It was April, the time of the year when most Indian states begin their own regional years. Tamil New Year fell on a Monday ensuing a long weekend for us. Chennai was getting hotter by day. Naturally, we were looking for a cool hilltop getaway. Our search ended at Kodaikanal, a 2000 feet hill station around 550 Km away from Chennai. We booked a 3-day package with Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation or TTDC. I earlier vacationed with other state tourism corporations like APTDC (Andhra Pradesh), OTDC (Orissa), WBTDC (West Bengal) etc. My experience with them was satisfactory. Hence, we hoped that TTDC wouldn't disappoint us either.
Sunday, February 02, 2014
While having Haldiram’s orange-flavored Soan Papdi today I remembered how much I liked this sweet in my childhood. My grandmother used to buy a packet for me whenever she returned home after visiting a relative. Soan Papdi vendors with red & white paper boxes stacked on a tray are common sights in any mofussil bus terminus in Bengal. These boxes used to be priced at two or three rupees; not sure how much they cost now. They were not of good quality. But does a child care for quality? I remember my father once bought me a packet from a big sweet shop, supposedly of better quality. What was the occasion? May be after half-yearly or annual school exam. In those days our cravings had to wait for appropriate occasions. My grandmother expired few years back. Some fond memories, however, occasionally come back and I cherish those.
Posted by Avik Saha at 1:01 AM
Sunday, December 01, 2013
We were finally to the land of lakes last week, the Lake District in the county of Cumbria of United Kingdom. Lake district consists of 16 large lakes (meres) and 200+ smaller ones (tarns). It is November, early winter and probably not the ideal time to visit this 'area of outstanding natural beauty'. However, there are significantly less crowd this time, hence the hills and the lakes were all ours!
Posted by Avik Saha at 11:14 PM
Sunday, October 13, 2013
This is the second time I am spending Durga Puja outside my country. In 2009, I was in the United States. This year I am in UK. It feels bad not to be at home during the time of festivities, particularly during Durga Puja. However, it gives an opportunity to look at the most celebrated festival of the Bengalis from a different perspective.
Posted by Avik Saha at 6:07 PM
Sunday, August 04, 2013
Last week we were looking for a weekend getaway. We had been to hills (Edale, Peak District) earlier the month. We thought, 'Why not to the sea this time?' The east coast of England is near to Leeds, our home for last five months. We had been to Scarborough before. However, the weather forecast was not promising - it predicted shower in the north-east, whereas western part of the country were to remain somewhat dry. So after little research we hit upon the Formby beach on the west coast - between Liverpool and Blackpool in Lancashire. It's among the 20 best beaches as per Telegraph.
Posted by Avik Saha at 4:19 PM
Saturday, January 05, 2013
Last weekend my wife and me travelled to Sundarbans with West Bengal Tourism. We booked 1-Night-2 Days package on the vessel M V Chitrarekha. The previous week was very cold, windy and foggy; hence we were little bit apprehensive and moderated our expectations as we set out for Dalhousie early Saturday morning. An AC bus were to take us for from the tourism center at Dalhousie to Sonakhali, where we will board the vessel.
We registered at the office and got on to the bus. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one my engineering friends, Arijit (and his wife), with whom I was out-of-touch for years, had booked the same package and seated opposite to us. The bus left at 8.45 AM and soon breakfast packets (containing cheese sandwich, boiled egg, cake, Chloromint and sweet) and water bottles were served. The bus raced through Basanti highway, past Cognizant office at Bantala as Baul songs, played on the vehicle's music system, greeted our ears. The fog vanished and the sun was up brightening our mood. Arjit and I chitchatted and exchanged information about our common friends. The bus went past small villages and towns. The green fields full of vegetables gave way to large water bodies for fishery as we neared Sundarbans. After about 3 hours we reached Sonakhali.
Posted by Avik Saha at 1:19 PM
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
My wife and me went to see Dr. Soumitra Ghosh at Rittik Clinic (155A, AJC Bose Road, Entally, Sealdah, Kolkata -14) today for our recurring stomach problems. We booked an appointment earlier. We were number 13 and 14 in the patients list for the day. The doctor were to be available from 5pm to 9pm in the clinic.
We reached the clinic just after 5pm, checked our names with the compounder and got ourselves seated infront of room no. 9, soon to realize that the doctor was yet to occupy it. We waited and waited. I went out and withdrew money from a nearby ATM and came back. But the doctor was not yet in. I strolled around the clinic and the nursing home compound (the Rittik Nursing Home and the clinic are housed in the same building). I noticed Dr. Ghosh's degrees - MD, Cardiologist, Diabetologist and Chest Physician - on the board near the right side of the entrance. Dr. Soumitra Ghosh is one of Rittik's consultants.
Posted by Avik Saha at 10:51 PM