Life is such a funny thing, one moment we are crying and ribbing for a vacation and the next moment we are laughing and on our way outside the real life. I love to take vacations, let that be Shirdi, Lonavala, Indore, Goa or Kolkata. 2015 has been a very strange year.
Me and my Best Friend ‘S’ have been planning a vacation since quite some time. We wanted to visit Kolkata during Durga Puja, and that’s what we did in 2015. We had our Only Girls Vacation. It was a budget trip and hence things were pretty much on a budget.
Though we didn’t get to see Kolkata Puja the way we expected it to be, but it was a different experience. People always say, a person when once lived in Mumbai, cannot like any other place. Many people might now have a ‘Hawww’ Moment; though I am a Bengali but this was my second visit to Kolkata. First time I was a 10 year old girl and I only remember eating sweets and fish with my dad.
Anyway getting back to the topic, I and my bestie had tickets booked, hotel reservations done and bags packed with no help. We reached the CST Station, Mumbai all by ourselves and in the crowded Mumbai Local. The moment we reached CST station I could feel the air of vacation. I was so excited. Everything seemed so flowery. Also, we had decided we will not crib about the guys we are (were) dating. Our train was there and we boarded the train with no goodbyes at the station. There was a feeling of Independence.
We were on the top of the world when we reached Howrah Station. There were people talking in a language that I can understand. A lot of people however, judged me for not knowing Bangla, but who cares. I know English!!!
Our Hotel room wasn’t an extravagant room but it had a huge bed, bathroom and TV. We crashed the bed after taking a shower. A much required shower after more than 24 hours of journey. On our way to the hotel, I noticed, the place was shady and shuts down pretty soon. Also, the description as mentioned on the Internet wasn’t true. We had asked the hotel staff to get us some food – we were starving. After eating food and cribbing about the guys, we managed to sleep and we got up pretty late, the next day.
Our stay in Kolkata, in the hotel room was really a feeling of freedom. We got up when we wanted to. We slept as per our convenience. We also got ready at leisure and took 1000’s of selfies. The food is Kolkata was really amazing and I couldn’t complain about it. However, my expectation of this city was more like the city of sweets and food everywhere, but because of the time we chose to visit the City of Joy was a little too cultural. We chose to visit this place when everything was closed. So my expectations weren’t literally fulfilled.
We spent around 3-4 days in the Hotel in Kolkata and then relocated to my best friend’s native. Humble people around and lots food was the best part of being in a village. This was the first time I was in a village. I am one of those people who are excited to see a village. All the aunties of my best friend fed us like we are the Reserve Food Bank of India. I had a misconception that my mom is the only one who feed me a plate full of heaped rice and fish. But no, little did I know that people in the village have no calculation of rice. Although I am an over-whelming personality, I couldn’t eat all that rice. I just couldn’t. I loved every moment of being in a village, except for the cats. Yes, my best friend had cats at her paternal house and i was disgusted, I hate cats and I have no shame in saying how much I hate them.
Talking a little about the festivities, I have grown up in Mumbai watching so many Durga Puja, where there is Puja in morning, Bhog in the afternoon, food stalls everywhere with Mutton, Chicken and Fish Chops. But here it was nothing like it. They had a different culture altogether, and honestly I cannot change my 25 years of Puja watching skills, so yes I like any other Bengali had an opinion about it. Also, everything there was closed. So for me it was a very alienated concept. People told me, Durga Puja in Kolkata means Ganeshotsav in Mumbai, but we don’t have our shops closed during Ganesh Utsav. Anyway, it’s their way of celebrating. I loved the Pandals there and the hard work and concept behind every Durga Thakur was unique. I loved the lights everywhere. They have this very unique kind of lighting during Pujos. It was amazing. So many Bengalis in one place is a little bit of chaos too.
I had gone to Kolkata for another reason too. I was planning to take up a job there and relocate to the city of joy. But honestly, I didn’t feel like relocating to Kolkata, leaving Mumbai behind. I loved Kolkata and would want to visit the place once again, this time not in October. But some places are better off as vacation spots. I enjoyed my vacation in Kolkata but I love my home – Mumbai!
This trip actually made me and best friend want to move out more. And we will. Which city, which place, we are not sure, but we will. This trip has also made us realize that we can survive all alone and away from home. For me this trip was a trip to my inner garden. I realized that I love travelling.
Here’s a small collage on our trip. Hope you guys like it. If you do, please subscribe to my blog and share this post.
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