Kolkata is named – City of Joys!
Read the below words which I copied from lonely planet guidebook.
(Tell me your thoughts after you read them?)
“Introducing Kolkata (Calcutta): Simultaneously noble and squalid, cultured and desperate, Kolkata is a daily festival of human existence. And it’s all played out before your very eyes on teeming streets where not an inch of space is wasted. By its old spelling, Calcutta, India’s second-biggest city conjures up images of human suffering to most Westerners. But Bengalis have long been infuriated by one-sided depictions of their vibrant capital. Kolkata is locally regarded as the intellectual and cultural capital of the nation. Several of India’s great 19th- and 20th-century heroes were Kolkatans, including guru-philosopher Ramakrishna, Nobel Prize–winning poet Rabindranath Tagore and celebrated film director Satyajit Ray. Dozens of venues showcase Bengali dance, poetry, art, music, film and theatre. And while poverty certainly remains in-your-face, the dapper Bengali gentry continue to frequent grand old gentlemen’s clubs, back horses at the Calcutta Racetrack and play soothing rounds of golf at some of India’s finest courses.
As the former capital of British India, Kolkata retains a feast of dramatic colonial architecture, with more than a few fine buildings in photogenic states of semi-collapse. The city still has many slums but is also developing dynamic new-town suburbs, a rash of air-conditioned shopping malls and some of the best restaurants in India. This is a fabulous place to sample the mild, fruity tang of Bengali cuisine and share the city’s passion for sweets.”
What are your thoughts now? I have the same thoughts as you? Don’t I?
“I want to visit Kolkata!”
Yes, I visited.
I am glad that I survived the visits. And, don’t believe the guidebook. Kolkata is not a city for everyone.
13th September 2013, I had a very terrible day.
The taxi’s ride from Kolkata’s airport to sudder street (where I stayed for 4 days) was crazy.
We were trapped in a non-air-conditioned yellow cab in traffics for at least an hour before we arrived in our destination. The taxi ride were more exciting than a roller-coaster ride.
The heats in the air(more than 40 Celsius) and the noise of blowing horns outside the windows almost drove me crazy.
I couldn’t breath as usual, and my brain has stopped functioning. My sister was freaked out. We were trapped.
The streets’ view: everything are falling apart, rubbish everywhere, animals such as cows, goats, horses are on the same streets….
Dirt, dusk, heats, noises…..
I thought I will die when the taxi drove on the train’s railway to avoid the traffics. The train coming from behind blowing its horn at us.
We were driving in front of the train on the train’s railway!! Finally, our taxi driver decided to give way. We were trapped in the traffics again.
At one point, he turned of the engine, went down to the street, slapped the door, and disappear. Then we saw him coming back, with angers and he was scolding people in words which we can’t understand.
We were in shocked, and we were soaked wet from sweating.
Note: The taxi’s driver overcharged us by 400%. We paid rp600 instead of rp200 for this crazy ride. We felt depressed.
Above: Streets’ views from airport to sudder street. The buses were patched multiple times, and they were still in use! The buses aged 100 years? I am not sure.
Note: We stay in Hotel VIP Continental. Not a good hotel. But, we have no choice as we were the only tourists on that day in the so-called – tourist area: Sudder Street. We can’t go out to look for another hotel as everybody try so hard to rip us apart. The hotel is falling apart too.
To be continue……
Kolkata, India: Man-pulled Rickshaw