Calcutta Vignettes – 2

The Calcutta airport is lovely, and I had a lovely time exploring it, thanks (but no thanks!) to the fact that our flight back to Bangalore was delayed.

I enjoyed visiting the Biswa Bangla store and picking out some cute little souvenirs from Bengal to get back home.

I also loved how part of the airport has been done up with Bengali letters on the ceiling. So beautiful!

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We got hold of some fresh, fresh, fresh water chestnuts in Calcutta – they were everywhere in the markets! I’ve never seen them this fresh anywhere else.

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And, yes, if you hadn’t known before, we are the sort of people who would stroll around in markets on a holiday. Also, yes, we are the sort of people whose hand baggage on the flight back home would consist of vegetables and stuff from the market, among other things. 🙂

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There was a Kali Pooja pandal right next to the hotel we were staying at in Calcutta, and we loved visiting it at different times in the day, every day. I loved watching the priests do the traditional dhunachi aarti – the smell, the feel of it is just amazing!

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I hadn’t known that something like Kahaani 2 existed until we went to Calcutta and spotted this poster in the Gariahat market. At first glance, both the OH and I thought it was an actual ‘Wanted’ ad by the police, for a person who looked amazingly similar to Vidya Balan. Something in me told me to take a pic of the ad, and only when I lifted up my camera to do it did I realise my faux pas.

The husband and I went on to have a hearty laugh post this. Bubboo didn’t understand head or tail of why we were laughing so much!

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Kahaani was the trigger for my craving to visit Calcutta, when I think back to the time I watched the movie. I had always been fascinated by the city, but this movie took that fascination to an entirely new level. The Durga Pujo scenes, the Sindoor Khela, the craftsmen making idols in preparation for Pujo, Vidya Balan walking through the tiny bylanes of Calcutta – all of it made me want to visit Calcutta desperately.So, it is a beautiful coincidence that we spotted this ad for the Kahaani sequel in Calcutta.

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I was so thrilled when I spotted the famous Gondhoraj Lebu of Bengal in Gariahat market! Of course, I had to get some home. 🙂

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Bengal loves its fish, which is no secret. We came across fish and other seafood wherever we went in Calcutta.

This scene, in New Market, of a man carefully choosing the fish he wanted from the fish seller’s sack is something that stayed in my mind for a long, long time afterwards. I absolutely had to click a picture.

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Walking through any street of Calcutta has to be a delight for a photographer, with all those ancient, ancient buildings all around. Any wonder I always had my camera on the ready all the time when we were out in Calcutta, leaving the OH to carry, cajole, talk to entertain Bubboo? 🙂

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An old, old, old building near New Market

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Paan parlours are everywhere in Calcutta, in every lane that you turn into. What interested me most about these parlours is a rope tied to a pillar outside most of these parlours, burning away slowly from one side. Smokers light up their cigarettes and beedis using these ropes, which is something I have never seen anywhere else before.

This particular paan wallah near the Gariahat market made such a pretty picture that I couldn’t stop myself from clicking a photograph of him.

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We didn’t try out any Calcutti paan all the while we were in the city, I realise now. Sad, but nothing that can’t be rectified by another visit.

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We loved looking at the little souvenir shops outside Kalighat, mostly selling pooja paraphernalia, idols of Kali Maa, sindoor and shankh pola.

This particular shop had very beautiful idols, and I absolutely had to take a picture of it!

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There was this stall in New Market that was selling the cutest of Kolhapuri chappals for little babies. I fell in love with the little ones, just as I do with any piece of little clothing or footwear meant for babies.

Considering that Bubboo isn’t used to wearing chappals – she mostly wears shoes and buckle-on sandals – we didn’t buy any. But these are definitely on my hit list the next time I visit Calcutta.

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Well, that is that for now. Until the next post, be good, you folks!

I hope you enjoyed this little trip through Calcutta!

Have you read the other posts about our recent trip to Calcutta? Please do, if you haven’t already!

Man Proposes…

Calcutta Vignettes

Calcutta Diaries: Pastry Sampling At Flury’s, Park Street

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