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.
Continue reading “Synagogues of Kolkata”
Calcutta in the 1800 and early 1900 was like the Shanghai and Singapore combined together. It was a major trading hub and people of the world came to this city for trade and commerce. Kolkata once had a significant Chinese population and even though it has drastically decreased over the years its presence still is very much felt across the city.
Continue reading “Chinese New Year in Kolkata”
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.
Continue reading “House of Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay at Deulti”
Once upon a time visiting Dhanushkodi was like an adventure of the seas but now that has all gone thanks to the paved road from Rameswaram Town right till the tip of the lands’ end. When I had originally planned to visit Dhanushkodi only 4X4 vintage jeeps or minivans were being used to ferry tourists from Rameswaram and you basically had two options, either to book the entire vehicle all to yourself or wait for the vehicle to fill up with other passengers. These vehicles will then take you to Dhanushkodi Beach and wait for you to enjoy the natural beauty before returning.
The journey was scary as often the vehicles will actually be travelling for miles in knee-deep sea water and often the tyres would get stuck. All these vehicles will be having an assistant whose main job would have been to lay wooden planks under the tyres to create traction. Since no regular vehicles were allowed these jeep and minivan owners had a virtual monopoly.
Continue reading “Dhanushkodi Travel Guide”
I had been planning a Rameswaram trip for nearly three years and every time it got finalized something or the other creeping up. Either it was a train timing mismatch or the whole vacation itself got diverted to another direction. After all visiting one of the southernmost part of mainland India has its own challenges due to its extreme south location along with limited train connectivity from the rest of India.
Rameswaram has been an important tourist spot due to its religious significance and as the name suggests it’s all to do with Lord Ram after all this is the place from which Ram Setu was built by the Vanar Sena to mainland Lanka (Sri Lanka). Thus Rameswaram is a very important pilgrimage town and this town has quite a few temples which are strategically built according to the journey of Ram marching along with the army towards the kingdom ruled by Ravana.
Continue reading “Rameswaram Sightseeing in a Day”