The Road Less Traveled


Be warned,the topic is minimally related to the content of my post.Infact there’s hardly any sense in having such a profound philosophical heading to this mundane post that’s the outcome of my irritation and disgust based on real-life harrowing experience(phew..feeling better already).
This has to do with my so-called vacation in Dusshera.A trip to the city known for it’s sweet language & diabetes inducing sweets-Kolkata.No offence meant to the people & the city.I myself have had a really long relationship with the city,having begun my schooling there.But Kolkata during Dusshera is like the…like the…wait..yes like an ant hill! Bustling with activity 24×7.
I was like a big bug left alone in this ant hill.Even my parents having seen this before (and not during an age when the LKG teacher’s ruler was the only thing that mattered) were quite comfortable in all this hullaboo.I however remained in shock for the rest of the trip.
My first encounter occurred the same evening I’d landed in Kolkata.Initially en route to Pa’s home the city had looked warm & welcoming.The trip from Howrah station to the house in Ballygung area only revealed that the pollution level in Kolkata is more than that in Bhubaneswar.I could live with that.But worse was yet to come…
I was super-excited about buying a new phone & literaly trotted out with my parents that evening.Once we moved out of the lane,the roads were invisible.All I could see was a mass of people walking steadily towards the pandal by that road.and then it began.I was drawn into the mass of moving bodies and found myself being swept sideways.I didn’t have to do anything except move my feet.The momentum originated elsewhere.Realising that I was surrounded by a mass of unknown faces,I fought my way through & emerged successfully albeit with tousled hair & specs askew.
Adjusting my specs,I glared at Pa-“all this is your fault!You found no other time to invite your family over but this??” He smirked at me & walked ahead effortlessly avoiding being swept by the incoming fresh flock.I was in store for more.He actually boarded a bus! And although I literally loathe traveling in buses my pathetic sense of direction & more pathetic Bengali forced me to discard the idea of getting into a taxi.Oh and yeah,I didn’t know where we were supposed to go anyway.
So there I was in the bus,sitting in the front seat next to an Aunty who was trying her best to look suitable for the role of lady-villain in some cheap low-budget movie,the one’s that wear red lipstick & sarees whose glittering pallus can seriously blind you or make you gag.Infront of me was a 15yr old munching away on a Layspacket,dressed in pink minis chatting away with her friends who were dressed in
a. a flowing green frock
b. a chic ethnic salwar suit
c. something that resembled shorts/nightsuit.Talk about diversity.
I rolled my eyes involuntarily and my rolling eyeballs caught the scene outside the bus & almost popped out.
Is there a Diwali saie or something?Or some celebrity’s shown up?” I turned back & asked Mom.But she was too busy critically examining my neighbour’s saree.I turned back to stare at the masses walking on the streets.Every lane,every pavement was filled to the brim with pedestrians. And all dressed as if they are off to a wedding.
There were giggling girls with make-up all over their sweaty faces,ogling guys wearing sherwanis(hello?sherwanis??),Aunties lifting their heavy sarees and sprinting ahead & uncles(poor fellows) carrying either bags or babies.What a sight!
The reason? Its Dusshera in Kolkata people! Put on your best dress and walk the ramp err.. streets of Kolkata.No hour’s too late & mind you,no pandal’s too small.Your life’s not worth living if you haven’t seen each & every pandal in the city.Travel far,what are buses & taxis for?And what’s a city without it’s quota of traffic jams?Push,elbow,run as the light turns green,it’s a free-for-all marathon.
And I had to wade through this crowd every single time, for the next 3 days! It was a nightmare to say the least.I got jostled,(wo)man-handled,almost punched during this ordeal.No wonder my specs finally died in the hands of my sister on the last bus ride back to Bhubaneswar.
If you are wondering why this post is so titled..well,am talking about my quest for the road less traveled of course.
Sadly there were none! 😦

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2 thoughts on “The Road Less Traveled

  1. great post!!!!!… not serious though… more on the lines of a hilarious post!!! 😀 I personally don’t hate crowds…..but the individuals in a crowd are loathed by me!!!!!! a great post…….. YET AGAIN!!!!!!!

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