. It’s huge and old and the ceilings are as high as the sky. Imagine wooden staircases and several feet thick walls. The house is probably about a hundred odd years old and doesn’t have any pillars.

Anyway by 8pm we were done with pool and a look outside revealed that the rain hadn’t let up yet and Theatre Road was now a full flowing river. So we had a couple of drinks and chatted with some great music in the background. Denaz (Amrit’s wife) organized dinner while chatting with us. What a feast! Bhetki in mustard sauce, Alloo dum, “potol bhaja”, “bengun bhaja” and rice. That Betki was particularly nice. I must get the recipe from her soon.

The rain finally let up by about 10.30 pm and we headed out. The water had also drained out in a jiffy. I guess the Pumping stations were in full swing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kolkata under Deluge, "aao chalo swim kare"

Day 22, Sep 22, 06: Kolkata:

I’m glad I learnt how to swim when I was young. Even more glad that I live high up. After a quick drink last night at Park Hotel’s Some Place Else, which is Kolkata’s watering hole for Rockers, it seems the city was getting watered down. The rain hadn’t stopped yet. I decided to call it a night as soon as I was done with dinner. Ok maybe a couple of late night text msg’s did happen closer to midnight, but what the heck.

My sleep was broken by the early morning singing on the Radio. 4 am and Mahalaya was being broadcast on the Radio. Tried to put in some shuteye but was dragged out to the verandah by my aunt. Wow, when did this happen? How did this happen? The road had been replaced by a River. My eyes popped at the sight. I quickly grabbed my Phone and started clicking pictures.

I spent the next five hours in the Balcony, watching how a Deluged city got back on its feet. Lucky that quite a few places have a holiday today. It could’ve been worse. The water finally receded at about 12.30 pm.

Lots of street urchins were having a whale of a time. Also part of the trick was to come in front of cars and make them stall in the water and then earn a quick buck pushing them out of it. Certain “gang” wars were also breaking out due to this sudden business opportunity.

The young ones seemed to be honing their swimming skills and just having fun in the water.

Concerned Citizens do their bit to overcome the water logging menace. Polythene seemed to be the main cause of blocked drains. I don’t know why the country hasn’t learned from the catastrophe in Mumbai last year.

Even a Police Recovery Van got stranded in the water. How ironical is that?

The ex-chief minister’s motorcade on its way to pick him up from his Salt Lake residence, I would presume. Come Hell or high water, this juggernaut will plough down the road with absolute disregard for the citizens of the city. The 8 vehicles with their sirens cutting the sound of horns and water lapping up the sides of the buildings sped through the street not at all intimidated by the water surrounding them.

I ended up having Luchi torkari and heading out to office finally when the KMC (Kolkata Municipal Corporation) workers came and opened several manholes to let the water drain out completely.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wet Wet Wet - That's Kolkata

Day 21, Sep 21, 06: Kolkata:

What I’ve been enjoying since last evening is playing the guitar. One of Rahul’s friends (Danny) has left his guitar back at our place. So I’ve been just playing around with it. It’s fun to play an electric guitar. I think I’m going to start to hone my musical skills with all this time I have on my hands.

Anyway this morning when I looked out, there was a consistent drizzle outside. Who’s afraid of a little water was my thought when I headed down the stairs? By the time I had reached the gate, it was a full blown downpour. These rain gods also have their ears peeled to our thoughts through those menacing grey clouds. So I headed straight back up five floors and waited patiently for the rain to subside a bit. It took twenty odd minutes and I was back out crossing the ever busy Park Street to catch a cab.

There were several tucked in on Bright Street just off the main road. I approached one of them and enquired with the driver whether he’d go to Dalhousie. To my utter surprise, he asked me not ask and just sit in the cab, reaching over his seat and opening the back door for me.”Boni ka time hai, jaha bologey, le jaynge”. I was his first passenger for the day and he told me he’d take me anywhere I’d want to go.

Anyway once in office and working away, I got a call from Warren. He was down from Delhi on business and though I was supposed to catch up with him last evening, which couldn’t happen, we decided to catch up over lunch. So back out in the rain again it was, at about 1.15 pm. It took me a good 40 odd minutes to get to Sudder Street, but once there, we decided to take a short walk down to Jongs. This is one of the finer Chinese restaurants in Kolkata and is on the corner of Chowringee and Sudder Street. The walk was more like a jog till there as it was still pouring. We entered in all drenched, but ready to munch on some good Chinese. Over lunch he narrated last evening’s experience with his colleagues at a shady place called Princess Bar. I hope he can narrate the same here. We had a good laugh over mixed fried Rice and Szechwan Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce.

After lunch we decided to take a stroll down to New Market and I was so excited that I gave him a grand tour of the erstwhile shopping destination of Kolkata. Today’s generation has Forum and City Center. This was a nostalgic journey for me and it was a pity to see that the land mark “Canon” was missing from its place of pride at the center of the market. Anyway, little has changed in here and since it was still unscathed by the newer malls, a celebration was in order. Nahoum’s still has it. My mouth started watering the moment we walked in. A lemon tart for me and a Rum Ball for Warren and we had done justice to our visit to the New Market.

I feel like singing - Rain, Rain go away come again on a hot, hot sunny day. It’s been raining here for two days straight. There seems to be a depression forming over the Bay of Bengal. OK for the uninitiated, this means a cyclone is brewing up in the seas and as always heads up towards the Orissa or West Bengal coastline and end up plastering the Ganges Delta. You always end up reading about the devastation that it causes in Bangaladesh. Chittagong is usually worst affected.

On that note I’m heading back home now and it’s still raining.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

KAKA TEA - 5 Mangoe Lane

Day 20, Sep 20, 06: Kolkata:

After a lot of debate, we managed to come to a consensus, so Kartik and I followed Rajrishi to some dhaba he kept raving about. We were quite certain that today the Roti and Tadka dal was on the cards, but the enlightenment of better and newer fare for lunch made us follow him through a sea of people, across several road crossings and into a meandering narrow lane.

As we entered the lane, ahead of us stood the impressive 4 Mangoe Lane the Address in shiny Brass letters against the enamel White building. Beside this stood a building under construction, must’ve been 5 or more floors. In the mêlée of all that construction work, tucked in the right hand corner on the ground floor was a KAKA TEA stall. Bustling with a people, eating, ordering, watching, chatting over food. Rotis, a plethora of vegetarian dishes, I counted some 3-4 paneer preparations, all on display on one side. South Indian Food on the other, mishtis at the entrance and the famous “Chai” stall was in the corner adjacent to the mishti stall.

We ordered 3 Masala Dosas, the kind I’ve never had anywhere else. I’m not saying it was excellent, but it definitely had its uniqueness. This was followed by Gulab Jamuns. I’m not exaggerating, but each of them was nearly the size of a tennis ball. Then we had tea. Ok that was a bit much and this eating thing is affecting me. I’m never going to get to shop again. I vowed to myself that I’d lose a couple of inches around the waist and only then go shopping.

Canon Powershot A530. Click! Click!

I completely forgot the other high point of the day. We got our new digital camera for the office - Canon Powershot A530. Amrit immediately wanted to check out how the thing works and excitedly clicked a couple of shots and as usual got bored with it in several minutes. I guess a digital camera is a digital camera. It’s a bsic 5.0 megapixel with Retractable 4x optical zoom with 4x digital zoom.

We have Kartik as usual trying to crack some complicated financial cost benefit thingy. He always seems to be crunching numbers in front of his laptop. Amrit even walked over in front of my wroksation and clicked one of me. Not really one for GQ yet!

Oh another hilarious incident was in the evening riding in the car and Kartik in animated conversation talking to the broker. I was so convinced that he was speaking in Tamilian that it came as a shock to me when he told me it was Gujarati. Ever met a Tamilian who speaks fluent Guju?

Munna Bhai at INOX, FORUM MALL

Day 19, Sep 19, 06: Kolkata:

Three people’s birthdays on this day, my brother’s, Sheldon’s and one of my aunt’s, would you believe the chances of that happening? So wishing over with on the phone, I headed to work. It was quite the normal day. Except for the fact that Amrit and I headed to Chung Wah for lunch. Man the portions there are enormous. I’m not going to talk about prices any more as it seems to have annoyed quite a few people reading. But I just want to say is that I was stuffed.

That evening Kartik and myself went to watch Lagey Raho Munna Bhai with a couple of colleagues from our Head Office. The movie was nice and I finally got to go to FORUM. Everyone’s been raving about FORUM since I got here. Well yeah ok so it’s a mall, but I’ve seen bigger ones and City Centre in Salt Lake is way better.

Anyway a quick bite of Vada Pao, Papdi Chaat and stuff at the food court and we headed into to watch the movie armed to the teeth with pop-corn and coke.

The movie was well packaged in the sense that though preachy, it was done in a manner that people would take cognisance of the message. I was just analysing how two different movies Rang De Basanti and Lagey Raho Munna Bhai have tried to arouse the consciousness of being proud to be an Indian and how are we going to contribute to India rising to the challenge of being a global player. And each of them have taken different approaches like our struggle for Independence, one of extremism and one of non-violence.

I don’t want to start and analysis and seem like “Manohar Prsad” with political aspirations, but I think both ways are effective. It’s a when extremism fails that non violence compliments it.

Anyway it seems I am short circuiting from the topic and on that note I felt that Arshad Warsi a.k.a CIRCUIT just stole the show. Throwing in Diya Mirza and Abhishek Bachchan were thrown in for glamour quotient just as John Abraham and Kajol added surprise to KANK. Boman is the master of character n comedy. And Kartik is fida over Vidya Balan.

Apart from the fact that a whole lot of brands got some pretty heavy mileage in the movie, it was a great two and half hours of entertainment in true Bollywood ishtyle, great music, excellent choreography, exotic locations, witty dialogues and a great lesson at the end of it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Kolkata is Hi Tech

Day 18, Sep 18, 06: Kolkata:

I have managed to get some discipline into my life it seems; early to bed and early to rise. So I wasn’t surprised this morning when my eyes opened at 5.30 am. I did stay in bed till 6 am though, but that was it. It seems uncanny, but true it is.

As usual I was out in the veranda sipping my morning tea when I heard a strange sound from down below. I was used to the sirens blaring, and the holed up silencers from buses & garbage trucks rambling, but this buzzing sound was completely new. So I went to the window and to my surprise. There were two trucks all hi-tech and all cleaning the streets. I rushed in to grab my phone (well this has become my weapon of choice now) and came back to click a picture. Kolkata is a far cry from what I had left back straight after school.

That was the high point of the day. Needles to say I still enjoyed the ride to office. I’ve now devised a new strategy. I just plug my ears and listen to music all the way to work in the morning.
What has kept me occupied of late is finding my roots and have been working on my family lineage back to one of Bengal’s famous poets Michael Madhusudan Dutt (1824-1873).

Hooghly Bridge-Kite Flying-Rainbows-Sunset

Day 17, Sep 17, 06: Kolkata:

Though I hit the sack early on Saturday night, which might come as more of a shock to all of you, I greeted Sunday morning rather late. (I surfaced at 9 am, rather shocking by my Kolkata standards and even more shocking by my Delhi standards).

Once up, quick breakfast of Luchi-Torkari (equivalent of Puri-Aloo) and the rest of the day followed chit-chatting till lunch time. Gobindo-bhog rice pulao (Bengal’s equivalent to Basmati which give out a beautiful scent while cooking), chicken curry et al.

Post lunch I had been craving to take a drive out on the Vidyasagar Setu. The bridge which was completed just before I left Kolkata 12 years ago, is Kokata’s pride and was presented about the same time as the Kolkata Metro. So Kolkata was flying over and under way before the rest of the country. I guess that’s where the saying “What Bengal thinks today the world does tomorrow” or something like that.

The drive was a treat especially going from Park Circus till the race course on the newly built 2.5 km long flyover above AJC Bose road. Once I was near Hastings and on the approach to the Vidayasagar Setu, its four Suspension Pillars dominating the skyline intimidating and dwarfing even the 18 wheelers that approached the bridge connecting Kolkata to the GT Road to Delhi.

Once on the bridge, the skylines of the twin cities of Howrah & Kolkata on either side of the Hooghly seem to be bowing down to this mammoth structure.

Across the bridge, we made a pit stop for the impending evening I had planned. Kite flying on the terrace. A quick purchase of kites and several meters of ‘Manja’ (special thread used for slicing other kites) and we were back on the bridge back to the city. Kite flying is customary on Vishwakarma Puja and so as planned at dot 4 pm we were on the terrace launching our first kite. The sky was already dotted with hundreds of others. It was a beautiful Sunday evening with a bright blue sky and white and grey puffy clouds in the distance above the skyline. It would’ve been a pity if the wind gods played truant, but as usual there were gusts of wind giving flight to the colourful kites in the sky.

Our first voyager was set out and soon after it had taken flight, I was given the reigns. Not for very long. My first flight ended in disaster and the kite nosedived when I pulled too hard. I wasn’t too good at “pulling strings” it seemed. That done, my aunt who happens to be an expert navigator took the helm and the next two and half hours saw several battles in the sky above. I didn’t some training flights every now and then, but as usual when there’s an expert around, let her do most of the flying. I spent my time capturing some beautiful scenery while we were up there. I guess I was honing my skills at something I like doing more. Several rainbows and a gorgeous sunset were beckoning to be captured.

So thus ended another week in Kolkata.

Sunrise after the Storm

Day 15, Sep 15, 06: Kolkata:

Thursday was a normal day; same old, same old - work-food-sleep and Calcutta streets.

Friday posed an impending disaster. Rahul (my kid cousing brother) was inviting his friends over to spend the night for a musical extravaganza. The boys have just started playing music. Rahul on the drums and his best friend on the guitar kicked up quite a ruckus all night. I am trying to figure out the association with hard rock during teenage life. There seems to be some unwritten law somewhere in the process of growing up that says you have to go through the process of trying to form a band, growing long hair and just emulating all those tattoo ridden rockers if you want to score with the “chics”. Haven’t we all been there?

Anyway I was just wishing that I didn’t have to go to work on Saturday, but I had to. It was quite a boring day at work and I still managed to be there till evening.

I had to drop Kartik at Alipore. Some quiz thing he was trying to go to at IIM Joka. The guy seems to be overly fascinated with Quizzing. Suddenly I was excited. I remembered that the Nursery School I had gone to was in Alipore. As fate would have it, we turned into exactly the same lane (New Road) off Burdwan Road. Ah! I was going to see “Higgins” after 15 maybe 20 years. So after I dropped Kartik and eagerly approached the building that housed the school where I first learned how to speak, I was shocked to see an old dilapidated Building with a “FOR SALE” sign on the gate.

KOLKATA has changed. A flood of emotions and memories raced through my head. Flooding on Burdwan Road, Thums-Up factory near Budge-Budge, Transport Depot Road and the gurad tower at the back of the Factory where my father used to work, New Alipore and all the neighbours we used to trouble while playing hide-n-seek. I wish I had a gazzilion bucks and could buy the place, just to let the kids today know what it was like back then. But then it dawned on me. Mrs. Higgins, the grand old lady who used to run the place might have left us and with her an institution that etched the fate of many of us today. Good old HIGGINS.

Back home and the cacophony from the night before had taken its toll. I was ready to eat and call it a night. I hit the sack like a ton of bricks.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wedneday Night @ Media Nights

Day 13, Sep 13, 06: Kolkata:

Today completes a fortnight in Kolkata. And among the things I’ve missed the most is Media Nights at Turquoise Cottage. As might seem unbelievable to most of you guys, haven’t checked out any of the night life here yet. But from what I hear Tantra, Underground, Some Place Else, Big Ben and Dublin are the most rocking places and promise more clubbing than is possible in Delhi, but Turquoise Cottage rocks.

Yesterday was a work filled day. Our project seems to be progressing now. Lunch was same place as Monday, but had Egg Curry and Rotis instead. Kartik tried out the Chola and Tadka Dal. Ok I can’t help but make you’ll wonder about the price. We paid Rs. 25/- total for the two of us. I still can’t fathom how they do it and still make a living. Not complaining though.

So, all in all, yesterday was quite an uneventful day.

This morning though, decided to occupy my time and started a project at home. The entire balcony is surrounded by huge glass windows. Saint Gobain was on my mind. So started out to clean the glasses and got 6 done in all. Actually the beautiful view outside inspired me to take on this and the fact that I’d at least get in some physical labour since I haven’t yet got to go to a gym yet.

Me on my way to work on Wednesday Morning.

Jaideep on the other hand had an experience yesterday; an incident with the cab driver who tried overcharging. So a helpful policeman came to his aid and handed Jaideep a post card (don’t know how long he’s been carrying it) to be filled out and sent to the Police HQ. Not bad. Delhi Traffic Police ought to take queue from here and live up to their motto “For You, With You Always”. What say Dilli wallahs?

And a pic of the Impressive Telephone Bhavan by night.
Streets Light up
Cabs don’t need to use Headlights as the roads are well lit.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Tuesday's Gone @ Rs. 10

Day 12, Sep 12, 06: Kolkata: Monday morning blues. But not so blue for me, I was up and about at the crack of dawn.

Nothing much happened on Monday, except the fact that we went back to the Rajbhawan Canteen and got some great Thali. Of course that led to post lunch drowsiness. But apart from that it was work as usual. Infact got some great work done for a change, even if I may say so.

It came down again in the evening. Ah now I remember. About this eating thing; apart from eating themselves, it seems people love feeding too, especially stray cats and dogs. To the point that I noticed our neighbour throwing out food for the Kites on Sunday afternoon and they kept swooping down for a feed. [Pictures below]

Today I worked on getting my new number; my standby Airtel Prepaid card was proving to be too expensive and running out of balance at critical times. So old faithful HUTCH it is back to and I’ve got my new number. Hopefully should be activated by evening. Let’s see?

But before I forget about the most crucial part of my day, Lunch; 10 Bucks man! 2 rotis and big ones too, mixed paneer sabji, pickle and salad. 10 bucks! Beat that. Just beat that.

I think I’m going to change this blog into “I LOVE KOLKATA” soon.

Another great thing about Kolkata is that the streets are so well lit that most cars don’t use their head lights at night. You might think it’s strange, but it’s true. I guess Kolkata is a civilised place. People are considerate and sensible and power is abundant. So Hurray! Kolkata. Just need to ignite them to turning this place into a world class city.