We had a train to catch from Lucknow station for Kanpur and then Rajdhani for Howrah thenceforth. Goodness it was such a venturesome trip. For almost two days we were just on the run with few short stoppages. Lucknow-Kanpur-Howrah-UP Bhawan-Howrah Station-Kanthi-Deb’s Wedding-Back to hotel-Kanthi Station-Howrah Station-UP Bhawan- Kolkata airport-Delhi IGI Airport- Finally Noida. Bah! Seemed we covered many journeys within the span of mere two days.
Sharat kept confirming everybody else’s train/flight tickets and amidst the entire hustle-bustle he forgot confirming his own tickets which rendered us in a little tight spot. Our tickets got confirmed while Sharat’s didn’t so we 5 of us managed on two berths. I and Sarita slept in God knows what kind of angels-an onlooker would have guessed us aliens for sure. Though Tashu slept great!
When we boarded train from Kanpur, there were two guys sitting at our berth already so we adjusted and squeezed in. I have no words to describe the expressions on their faces. It seemed as if we have snatched a morsel from their mouth. And, one of them had been listening to the pathetic Bollywood numbers on loud speaker.
With super duper good night’s crunchy sleep we woke up all the more tired. And train got late. We reached Howrah around 1200 hours and rushed for a taxi. The taxi driver got stuck in a scuffle with Policeman who was reluctant to talk to us. Charged 500 bucks (driver claimed so) as a penalty of picking up passengers away from the taxi line. We were tired, hungry and put off by the police wallahs attitude. I didn’t like the city from the start. People, streets, taxi and almost everything and everyone seemed so hostile there. As if the city itself does not like to welcome guests. We had a terrible experience in the city. However, travel from Howrah to Kanthi was a pleasant one.
At one time train stopped at some junction named Nandigram (As much as I can recall) and there was such a beautiful scenic beauty all around. I am usually scared to get down at any station other than my destination yet I got down and took a little walk on the platform. The breeze, the lush green fields clouded with fog- that was all so pleasant and soothing to my senses. For a moment I felt I have transcended to some other world.
The hotel where we are to stay at in Kanthi was somewhat similar to “Hotel Decent” :) And, drive from hotel to Deb’s place and from his home to the girl’s place was terrific though I don’t remember the exact events yet it was a wonderful ride in the daze. Black Label & Red Label Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky- finally got to try it after studying all those funda behind its advertisement during PR. I got tipsy for a while and we ladies kept laughing over silly things we talked about. Sohini seemed sober of us three. Sharat embodied Devdas’s Chunni Babu Persona in the wedding. I was so tired that hardly noticed the ceremonies. Yeah, met the bride- beautiful (Bong girls are for sure gifted with beautiful dark eyes). Sohini did great as a translator all the time.
It was nice meeting Muthappa. If I have to describe him then it would be- jolly-good fellow! Back to Kolkata next morning-tickets were not confirmed of the Rajdhani we were slated to catch so booked air tickets and left with very less time. So, all plans to go and see a city which had already made negative image got cancelled. We took a quick lunch @ some Chinese restaurant and headed for the Airport. We all were dead tired and may be one or two of us took a wink or so en route.