Remembering Kolkata (Calcutta).

When I went to Bhutan to see my family, me and my dad visited my late Grandpa in Calcutta, who was living with my aunt. The weather in Calcutta was awful. I never imagined that the weather would be that humid in september. My dad was there earlier in May during one of the hottest days and still was not used to the Calcutta heat. Phew! I was sweating like crazy, every single second. Unfortunately, there was no AC in the house because it is expensive. We still managed by occasionally taking a cold shower and the fan helped.

When we got there my grandpa was sitting in the living room waiting for his son (his eldest and only son). My aunt said that he had been sitting there since 7 in the morning waiting for my dad.

We were happy to see him. I hugged my grandpa and he said, “whats up with your hair (because it was still reddish from trying to dye black from blonde), and what are you wearing”? I was wondering what he would have said, if I had not dyed my hair back to black from blonde. (because, few months back, I had gone blonde). I was wearing a knee high dress. Later, my dad explained that back then, women didn’t wear anything above knee level and he had a feeling that my grandpa might say something. That explains it and of course, our national dress covers us from neck down to our toes.

Here’s my dad and my goofy grandpa!

The next day, we headed out to the streets of Calcutta after breakfast. My dad wanted me to experience the real Calcutta so we walked everywhere on the first day. We literally walked for eight hours on our first day.

It is said to be one of the dirtiest and busiest cities in the world. It seemed like every corner was occupied with people. There were little food and tea stalls on the side walk. While walking away from our building into the streets of Calcutta, I noticed people living on with their every day life. Some were still sleeping, one of them waking up, another one washing his face from a jug of water. Another person was peeing on the side walk right after waking up. One of the most bizarre moments was when I almost stepped onto a human poo while walking on the side walk.

It was very scary to cross the road, if I wasn’t with my dad, I would never be able to cross the road. Even when the drivers see you walking across the road, they do not slow down. For example, there are four cars sharing three lanes with constant honking of the cars so they don’t hit each other. Its a way of saying, I am behind you.

It was definitely an experience! Dad took me walking all over the place on the first day. On the second day, we went on a bus, took a tram, and took a taxi. One of the days, the taxi dropped us in the middle of the road because there was such heavy traffic so we had to cross the road through a small gap in a gate. My dad, almost got stuck there. Lol

Here is the gate where we slipped through to avoid the traffic and my dad’s butt almost got stuck. :P

This was the only nice place around there. It is a hospital park. Went for a walk in the morning with my dad. That was his daily routine while he was there in Calcutta.

This was a strange drink my dad drank that was made on the side walk just outside my aunt’s apartment building. Water, some sort of powder, raw onions and green chillies. Said it was good for stomach but I didn’t like it.

These pretty goats were tied on the side walk to be used as food in the restaurant. :(

We went to one of the vegetarian restaurants because it was one of our auspicious days. The food there is great. All these for $5.00

Yum!! If you go to India, you gotta try this stuff. It is called, “Puchka”. It is a crisp roti (tortilla). For about $0.25, you get three of them. They stuff the puffed up tortilla with mash potatoes and some delicious sour sauce. You eat the entire snack in one bite.

I found the real spider man! That’s where he has been :P

This is a typical day at the market. This isn’t black friday.

A couple of kids that wanted me to take their photo.

This is at the Dakshineswar kali temple. One of the places you must visit when you are in Calcutta. If not, try Kalighat Kali Temple. We were planning to visit both, but unfortunately Kalighat Kali Temple was closed.

 

All and all I had a great time. Good food and cheap shopping places.

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2 thoughts on “Remembering Kolkata (Calcutta).

  1. i went there a long long time ago. i agree with you, it was crowded, dirty, and HOT. i thought it was rich in culture and history, but i did not enjoy the city at all.

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