Mazar e Ghalib – Grave of Mirza Ghalib


Grave of Mirza Ghalib (29)

After tracing Mirza Ghalib in my city of Calcutta (Kolkata) and then his last home in Old Delhi I now had the last task in hand that is to find the last resting place or the tomb of Ghalib. So one fine morning during one of my trips to the capital I force myself to wake up as early as possible and visit the grave. It was a beautiful Delhi morning and for a change, the smog in the air had somehow mysteriously settled and created an environment for the perfect ending to my journey.

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Synagogues of Kolkata


Synagogues of Kolkata

As the giraffes were busy chewing the leaves of the almost bare to the bark tree my daughter commented: “which one of the giraffes is named Ezra?” I was busy clicking photographs of the giraffes so did not hear her properly and my daughter repeated her question. Almost stunned I was speechless as to why would a giraffe be named Ezra then my daughter pointed out to the cemented embossed name on the giraffe section of the Alipore Zoological Gardens in Kolkata. Instantly I was taken aback almost thirty years when I heard my cousins always telling me that I belong to the Gubay House which actually was the monkey enclosure at the very same zoo.

What I failed to notice then and just realized it while I was drafting the blog is the contribution of the Jewish community to my city of Calcutta. Ezra, Gubay etc. were esteemed members of the Jewish community in the city who had actually donated large sums of money for various development works around the city and that included donating to the Zoo for animal welfare.

I had decided at the beginning of the year 2018 that this year I would like to concentrate on the various minority communities of the city and after the Chinese, my next blog would be about the Synagogues of Kolkata. Many of my blogger friends remind me that there were a few existing blogs on the same topic so what would be different about my blog. Well to put it straight for the first I would like to individually look at each of the three existing synagogues and also to write a little more about the two synagogues that do not exist anymore.

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House of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay at Deulti


House of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay at Deulti (65)

All hell breaks loose when it’s your daughter’s birthday party and for me, it was no different. Planning for weeks, calling up relatives and of course meticulously planning every minute by minute activities. We were having this birthday party a day after her actual birthday since the weekend would ensure good attendance. All shopping was done, the menu for the evening planned but there was just one problem, my office picnic was also scheduled the same day. The saving grace was that the picnic was in the morning and the birthday party was in the evening. But on the other hand, so many activities would for sure make me dog tired.

One of our senior colleagues stays at Deulti which is around 60 Kilometres from the city and also a good picnic spot. For many times we had been invited by this colleague of ours to visit him but that never materialized instead the office picnic gave me a good opportunity to visit Deulti.

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Postal Museum Kolkata


Postal Museum Kolkata (41)

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.

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Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour


Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour (1)

It’s 2 AM in the morning and the bus rolls down the highway crossing Vidyasagar Setu towards Satragachi, our bus driver Sydney, as  the name suggest is half Australian and yes it’s his real name drives to our next destination. A big “thud” and Sydney slams the brake to a stop. “Tyre Puncture” he exclaims creating the perfect climax to the night Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour.

This is not how it all started but let me wind back 12 hours exactly, returning back from office I chanced upon Anthony who asked me to accompany him for the very first Kolkata Heritage Night Bus Tour – exploring the heritage of Kolkata on a bus at night. I have been to quite a few heritage locations around the town and also been to many of the Ghost Walks but never ever been to any night bus tour. This was something I would never want to miss.

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Jaisalmer Fort


Jaisalmer Fort (1)

The very reason I went to a long Rajasthan vacation along with my family was for the sole purpose of visiting Jaisalmer. The famous Jaisalmer Fort or I should say Sonar Kella according to most Bengalis have forever etched a mark in our mind and the main reason for this is Satyajit Ray. If you are not a Bengali you will not understand the reason why so I would request you to see the famous sleuth classic Sonar Kella.

Jaisalmer is the extreme western part of India whereas I belong to Kolkata which is the easternmost part of the country. Considering the fact that I had my toddler daughter with me I avoided long distance train and thus planned my journey with breaks. My plan was Jaipur -> Ajmer – Pushkar -> Jaisalmer -> Jodhpur, I have already blogged about the first two stops thus this blog is dedicated to Jaisalmer fort only. There are more tourist attractions in this town but I will write about them in my next blog.

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