Kolkata: Three Places of Interest

My sinking heart has started swimming back again! After cleaning up and rearranging furniture in some of the rooms, the apartment is starting to look more like home 🙂

17-05-05-14-36-12-353_deco

Sometimes a want is a more of a need

Nevertheless, there are a few improvements I hope the landlord will agree to make, with the top three being: (1) Re-painting the walls; (2) Changing the sofa; (3) Having a net at the balcony to prevent pigeons from coming in to shit. And once request (1) is completed, I can put up photos of family and friends, and the other farewell gifts from Singapore and Melbourne on the living room wall – can’t wait for that!

Anyway, I’d like to share on the three places which Azri’s colleague had brought us to on Labour Day. (1st May is a holiday here too.) To put it mildly, I was not comfortable with two of the three locations.

Park Circus Market

Park Circus Market

Park Circus Market (Source: Anirvan)

We came in the afternoon when most of the stalls were closed. Those which were opened had men napping at the corners. It was quiet then, but I can imagine the place to be full of life and bustling when people shop in the morning.

Beads of sweat trickled down non-stop thanks to the heat trapped within the area. Houseflies were aplenty, but surprisingly they did not land on and attach themselves to my skin (like the summer flies in Melbourne). I didn’t find myself swapping the flies away, but I remember holding my breathe at some junctures.

Live stock for sale

The dry side of the market was pretty organized and had a range of vegetables and fruits served full in baskets, reminding me of Geylang market. However, the side of the market which sells mutton (or should I say goats since they’re alive?) and chicken was not my cup of tea. Bad odour filled the space and one would definitely blame the animals and their very visible feces. Yup, this was when my nose could not stand the stench.

We’ve been told that the meat here is fresh – You pick the goat or chicken that you want, and they’ll immediately slaughter it in front of you. I don’t think I can bring myself to buy meat in that manner. For one, it sounded a little too cruel for my liking, and two, this city girl finds the act of killing animals foreign. Sure, I eat meat, but I don’t know, I guess I’m just used to having dead meat in my hands and that’s that.

Will I come to this place again? Maybe just once more to experience what it’s like in the morning.

Kalighat Kali Temple

Kalighat Temple

The famous temple with the crowd (Source: Temple Advisor)

This is one of the holiest place in Kolkata, as Hindus believe that it is one of the 51 sites in South Asia where one of their goddess had a part of her body fallen onto in one of the historic time. (I admit my knowledge on Hinduism is minute, and I so totally should read up on it more to understand the people here better, considering that most are religious.)

So anyway, this is a popular temple, and it was pretty crowded when we were there. We practically whizzed through it, and I was unable to fully catch what our guide shared about what was happening and the symbolisms behind the Hindus’ rituals.

Also, I was very distracted by the number of homeless people around. You know how you see the beggars outside Singapore’s Sultan Mosque and you feel quite bad? (I know some of you don’t, but I do lah.) You take that feeling and times a million. It was horrible for me. My heart went heavy and helpless, especially when I saw a young mother and her baby laying on the floor, with just enough cloth to cover themselves. I was too overwhelmed to speak till we got back to our car.

I’m not sure if I want to can go here again. Really. Unless I know of a way to help the poor, I honestly don’t think I can.

Birla Temple

Birla Temple

No photos can do this temple’s architecture justification (Source: Indialine)

A sense of serenity washed over me when we entered this temple. From the outside, it already looked majestic with the tall, detailed rooftops. And from the inside, I was awed even more by the intricate ceiling designs and cooling marble floor.

Perhaps it is because the temple is only 27 years old, hence it has been easier to maintain. And security is also tight here which I think allowed devotees to pray without being swarmed by the ones in poverty.

Honestly, I don’t see the need to go to the temple again ’cause I’m not a Hindu. But if friends or family come (and I’ve brushed up on my knowledge on the deities), I would bring them here.

After Labour Day, Azri has been working long hours daily. This excludes the long travelling time – Traffic is so bad here, a 25km ride to the airport from home eats up one hour of our lives! (For comparison, picture the drive from Tampines Mall to NUS: It’s also 25km yet only a half hour drive.) So because of this, we didn’t have much time to explore other places.

Screenshot_2017-05-05-14-57-53-1

We drove past Tipu Sultan Mosque and I am very intrigued by it

But I think next week onwards, when he’d have a normal work routine of night shift (Anybody at night, feel free to text and entertain me!) and scheduled off days, we can check out more of the local sites, like the eye-catching Tipu Sultan Mosque (It’s too pretty!), New Market, and more…

Okay, end of today’s post. I need to go back to cleaning other rooms of the apartment 🙂