Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Holy Mutt !!!
I am not a very temples kinda person you know, but, I guess going to new places does to you what it did to me last weekend..ok,by weekend, i mean Sunday..that is the end of the week i get to spend in leisure..
I stay at the company quarters in Kolkata..my caretaker at the quarters deserves a very special mention here..he plays the role of host, cook, laundry man, poker dealer, travel agent, financial analyst, what not..he is a much more local version of Jeeves, goes by the name Tapan!!
He gave us a list of 'must-see' sites at Kolkata..and being a culturally active city, it did have more art galleries to its credit..
I have a roomy at the quarters for 2 weeks, and we set out to conquer the city of joy..I have been around Kolkata, but, not like the way I did last Sunday..
Tapan had given us a detailed analysis of how much our trip should cost, where we could go, how long to spend at each place, the significance behind each spot, et al..We were more than ready by now!
We set out at 6.a.m..(our taxi for the day was already arranged for)..we head off to Belur Mutt, a temple/ ashram dedicated to Sri. Vivekananda. Actually, we chose Belur Mutt as first ( coz Tapan suggested of course & also, we got information from another 'trusted' source that 'aarti' is beautiful at 7.am. at the ashram and is not to be missed)..turned out the 'aarti' was at 4.a.m and at 7.p.m...Not disheartened by our luck, we explored the ashram..It is very quiet..infact, a few elders were meditating..was a very calm spot...Then, we headed to Dakshineshwar, a temple for Kali Ma (Kali is a popular goddess in Bengal)..In comparison, this was noisy, lot of tight security..The noise did not deter us at all, it was actually a few spirited devotees chanting very loudly..It gave me a good feel of the place..I liked it too..We got a sneak preview at the goddess, and were rushed out...We then headed to Kalighat, a most sought after temple for kalima..Its very famous..turns out it was also very dirty & noisy..and here, it was Noise..everyone was shoving everyone around (reminded me of my trip to Sabrimala when i was a kid, before i started questioning 'GOD')..again, we got a sneak preview...To end our spiritual outrage, we went to ISCKON..I expected it to be another huge space ( on the lines of Belur Mutt, like what I had seen in Bangalore)..it was just a big hall and there was one musician chanting mantras, and all others engrossed in his song..he sang really well..
Since we had started off on such a spirited spiritual note, we wanted to continue our day & take it as it comes..
It was 11.30.a.m...so, we went for breakfast @ Haldirams ( a sweet shop very typical of Calcutta) and had dhoklas ( a gujarati sweet), coffee ( my first cup - cappuchino), a cheese sandwhich (yummmmm!!!!), fuchka ( phucka/ pani puri...) & lassi...what a breakfast!!! yummm!!! There on, we had no guidance from Tapan, only guidelines & list of places he had suggested to visit and make the most of...
So, we set shopping until 2..
Then, The Indian Museum...which is really HUGE...we had enough energy to see 3 sections..got to go back sometime and see the rest..
Turns out, it was my friends' b'day on Sunday..so, we had to go to Flury's - the 2 century old pastry shop...the cakes were soo yumm!!specially the rum cake! My all time favourite!!!
Then, shopping again at an air conditioned market called Vardaan...we spent 2 hours there approx...
By the time we got back to the quarters, it was 7...
We had spent 13 hours roaming & galavanting around the city...whew!! I had a jet lag the next morning, but, came to office and zapped everyone with my weekend story!!!
Posted by APUGONNAB at 5:20 AM