I took my first trip abroad in the year 2003 to Sri Lanka and in those days foreign travel was very complicated and there was no ready Internet access through which one could get any information about the destination. One of the biggest problems that most international travelers faced earlier was about Foreign Exchange. What currency to take and also in which form. Multiple currencies across Europe also made it more complicated. Another headache was the constant changing rates between USD to INR. So basically apart from worrying about the hotel, food, and local travel you had to also worry about forex.
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Nobody likes to visit a hospital unless of course, you are a doctor or some way associated with the health care industry. A visit to the doctor’s chamber gives me a shiver and a thought of visiting a hospital was just not my cup of tea. With times things change and due to some medical condition within my family, a visit to the doctor as well as hospital visits became a regular affair. Initially, it was difficult but with time I and my family adopted to this new lifestyle.
Initially, we were visiting doctors and hospitals in Kolkata since we reside here but after spending a uncountable amount of money as well as receiving almost pole apart diagnostics along with complete contrasting applicable solutions we decided that we have had enough and need to look elsewhere. We tried a couple of outstation destinations but were either not convinced about their prescribed methodology or the price factor became too much for us to consider.
It is then that someone suggested going to Vellore for treatment. Vellore is almost synonymous with CMC – Christian Medical College and the town around the hospital has largely developed around the hospital and medical college catering to the needs of the visiting patients as well as the stationed doctors. Vellore has somewhat a repute within India as being one of the very best destinations for medical tourism. I am using the word tourism here which you will come to know why later.
Continue reading “Guide to Visiting CMC Vellore Hospital”
As the wedding guests were being served the Chutney and Papad there were whispers flowing all around. Some wanted to finish early and head home while some formed groups discussing the current political situation. The date was 6th of December 1992 and a nationwide bandh (Strike) was just announced by most of the political parties in the country. Being a twelve year old for me it was a bonus dropping from the sky the bandh would mean that Monday would be a holiday and no school. For my mother, she was more worried that the bandh would push the exam dates behind and my father was rushing to the neighbourhood shop for stocking up on bread and eggs from the next day.
The wedding party ended a bit early as most of the guests wanted to leave early and stock up. During the 90’s a bandh would for sure bring any city to a grinding halt and it was always wiser to be prepared than to be surprised. In the meantime, I was already planning how we could enjoy the bonus day off with my friends in the locality.
Continue reading “Biography of a Riot”
“Should we take the bus or should we just take a rickshaw instead?” asked by grandmother. Walk, just walk I kept repeating. The reason being quite simple the more we walked the more time that we had together listening to stories of her childhood and of course Indian version of fairy tales.
It was around 1985 – 1986 and I had just joined St. Lawrence High School in the junior section. Being very sentimental school was not that very attractive for me. Seeing my mother vanish beyond the curve near our house every morning on my school bus ride to school was always a very teary affair. Often tears would roll down my eyes and the boy sitting next to me would console that the school would be over in no time and I would be back home soon. I still remember his name “Piu”, I am sure it was what his parents called him home but he stuck with that. And the best part was that Piu was of my age and in the same class. I have never ever met Piu after leaving that school.
Continue reading “My Grandmother’s Ballygunge Circular Road”
Birthday Boy Missing
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear brother happy birthday to you. The birthday song was continuously being sung by my cousins while I was nowhere to be seen. The cake was placed on the center table, candles lit but I was not there. Want to where I was well let me spill out the beans, I was hiding under the bed while my birthday was being celebrated.
It all happened on my 7th birthday in the year 1987, weeks of preparation which included ordering the cake from Jalojoga (those from Kolkata would be familiar with the brand), buying the packet of balloons from Gariahat Market to inviting all my cousins to join me in my celebration all had been done to make it perfect.
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