My life has been packed full of adventure lately. This weekend I went
on a trip with some friends to Sagar Island, the most south west point
of West Bengal, which is also a religious spot for some Hindus. As
usual, I went with Matt and Alec, but this time, our friends Lily and
Julene joined. The island was supposedly four hours away, and getting
there was definitely a trip.
First, we left the train station by my house at eight am. After around one and a half hours, we arrived in Diamond Harbor, the last stop on the particular train we were riding. Diamond Harbor left more than a little to be desired. We wandered around trying to get rolls (a standard Bengali food that is basically a chicken and/or egg wrapped in roti) but couldn't find it anywhere. We finally settled on egg toast (the chai wallah's version of french toast) and boarded a
bus to take us to the ferry. The bus was as crazy as any mode of Indian transportation, though the highlight (besides sitting in the seats directly opposite the driver) was when we noticed the horn was actually a spoon. Yes, a spoon. The driver pressed down on a spoon, which obviously connected something that rang the horribly loud and obnoxious horn. Oh India.
The ferry was definitely a highlight of the trip. Not only was the ride at least 45 minutes, the amount of seagulls flying around the boat was in the hundreds at least. They started flying around in and out of the ferry's wind. Literally hundreds of seagulls started completely circling the boat, calling out, and diving/fighting each other. There were men on the ferry selling bags of food to toss to the birds and seeing them fly around, diving and catching food was spectacular. On the way back, we bought some food ourselves and it was really fun to throw what I can only describe as similar to the cereal corn pops in the air, and watch a seagull swoop up from below and catch it in it's beak. It was incredible to watch.
Anyways, when the ferry finally arrived on Sagar Island, we of course had to hire a car to take us to the complete opposite side of the
island. Luckily, after hiring a driver for the night and next day, we
were able to trust he would take us to the right place because the
island only has one paved road. The drive to the south point, where
we were staying, was a little under an hour and as we drove, we passed
beautiful green fields, artists making idols for the upcoming
Saraswati Puja, and countless other beautiful and unusual things.
after a delicious dinner, at least thirty dab, and hanging out in the hotel, Alec and I decided it was too awesome to leave the next day, and since we were free on Monday, we made plans to stay another night.
The next day, while we were waiting for breakfast, we went to the island temple. It was not a very exciting temple, either on the outside or inside. The outside was colorless and rundown and the inside was only half filled of a few idols. But as we stepped out of the temple, this huge sea of people came walking up from the ocean. Our timing was perfect, because as we left the temple, we were able to watch all the pilgrims enter the temple after their cleansing bath in the ocean. Very cool.
thousands of meters away. Because we had a car and driver the first day, it wasn't until the second day that we really walked around where we were staying. Again, there was only one paved road, so it was impossible to get lost. Plus, the whole town probably knew where the only videshis (foreigners) in town were staying if we had to ask
Based on how much I already wrote, I should probably finish up the
story. I'm so glad Alec wanted to stay another day because I had such
a wonderful, relaxing, and rejuvenating time on the island. The next day, even without Matt to translate for us, we managed to find a bus, get to the ferry, find another bus, and finally board the train at
Diamond Harbor for Ballygunge Station. That's right, we were able to cut out one step! Although I do really enjoy living in Kolkata, the
less populated, natural, rural India is definitely my favorite place to be. One of my favorite things in India is traveling (by any of the above mentioned modes) through green fields and seeing pops of vibrant
colors, red, orange, yellow, blue, from the clothing of the people in
the field. I definitely got a fix of that this weekend.
nights at an all night Hindustani music festival (7pm-7am) and he
seems very inspired and energized from the weekend. My work is as
chaotic as ever, but I'm enjoying starting to work with students for
The Wizard of Oz. Next week, Aakash and I will go to Hyderabad,
Dornakal, and both northern and southern parts of Kerela. I'm looking
to spending some time away together. Eventually I'll put more photos
of Sagar Island on my website, so check it out. But no promises as to
how soon it will happen. I hope that you're enjoying whatever you're
currently keeping busy with. Know I love you and think of each of you