Feeling of great enthusiasm and eagerness is the exact state of her. Yes, its called Excitement, She didn’t know that there was a word for it. Is it the first flight or first business trip or first travel? Her natural curiosity led her to ask more questions to herself. It is a business trip for a month, working on client’s premises typically makes it her first on-site. Most of the engineers in an Indian IT Company longs for an on-site. “You wanted this Aditi, don’t just freak out. You will make it!” the husky murmuring could add some confidence in her though at the same time it revealed that it was her first time travel to everyone around here. This scuffle was continuing until the announcement .. ‘Good morning passengers. This is your captain speaking’.. that moment it was like she was suffering from Tachycardia .. rest all she heard was ‘Cabin crew, please take your seats for landing’. Even though the safety measures are there, the first landing definitely made her to keep the fingers crossed. Seat belt prevented her from moving to the edge of the seat when the tires bumped on the ground.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Netaji Subash Chandra Bosh Airport…”
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), a city in India located on the eastern bank of the Hooghly River. Its the capital of West Bengal state. The state founded as an East India Company trading post, it was India’s capital under the British Raj till 1911.
Kolkata is known as the “cultural capital of India” for the city’s historical and architectural significance. Kolkata is the seventh-most populous city in India. It was 6:00 AM in the morning, she could see that city is gearing up for the day. The city at first sight so beautiful, all one would see is yellow taxi’s every where. She managed to get a cab to her hotel. The tracks on road surprised her. What could be it? Its the only city even now which has tram service in India. She hasn’t seen a tram before? I thought they vanished after India’s independence.
Beauty of the city makes her to decide “I am damn exploring this city” and sooner her inner husky voice says “Are you sure?”. It was year 2013, she do have a phone with a camera, mobile internet that time was little costlier than now. “places to visit in kolkata”,voice out to google(taxi driver) returns with a result of ‘4 places to visit in kolkata(2013)’, Vicotria Memorial and Howrah Bridge were on the top of the list. Yes, in India we have better version of google, the people around you. They are the google search, navigator, map for us. What transport you can pick, what time you may expect it (but its always unexpected though), where and how, everything which single voice command, ‘bhaiya (elder brother), kidhar hey?’. Its most used word by Indian girls and make anyone your brother. In the Indian pledge, the phrase “All Indians are my brothers and sisters” does not imply it but however girls picked it absolutely and made it as their safety privilege'. she self assures to visit these two on the first place on the weekend and continues to enjoy the beauty of city.
The day has come, she begins her journey to The Howrah Bridge with huge interrogation of .. what would be so interesting about the bridge? Are you sure you wanna see a bridge? shh.. lets go!.
City has already started the day, super crowded and busy people. Often you might wonder where are these people are heading? why so in rush? but no one dare to stop and ask though. The navigation system gave her update that she can take metro or bus or taxi which is even cheaper. she decides to pick all, lets go to a point in metro, and to another in taxi and so on.
Despite the crowded streets, nice old builds, Kolkata is definitely famous for food. In fact, most of the Indian city have their own special and street foods are so tasty(finger licking) may be that’s why we don’t use spoon in India. Macher jhol — Fish is an integral component of Bengali cooking. Mishti Doi — Bengali dessert consisting of fermented sweet yogurt is one of the area’s most famous culinary exports. Out of all these, Rasgulla — desert is her all time favorite. Every pit stop in the journey, Bon appetit for her.
She finishes her final pit stop, this time she boards tram to the bridge. These aren’t the super looking trams which you might find in Europe, but these carry emotion and history. The doors are not automatically opens and closes. You don’t get announcements about next stop, what time you would reach, what are the upcoming stops. Its still fully manual from the old days. You can purchase a ticket in the tram, no swipe cards, you can hop and hop any where but ideally this is not the design, we use it so.
As she was enjoying the irony ride, she could see the white big bridge. ‘That’s it, I have come, wow! its so huge’ She couldn’t hold her self, she wants to get off the slow moving tram. Trams are so slow in busy streets that you might want to get out and walk, pedestrian don’t make way for anyone usually in Indian streets, pedestrian rule the streets, they are busy going no where.
Finally she could see the bridge, but its quite a distance from the place she is , she is on the other side of the river, she decides to walk towards it, this time no navigation check as she could see the bridge. Wow, No wonder why its must see! I wanna see the city from top of it. Its gonna be beautiful view she marches towards its. She cross a crowded irony hanging bridge. The faces of rush people is making her not to see no further. She manages to pass through the crowd. Her urge to walk on the bridge makes her to rush. All she could see is no pedestrian way to this bridge. How can I reach it, she gets restless. “No way I need to get to know the way. Stop thinking that you know all the routes, ask someone. You are new here!” her so long husky voice rage out this time. she uses the voice command.
“bhaiya, oh howrah bridge kese jana hey???”
Bhaiya, how can I go to that howrah bridge? she asks the navigation system of india, brother.
“Ohw, are beta yeh hey howrah bridge. oh tho flyover a”
oh my dear, he points her to the rusty hanging bridge she just crossed and says that’s the Howrah bridge. The one you are looking at is a flyover. The voice was fading out as he was finishing.
She blinks at the old bridge and walks towards the bridge, now she is even slower than the trams on street despite nobody intervening. The husky voice she had totally disappeared! All she can see is the busy people walking on pedestrian walk path of the bridge as though they are on Man on Moon mission. She reaches the mid of the bridge, she could feel the wind passing through her. she stays still, taking a look at the view of the river and sunset.
People carrying weighs on their head, heavy vehicles passing, the traffic sound reaches her ears now. she could see the irony bridge better now. she now feels its a hanging bridge, there are no pillars down.
Howrah bridge carries a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians, making it one of the busiest cantilever bridges in the world. At the time of its construction, it was the 3rd longest cantilever bridge. Now, it is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world!
This time, instead of her husky built in voice, she literally asks herself, not about her ability, but about her perception.
Why isn’t I notice this last time? A few fraction of minutes before I just crossed this bridge, it wasn’t noticeable. It wasn’t special. But why now?
She slowly looks at the flyover on the other side which she was thinking is the Howrah bridge, made her realize what we see depends mainly on what we look for. Most of the time in life, we forget to notice the beauty in rush. There is a beauty in simplicity.
Life is same, perception is different.
Why do we close our eyes when we pray? When we cry? When we have dream? or When we kiss? Because we know that most beautiful things in life are not seen but felt.
She takes a ferry ride to other side of the river, one last look at the most simple Howrah bridge and she whisper ..
Sometimes the heart sees what invisible to eyes. Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes.