After the COVID-19 pandemic, our first grand trip was to Kolkata, and it was also the first journey by airplane – each and every other trip was by car, as we were not sure about traveling somewhere in public with the corona virus around. We did feel that the flight was also going to be difficult with the restrictions around, but thankfully, Kerala and West Bengal didn’t have problems with accepting travelers from the other. The basic motive of this journey was to visit the National Library of India, the largest of its kind in India, so that I could find some material for my research. It did turn out well, as we could get a membership online and use the reading room as much as we needed. The library is a beautiful structure in huge green compound. There is a huge collection of books, and I am sure that I wouldn’t find anything so well-maintained anywhere else. Indian Coffee House of Kolkata could have been better if people wouldn’t smoke in there, and if they had tea like those in Kerala.
The other journeys were to Victoria Memorial and Mother House, both I am visiting for third time – never to be missed while traveling to the city. We also chose to visit the British Council Library which felt so small in comparison to the National Library, and also the Kolkata Book Fair which didn’t seem to have enough English book, but seemed like a nice place to wander – too crowded though. St Paul’s Cathedral was undergoing renovation, but remained as beautiful as usual. Another visit for a show in Birla Planetarium also followed. The South Park Street Cemetery became my third favourite cemetery after the ones in Bradford and Glasgow. We also visited three malls, City Centre Salt Lake, Forum Courtyard and Quest Mall. It was very quick a journey, as we did all of these in just a week and rushed back home. Yet, any time spent in Kolkata brings happiness, as it is indeed the City of Joy. I will still miss the trams as we couldn’t find them in the areas we visited.
***The images used on this blog post were taken by me on my Samsung mobile phone during my visit to Kolkata.