The 19th Common Wealth Games gave me a vacation of almost 18 Days in the wee days of October. Dad had made up his mind already about visiting Kolkata in these few days. It had been almost 15 years since Dad had been to Kolkata during Durga Pujo. That and the fluctuating health of Dadu almost made it impossible for me to say no to him. I had friends here in Delhi, I had people to hang out with and I had the love of my life. Kolkata on the other hand would have been boring. No friends, lots of crowded places and unreasonably long traffic jams. But the decision was already made.
I found myself on a plane to Kolkata on the 6th of October. You all might think I’m bluffing, but i swear i saw the festive fervour from the air. I landed at the Netaji Subhash Airport after being made to fly around the Airport for 45 minutes. The congestion was horrible. The scene outside the Airport wasn’t pleasant either. The area around the airport almost looked like a fair. It took me almost 3 hours to reach home, a journey usually completed in less than 45 minutes.
People had already taken to the streets with no regards for traffic or rather anything at all. The ambience was almost enough to set anybody’s pulses racing but we were Bengalis and it was our festival. I reached home to find my Dadu on Oxygen, the sight was enough to bring tears to my eyes. It took me back to the times when I used to live in Kolkata, around 1998. How I used to go around seeing the different pandals with him. I came out from the trance and saw him touch my head and mouth the words ‘God Bless You’.
I had already decided to take this opportunity to write a blogpost but on the flight i decided to turn it into a full scale photo essay. The rest of the trip was quite monotonous even though very hectic. Hopping from one pandal to another, eating one delicacy after the other and walking for miles and miles.