Why are these songs so slow and sound so sad I asked my father, he was listening to the newly purchased double cassette album which was a collection of Ghazals sung by Jagjit Singh. He was so deeply engrossed that he almost missed my question and only on my second attempt did he reply that these were a collection of Ghalib. For years I had imagined Mirza Ghalib to be the one featured on the cassette cover which later when I grew up realized that it was, in reality, the photo of the actor Nasiruddin Shah. Little did I realize that one day I would roam around the streets of old Delhi and Kolkata just to trace Ghalib.
It all started during a recent trip to New Delhi and since I am working with a book retailing company I am privileged to be surrounded by books and literature lovers all the time. My visit to Delhi was nearly after a five-year gap thus there was lot to catch up when meeting old friends and one of them was Vijay Kumar Sharma who has been a regular follower of my blogs and travel tales. During one of our conversations, I had mentioned to him that somewhere I had read that the house of Mirza Ghalib was very near to Connaught Place. Next day he presented me with a book which talked about forgotten heritage places around Delhi and in there was a mention about Ballimaran (Gali Qasim Jan) which was quite near to Chawri Bazar Metro station. This place was just three metro stops from Connaught Place and during a weekend managed to track this place.
This squadron was never meant to come to India in the first place it was destined for Rangoon but a series of mishaps and last minute change of plan led this squadron to be deployed in Calcutta (Kolkata). Balloon Squadrons do not exist anymore since the rules of war and the tools of war have subsequently changed and slowly these regiments were retired from active service.
The deployment of this squadron in my city of Kolkata came at a time when the fear of a Japanese attack was imminent. Contrary to the common belief Kolkata was not the only city to be bombed by the Japanese; cities like Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada and Chennai were also attacked. What was common between these cities were that all of them were major ports and the Japanese Imperial Army wanted somehow to break the supply chain of war supply to China which was a major front and was giving a tough fight to the Japanese aggression.
This blog is dedicated to the men of the 978 Balloon Squadron who despite the limited resources and the limited manpower took the challenge on their shoulder and with balloons defended my city.
Kolkata or rather I should say Calcutta since this blog is basically on a subject which is more Calcutta than Kolkata. As a tourist, if you are coming to this city then the chances of visiting this church is very high since this would form a part of the European Heritage of the city. Since there is scattered information about this church across the net thus I have decided to bring it all together along with a short history of the church. This blog will mainly focus on the different structures and the important tablets and cenotaphs present inside the church as well as outside around the church compound. I have made an audacious attempt for the first time to cover each and every important object within the church compound.
I distinctly remember that during the early 90’s till about the new millennium the usage of postcards was very common for me. The 90’s saw many quizzes and completions on television and newspaper which required the individual to respond on a postcard. Later due to their increasing popularity the postal department had rolled out special Competition Post Cards which cost a lot more than the ordinary postcard. However with the new millennium and the advent of Internet in the country saw the dominance of postal service slowly declining. Emails were slowly replacing letters and private courier services with better service took over the role played by Indian postal department.
My city of Calcutta (Kolkata) has seen many heritage walks and heritage bus tours but on 16th of October 2016, I myself and this old city of mine witnessed something for the very first time. Oxford Bookstore one of the city’s heritage landmark and also a bookstore arranged the first ever Literary Heritage Bus Tour along with Patra Bharati under the banner of Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob. LetUsGo was the Heritage Tour partner for the festival providing vital infrastructure making this a truly comfortable bus tour.
This is the second year of Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utsob and this year a special bus tour was organised for selected bloggers and the press media who were taken on a tour of city’s literary landmarks.
In my previous blog, I have told you about White Town in Pondicherry which is basically the centrepiece of Pondicherry, a small locality located right next to the sea and stuck in a time warp. Logically this White Town is also home to some of the tourist spots in Pondicherry.
In this blog, I am going to tell you about eight of the key spots that you can visit while you are at White Town Pondicherry. These are mentioned in the order of the path that you can follow by which all of these can be covered within a walk of 1.2 Kilometres.