Every morning by 7am I get woken up from sleep, by the intense din and bustle outside. Perks of living on a busy street. But today was different. Today it was quite peaceful. No cars, no people, no stray dogs (ya that too!) – nothing. It was a Bandh after all. Something that is celebrated in Kolkata with great fanfare.
So I get to prolong my morning sleep by a few hours. Ah! What bliss that can be. Only the ones who experience it will know 😛
But, unlike a few other people, my plans of making it a holiday were not to be. Our beloved didi had released some stringent notifications asking every office goer to make it to office without fail. Perhaps the only day you rue being into a government job. (Oh yes, may be on those last few days of the month too, when you wait for that payslip to get encashed).
So I set out, with a heavy heart, and make my way through the empty roads, on the lookout for some form of transportation. I’m lucky and get an auto, the only one around. With a warning that I may have to get down halfway if ‘something’ comes up, the driver sets off, with his 4 passengers in tow.
Nothing happens. Other than a procession of flag-bearing people. Shouting slogans.
Followed by another procession of more flag bearing people shouting some more slogans. Only the flags change colour.
I arrive in time. For the daily attendance, that is. Few patients come in. More out of curiosity to see, if we are open, than anything else. And we oblige them, with the very essential ‘gaser asudh’ (antacid liquids). What else can bring the bandh fearing bengalis out on such a day !
And we have some intense discussion sessions on the present political conditions in the state and why it’s going nowhere. On the need for the bandh. And why it wasn’t needed. Accompanied by tea. And biscuits- Peyajis (onion ring fries) have become too costly for the middle class citizens in the country.
After a pretty exciting session hence, it’s time to leave office. And make my way home. Am not so lucky this time – have to walk quite some distance before I spot a bus. Most of the seats are vacant. And the roads deserted. It’s quite a comfortable ride- and for the first time I realize, that my office isn’t as far off from my home, as I so long thought it was.
I click some pictures on the way. The city seems so different today ! It just hasn’t woken up it seems 🙂
And in the evening I go out for a cup of hot tea, and some jalebis. It’s drizzling a bit, so that adds to the mood 🙂
That pretty much sums up the day for me. Another one of those days when you get to see your city in a different light 🙂
(Archya, in his words, is The trying-to-be-global, bangali babu; who is attempting to carve out a niche for himself in blogosphere, having had mixed results in Medicine Practice. In short, a struggling artist.
Click for his other articles On Blong…Shong )