There is a saying by Mohammed, “Dont tell me how educated you are,tell me how much you have traveled.” Quite obviously He did not mean the pre-paid package tours or the booze-tours with huge gangs of friends, which has merged with the concept and feeling of ‘travelling’ these days.It was 15th of August 2011, a friday. I had never been so excited about the Independence Day in my entire life but now being a working lady I understood the importance of a national holiday + a Friday! Its such a blessing. I could no way waste that ‘national vacation’ and so without a second thought I packed my side bag for the day and set forth.
I had never witnessed such a seductive Kolkata, it was a monsoon dawn and there I was falling in love with the city all over again. I was heading towards Sri Mayapur- the head quarters of Iskon ( if I keep it wikitravel way :p) but surely that wasnt reason enough to pull me up from my cosy bed on a national holiday! It was the journey of the unknown, the curiosity to see and understand those people who had sacrificed their life, nation, language, culture in the name of God that pulled me towards Sri Mayapur early that morning. I had no idea how to reach there except for the fact that there was some early morning local train from Sealdah station which took you somewhere close to Sri Mayapur. That was enough for me! All I had to do was take a cab to the Sealdah station and beg for information henceforth.
Soon after I was on KrishnaNagar bound local train. And all I can recall from that 2hrs journey– is me,myself, continuous rain and a book by Amitava Ghosh. A true ‘me- time’ is what I call it. After I reached KrishnaNagar, I headed straight towards a puri shop not because I was hungry but this is the most common tactics I follow while travelling, ‘pay for directions’ , i.e soon after completing my food and just before paying I usually ask the local shopkeepers ‘achha bhaiya what is the best way to go to so and so place, how long will it take, how much do they charge..-and so on.’ So the puri wala bhaiyya told me I had 2 options to reach Mayapur. One- take a direct bus outside the station which will drop me till Iskon. Two- take an auto ride (40 mins) till the river side. Then take a boat to cross the river and then another bus till Iskon. No prizes for guessing which one I opted for… Yes I opted for the second route. Hadn’t I come all this way to explore? So why ruin the excitement on a Rs 10 bus ride?
To be continued…
For more photos of my trip, click here