Kolkatta – Evening Walk during All India Bandh

Posted: May 11, 2010 in India

Kolkatta, the city where I’ve started my Professional life, the city that has been my stepping Stone for success. The which was India’s capital until 1912 during the British Raj & today holds many beautiful & marvelous architectural monuments. Now I guess that’s enough about the city, this write-up is not bout the city but about my experience during the All India Bandh called by the Left parties to protest against the growing inflation.

I’m not from Kolkatta but I’m from Mumbai. I frequently visit Kolkatta for Business purpose, Ive some client in Kolkatta who love me & to whom im very thankful. Monday I arrived in Kolkatta for a new prospect meeting, the plan was to stay here for the whole week. After reaching we were informed that on Tuesday the Left parties have called an All India Bandh & so we were trapped the on Tuesday in our Hotel rooms. On Monday night it had rained heavily for around 2 hrs but Tuesday morning was Hot as if we were in middle of a dessert, thx to the Samsung AC’s in my room the ball kept rolling. Kolkatta is a very unique city in India when it comes to Bandh, they follow it here as a religion. So on Tuesday morning everything was closed, No vehicles on road, Public transport shut down, everything closed. So Bandh can be defined as the only holiday where one can spend time with His/Her family as there is no other thing to do.

INOX, Kolkatta

INOX, Kolkatta

By evening everything was almost normal, some people were back on the streets & some vehicles & the Yellow cabs were to be seen & heard honking on the empty road. We decided to go down & get our self out of this prison where we were captive from monday night. My boss wanted to go to the Gurdwara, after some inquiry we got the address of Elgin Road Gurudwara, It was around 1.5 Km’s so we decided to walk to the destination rather than getting in to the big yellow cabs. I too wanted to walk for quite-sometime. There are two advantages of walking, its good for health & the second is you get to know your surrounding, you see the minute detail of the things in & around your. Kolkatta is a beautiful city & under the moonlight on an empty road the magic of the British Architecture are clearly visible on the Building partly eliminated by the street lamps. On Elgin Road among all these magnificent & beautiful building lies a sample of modern architecture, A mall housing INOX Multiplex & Shopper Stop. This Modern building just blends with its surroundings & instead of becoming the black sheep reflects the surroundings. I liked the concept. Soon we were at the steps of the Gurudwara, time to bow in front of the almighty.

We were yet not satisfied with the few hours of freedom we had won, so we decided to walk to the Rabindra Sarovar lake which was around 6.5 km’s away. If we get tired we would take a cab & reach the destination. Walking through empty streets is a very different experience specially when one is not worried about reaching the destination in time. The mind is at peace & gets time to wander around and make sence of the objects around it, feel them without touch. As we were new to Kolkatta to strolled around the  inner roads with the aid of my GPS Unit making our way to the Rabindra Sarovar lake. Not a single shop was open when we started from the hotel, but by now the situation was improving & there were some shoppers on road & some open shops. There was a lingering tension in the environment but I guess the localities have got used to this & have made the Bandhs a part/routine of their like. Just to have some more fun & the Underground Metro experience we jumped downstairs to the Metro Station @ Jatin Das Park, I earlier had a Metro experience last year which was not pleasant at all, so wanted to give it a try again. Sooo if uve been to the Delhi Metro, then dont expect the same here. But its was a modern marvel for India in the Old days, 1984. Metro was almost empty & we got down the next station Kalighat.

Rabindra Sarobar Lake

Rabindra Sarobar Lake

Kolkatta Metro - The first Coach being raised down to the tracks.

Kolkatta Metro - The first Coach being raised down to the tracks.

By the time we reached the lake, it was a dark & also windy. Wonderful place to walk wid ur loved one, very silent & peaceful. So after spending some time at the lake we decided to head back to the hotel. We walked back to the hotel again around 5-6 km, instead of getting a cab. By the time we reached hotel we had walked around 14 km’s in my formal shoes & my legs were paining & blistered. The day ended wid an hour under the shower & yummy dinner under the blankets.

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