Outside New Market in Kolkata, we were greeted with this menagerie lined up along 6 cars. The dudes in the car had nothing to do with the animals. They were just parking/waiting. The enterprising vender told me he just moves his stuff around when the cars need to leave. Tusha, in full journalist style, went up to talk to the driver on whose car the gorillas, lions, boxers, teddies, and polar bears were hanging out. He tried to hit on her. I dragged her away.
I’m loving Kolkata. I will admit the best part about it is that it’s not Delhi 😉 But I really do like it for what it is as much as for what it’s not! It’s been a fun working vacation. I’ve covered some great stories and met wonderful people and eaten so much (mishti and tok) that I’m afraid I’ll pop soon. I love the chai stalls everywhere, I love that they’ll accommodate my request for black tea (in a thimble size cup), that there’s squalor (read character) everywhere and the goddess smiles on everyone. Even from behind bars. Even when larger than life, astride a tiger …
The Nine “divine” days of Navaratri just finished. (I had no idea it comes twice a year, btw. Yeesh.) and there were a lot of poojas and such all across the country.
In Bombay and Kolkata, idols of the goddess Durga were eventually, erm,
drowned, immersed in the sea with great pomp (holding up traffic madly). On the 10th day (Vijay Dashmi), in Bombay, at least the cars all wear a smile of marigolds. I have no idea why. And some shops and homes are wreathed in garlands, too.
This photo was taken in Delhi. Bhola Singh was up to his elbows in pretty flowers when we left. What fun!