Monday, June 19, 2006

Some snapshots of my week-long vacation

I went on leave for a week, primarily to attend my cousin sister’s wedding. The wedding was a nice occasion to meet my relatives after a long time, but there were some other incidents that were memorable on this trip. Here are a few of them.

Snapshot 1: Saturday night at around 2230 hrs. We alight at Hooghly station by the night train. I and my cousin Ananda who was at the Howrah station to receive me. We catch a rickshaw and proceed towards our house. En route we pass an area which is totally dark and full of large trees and bushes. That reminds me, it's been a long time since I have seen such darkness out of doors. I suddenly realize it is very soothing for the eyes. As we near our house, I realize something else: I am hearing crickets chirping and frogs croaking after a long long time.

Snapshot 2: Thursday evening at around 2000 hrs. I am traveling by a local train from Kolkata to Hooghly in the evening. I had gone to meet my grandma and my college friends in Salt Lake. The train is incredibly crowded, but I have found a seat. It has been terribly hot and oppressive for the last few days. Suddenly, a cool breeze comes in through the window. Then the rain starts, which soon turns into a thunderstorm and heavy downpour, flooding the compartment through the open doors and windows. I have to get down at Naihati to change the train, and am instantly drenched from head to toe even after trying in vain to take shelter under the polythene canopy of a cucumber seller. And in that ridiculous situation, the cucumber seller recognizes me and smiles and starts a conversation... almost forcing me to buy and eat a rain-washed cucumber. But it is a welcome relief from the heat.

Snapshot 3: Saturday morning at around 0900 hrs. My parents sitting on a porters’ wheelbarrow in the dirtiest of places imaginable: the lane between the Howrah Eastern Rail and South-Eastern Rail stations, where they handle all the cargo. I and my sister are standing behind them. I missed the Falaknuma Express which leaves Howrah at 0700, because our train from Hooghly which was supposed to reach Howrah sometime around 0540 reached at 0730. Now my father is trying all his contacts to get a ticket in the next train to Hyderabad, the East Coast Express, which leaves at 1100. We have asked one of the influential porters to find out if there is a seat available, and we are now waiting for him. I wish I could take a photo of this scene… it looked extremely funny despite the state of mind we were in. I had the camera handy, but did not have the guts to take a photo then and there. I am still a bit scared of my father. :(
We were unable to get a single seat on the East Coast Express, even after running to and fro between the two station buildings umpteen times with three heavy bags to speak to various people. It would never be possible if my sister wasn’t carrying one of the bags all the time. We then head towards the airport, as I must reach
Hyderabad before Monday.

Snapshot 4: Security check at the Dum Dum Airport at around 1600 hrs. I’m getting ready for the first flying experience of my life, but the lady at the security check won’t let me go. She has seen something while X-raying my kit bag but she won’t tell me straight what it is. After a lot of fumbling around, I fish out an iron khunti from my bag (I don’t know what a khunti is called in English, the closest thing is called a spatula or turner). My mother had given her spare one to me when she heard that I needed to buy one. I had forgotten about its existence in my bag. I grin sheepishly as the officer tells me that I can’t carry it. If I wished, I could check it in as a separate luggage. The air-hostesses and the lady officers present start looking at the object, and gesticulating and giggling among themselves. I hurriedly say that they could keep it if they wished, I don’t want it. Then they let me go.

Snapshot 5: The balcony outside the door of my flat at around 2130 hrs. Through a complex series of events (too complex to explain here) obeying Murphy’s Laws, there’s a new lock hanging on the door of my flat, and I don’t have the key to it. I call up my flat mate, but he is far away. He starts for home. In the meantime, it starts raining… first a few drops with a gust of wind, then a tropical thunderstorm. My flat mate is stuck somewhere in the rain. I enjoy myself thoroughly for some time as the weather turns cool. Then the rain water starts coming in through the open spaces and I realize that my luggage is in danger. Slowly the water surrounds me and starts closing in. I am forced to lift the heavy bags off the floor on to my shoulder. And the irony of the situation is, I'm dying of thirst while trying to avoid the water. After some time my flat mate arrives with the key, looking like a drenched crow. What an end to my vacation!

By the way, I do have some real snapshots too. You can check out here for the snapshots of the usual nonsense that I capture in my camera all the time.


  1. hahaha...these seem to be more eventful that the weedding you attended!!!!! I dont know Murphy's laws hold good for almost everybody on earth..when it shouldn't....I thought it was just me...:-)

  2. good to hear your experiences!! I too have eventful days sometimes but most boring thing is facing uneventful days after doing so much in so less time...and one more thing, your photographs are real good!! Keep up with your passion!!

  3. You know what would really sell in India, Monsoon proof laptops! Nice post.

  4. @rajesh: Murphy's Laws are the greatest laws ever invented. They never fail, except the times when Murphy's Laws apply to Murphy's Laws themselves...

    @satyapriya: Usually eventful days are better, but I'd rather have a boring day than the kind of day that I had while coming here. And thanks for your compliments!

    @jacob joseph: Why don't you start manufacturing? :)
    Thanks, keep visiting.

  5. Now thats one joyful experience ;) didn't know u missed ur train, but anyways, u ended up having ur maiden flight journey, so its kewl! But, didn't u take flight from chennai to hyderabad? I mean, thats supposed to be one of the ummm... may be two benefits that wipro offers :D

  6. @rohit mahajan: It certainly seems like a joyful experience now in retrospect, but I can tell you that missing the Hogwarts Express and coming here by a flying car didn't look like fun at all that day. It was very tiring, not to mention expensive.
    And for your information, we get air tickets only when the journey by train takes more than 24 hours... Chennai to Hyderabad is just overnight. You got it because Hyderabad to Kolkata is 27 hours by train.

  7. sugata bhaya, aageo bolechhi aabar bolchhi. tumi baro shabalil bhabe shadoran shomoy-e magic khuje pao. e ek ashadharon goon. shamley rekho.

  8. @hutumthumo: Apnader moton pathokrai to amay lekhar prerona jogay... Ashesh dhonyobaad, abar asben. :)

  9. hey there, I checked out your photo album and I don't know if you have noticed...but when you transition from the first picture of the night sky (from your south balcony) to the next it seems like the light comes on...that looks pretty cool. And the view from the Ultadanga bridge was omething I saw for the first time this year...nice pictures.

  10. @anyesha: Thanks! I've been fascinated with night photography ever since I bought my new camera.