KOLKATA DIARIES

Storizen Magazine - - Travel - by Aparna Mukher­jee

In this hec­tic life, you look for a serene place where you can get so­lace. At times, our mind clogs fac­ing the ir­ri­ta­tion of weather and the daily chores which we do day in day out in our life. To re­ju­ve­nate and slow time down for a while, you feel like un­wind­ing in a place where you can just be your­self. I am a work­ing woman who have spent half of her age in Mum­bai. My par­ents have just moved to Kolkata and I never vis­ited

Kolkata so far. This time, I made up mind to have a trip to Kolkata and see the city with my own eyes. I had taken a leave from work and I flown to the City Of Joy. It was 2012 when I first set my feet in the City of Joy, Kolkata. When I was trav­el­ing to Kolkata, I had in my mind to meet my par­ents. I needed a break from my work and so I thought to have a qual­ity time with my par­ents and with the city. I never thought the city, Kolkata, will leave an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion in my mind. Af­ter a long time, when I met my par­ents, their joys were knew no bounds and so was mine. Af­ter stay­ing for few days, I was think­ing to go out and ex­plore the city. Par­ents had to at­tend a so­cial event. So, I could not tell them to join me. I was new to the city, hence, could not gather courage to ex­plore the city all by my­self. Un­doubt­edly, Kolkata has breath­tak­ing travel spots. But, I was look­ing for a place where there will be less or no crowd at all. I wanted to be in

a place where I could spend a mem­o­rable time with na­ture. I took a hand-pulled rick­shaw and was trav­el­ing to a nearby mar­ket. On the way, I hap­pened to see the river Ganges. The sooth­ing sight of the river Ganga pleased my mind. I halted the rick­shaw near the bank of Ganga river. It was around 10 am when I started walk­ing on the side­walk which was on the bank of the river. The river was sur­rounded by lush green­ery. I found a bench to sit. The view of the river Ganges was in­ex­pli­ca­ble. As it was a work­ing day, there were no peo­ple around in the river bank; ex­cept a ven­dor who was car­ry­ing a bas­ket of guavas on his head. I bought some fresh guavas from the ven­dor. The cool breeze, the hov­er­ing clouds and sway­ing leaves of trees made the view of river Ganges more beau­ti­ful. From dis­tant, I could see many man­ual-oared boats sail­ing on the river. There was a boat sail­ing afar which was filled with pas­sen­gers. I could hear the tem­ple bells which were ring­ing on end from a nearby tem­ple. The sounds of the bells were paci­fy­ing my ears.

On see­ing the boats afar, I felt the urge of hav­ing a boat ride. As a boat approached the ghat, I stepped into the boat. It was af­ter­noon when I started en­joy­ing the boat ride and the views ad­ja­cent to the ghat. As the boat was mov­ing ahead in the wa­ter, I re­al­ized a seren­ity all around me. Only I could hear now was the slap­ping of the oars on the wa­ter rowed by the boat­man. With his paan-stained teeth, the boat­man was hum­ming a Ben­gali song. There was a peace in his coun­te­nance. I could feel he was a peace­ful man with his mea­gre in­come. He has no de­mands from life. He was sat­is­fied with what he got from life. With con­stant row­ing, his arms and shoul­ders were feel­ing tired. But, he did not show his tired­ness to the trav­ellers. The only re­ward he wishes is to see his trav­ellers en­joy the boat ride. Un­know­ingly,this boat­man had be­come a source of in­spi­ra­tion in my life. The sounds of tem­ple bells started fad­ing away as the boat was row­ing ahead. My stom­ach started growl­ing and I grabbed a fresh guava from my hand­bag. As I was in­dulging in the taste of the fruit, my eyes caught sight of an old man a bit far away from the bank of river who was on his fish­ing hunt. There were some other fish­er­men who had smiles on their faces. It seems that they cap­tured a huge num­ber of fish that day. I thought how some peo­ple can be so happy with­out ex­pect­ing much from their life. I got lost of time as I was im­mersed in the beau­ties of the bank of river Ganges. It was time to head back to the ghat where I was sit­ting in the morn­ing. The evening view was en­chant­ing. The sky had changed its color. The or­ange hue filled the sky. I could once again hear the bells of the tem­ples. It was time for evening prayer.

Some pil­grims came for their holy bath. The roar­ing sound of "Har Har Gange" filled my ears. I paid money to the boat­man and I thanked him for giv­ing a plea­sur­able boa­tride. As I got off the boat, I turned around to see the mes­mer­iz­ing view of the set­ting sun in the bank of river Ganges. That night, I felt a tinge of peace in my heart. I re­al­ized that one does not need to spend bucks on ex­pen­sive tours. A sim­ple place in your lo­cal­ity can give you the ul­ti­mate plea­sure of travel. The be­witch­ing travel of river Ganges has truly given me the ul­ti­mate plea­sure travel I was look­ing for. Aparna de­fines her­self as a woman who be­holds high as­pi­ra­tions and firmly be­lieves in ex­pand­ing her hori­zon. She holds a Mas­ter de­gree in English from Mum­bai Univer­sity. By pro­fes­sion, she is a blog­ger and writer who writes in­for­ma­tive ar­ti­cles for UK and US blogs and web­sites. She has been a con­tribut­ing au­thor in the an­thol­ogy "Mem­oirs of Love". As a per­son, she is open-minded, down-to-earth and ami­able in na­ture. Her world re­volves around cre­ativ­ity. She wishes to make her mark in the lit­er­ary world, hop­ing to leave an in­deli­ble im­print on her read­ers' minds.

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