Kolkata was the prelude to the Andamans. We stayed at Maniktala at Bubu mama’s place and we met Au Dida, a very nice old lady who has known ma since she was a toddler.
Mamar bari is in the typical North Kolkata para of Maniktala in this little street called the Karbala Tank Lane. The family has resided in the building for over 150 years. The walls of the house are so thick that you dont get network on your cellphones when you are indoors.
Mami and Ma on the way to Au Dida’s place, which is only like three buildings away from mamar bari. The lanes and the architecture is typically north Kolkata.
She stays with her two sons and their families in this another old house, As you can see in the pic, there is the central courtyard to which all the rooms in both the floors open. The ground floor is mostly the kitchen, the store and some spare rooms while the family lives on the first.
Ma negotiating the steep stairs to the first floor.
Au Dida. As you can see, she is very pretty and she is great with kids. I remember she came to Siliguri once with mama, mami and Maam di. So she took maam and me out to the Baisakhi Mela. While every adult we went with dragged us away from the fast food stalls, she infact kept feeding us all the delicious and restricted food items that we used to fantasise about.
Au Dida and Ma deep in some animated conversation.
Thats two of Au Dida’s three similar aged grandsons. As you can see, they are not the quietest of souls. To the left is Chunilal while Pannalal holds up a kite. Hiralal is nowhere to be see, so i guess its safe to assume that he is up to no good.
Mami (Ratna Lucy Sinha) and me
Au Dida comes to the balcony to see us off
Another one of Maniktala’s many lanes
In the evening, i went off to Salt Lake to meet my old friend Ipshita. She had warned me pehle that if i came to Kolkata and did not meet her, that would be the end of my life. She meant it. So i went and we hung out at City Centre and visited some bookshops. After that we went for some food at this amazing Italian place called HUSSH. Here’s another pic we took there:
While coming back i was stuck at this huge traffic jam caused by the bhashan procession. I had nothing to do in the taxi and there was a market by the roadside. I got this photograph from the taxi.