The only person to possibly have witnessed the Japanese bombing of Calcutta (Kolkata) during WWII were my paternal grandparents. I have never seen my maternal grandparents thus never would know their version of the history. My grandmother was a born storyteller, a prolific writer she had the finesse to tell stories and she told it in a way which would surely attract anyone especially a 10-year-old boy which was me. My grandfather was on the other had a man of few words and would be busy in his own world writing diaries and listening to radio something which he continued to do even when cable television had arrived and continued until his death.
Of all the stories that my grandmother would tell me the stories of war would interest me the most. She would tell us about how the windows were all covered up with newspapers to prevent light getting out during an air raid and how the street lights were all covered up from the top so that the lights would not show up skywards. There were also air raid shelters dug up in our locality and all the people would rush to them once the air raid siren would set off.
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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.
Continue reading “When Mirza Ghalib Came To Kolkata”
I was travelling to Netarhat after visiting Betla Forest, Betla Fort and Kechki. I have already written blogs about Betla and Kechki so this blog would cover the trip from Betla towards Netarhat. If you are travelling to this part of Jharkhand then people usually do these two places together since these form a part of tourist triangle along with Ranchi.
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My friend Dev is living wonderful life these days, his nature of work makes him travel often and most of them are of exotic traveller’s paradise. I have been envying him for a long time and he knows this very well thus he often finds simple excuse to tease me by video calling me. If I am to receive a call which is not a usual time when I would expect a call from him I am sure it would be from a new country and that too from a tourist district.
Being a school buddy it was with him that I first had the taste of bunking school and watching a movie and amazingly we had similar taste when it comes to movies. Talking about movies we were that typical Martial Arts movie fans and most of this genre of movies were either set in Hong Kong or in Singapore. We were such ardent fans that we once made a pact that one day we both would visit Singapore and Hong Kong together and visit all those places that were shown in those old martial arts movies.
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My only regret would be that wish I had written this blog before my visit to Vatican Museum. There is a lot to see at Vatican Museum but most of the information’s are scattered so what I have basically done is to consolidate all the information from the various official information site and combined them with my own personal experience in visiting this place. I missed clicking some important photographs since I did not have the right set of information with my on some saving grace I do have them on action camera video which I can always refer to.
A country within a country that is what people refer to Vatican as. Nestled right in the middle of Rome the capital city of Italy this micronation is the mecca of Roman Catholics. This is the country where the Pope is the head of the state and also the head of the Roman Catholic order. A trip to Rome would be honestly incomplete without an itinerary that does not include Vatican. Being a micronation has its advantages since this place is tiny you can easily cover all the important tourist attraction in a day. But to do this you must start early as this place can really get crowded, even during off season the queue can be a mile long thus the key to complete this would be to start as early as possible.
Continue reading “Vatican Museum – Guide to See Everything”