Sunday, February 8, 2009

catching up on missed days...

The visit to kamarpukur was a very memorable one. Though I am not too spiritually inclined as of now....I am full of questions, and cannot accept at face value most of the discourses delivered at Hindu religious gatherings. But the visit for special for other reasons...my first visit to "rural" bengal or for that matter any rural part of India and the hope that the tranquility of the Ramkrishna mission would help soothe my frayed nerves to some extent. Frankly, I was not much enthused by the thought of the visit initially when mejomashi had proposed it. The group was supposed to be constituted of mejomashi-mesho, shukla mashi-mesho and my parents. I was to be the only odd one out in this group - hence was not very keen. But somehow, the prospect of an outing, to be able to run away from maddening city life , and the uninviting idea of staying alone at home led me to promptly take the decision to join the group for the short tour.

The journey to Kamarpukur from Kolkata was around 2.5 hours, part smooth and part bumpy, courtesy the combined efforts of Central and State governments in utilisation of our hard earned money (the one which is snatched away from all self respecting professionals year after year in the name of development of the country....sob...sob...sob....). The day involved getting up early ...real early at around 4.00 am to get ready, which is so typical of such trips. We packed our stuff for the 3 day trip and stuffed ourselves in the waiting Tata Sumo, which has, over the last decade or so, has become the symbol of modern middle class India's wanderlust....

I am not an early riser and absolutely detest getting up early ....and my definition of early extends to about 7-7.30 in the morning :-)(Though I do have to get up at 6, five days a week)....So I have rarely seen how the world looks like really early in the morning. This was one rare opportunity when I actually got to see so, and all the trouble of getting up early was really worth it. The world looks beautiful in the mornings, clean, fresh and absolutely unspoilt - whether it is the busy city roads like B.T Road, the highways or the countryside. There is something very divine about this time, when u can feel his presence all around, very near you....

The first stop on the journey was...u guessed it, for tea. We stopped at a quaint little tea stall in a village on the highway. Actually this was the first tea-stall that had actually lit up its "unoon" (stove fired using coal, wood or dried cow-dung cakes, used till date in places where the ubiquitous cylinder-ed cooking gas has still not been able to reach). Being the first customers for the day, we were treated with a little more regard that the rest ...This is a common custom all over India ....reserved for clients responsible for "bouni", of the first earning of the day. People like me who are addicted to their morning cuppa, can well appreciate feeling that accompanies the first rush of warmth....the fresh aroma of tea in the morning.....pure bliss....and yes, as part of glorious Bengali traditions, it has to be accompanied by at least 1 biscuit :-)

We continued our journey amidst paddy fields on both sides of the road....Incidentally this was the first time I ever saw any kind of agricultural cultivation, from so near....so near that I could actually get down and touch them. The nearest I ever got to them earlier was from the train windows, on our numerous train journeys criss-crossing the country on several earlier occasions...

Finally - destination. We reached Kamarpukur at little before 9 am, and directly went to the Ramkrsihna Mission, where we paid our homage at the temple, before proceeding to the Math office to check up on our bookings for the guest house accommodation...

Follow this space for more on the tour....

2 comments:

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

May be this year I am visiting Kolkatta. The place is a visit for sure.
:)

Koel said...

Thanks for your comments....If you have not been to any part of rural bengal before, it will surely be a great idea...