Right now, It’s Diwali / Kali Puja. That means tons of fireworks, অনেক বাজি! Also means tons of pollution that I’m sure could challenge much of the worst cities in China. But hey, that’s another story.
The joy of today was taking a mini adventure to the village of Barasat, a couple hours north of where I live in Calcutta with Jess, Jayanthi and Aakash.
The last couple days have been a whirlwhind of craziness. Lights, sounds, smells, though not to the extent of Durga Puja, when the city does in fact shut down to party, and I mean shut down. Newspapers are not printed for four days during Durga here, and that means a lot!
Last night, seeing that I was unable to find a reasonable means of transport home after going Kali Pandal hopping, I decided to stay at Jayanthi&Aakash’s place in Ballygunge. In the morning, Jess came over and proposed that we all go to Barasat for some pandal hopping. After some convincing, I said sure yes—promises of Jayanthi’s famed granola bars also were convincing—and off we went on the train ride!
I hope the photos on facebook do the dusty town of Barasat justice. But there’s nothing evidently remarkable about it other than one pandal site which was the oddest fusion of romantic-classical cardboard architecture with images of the virgin mary and Jesus Christ next to that of Kali (pre-chopping her own head off and having her acquaintances drink her blood—as we saw in one pandal.)