Purulia trip in Square frames

Purulia trip: After the Meghalaya trip full of trek and caving, my next trip was lazying around Ajodhya hills of the Purulia district of Bengal. While Meghalaya was a crazy place, the friends, I went with, to Purulia were crazy! Such craze, enthusiasm and energy is something this IT employee misses while sitting in front of the monitor working all day. Needless to say, they are incredible photographers themselves.

Square frames: Square frames are interesting me a bit too much. In the social media, the square frame comes in handy to communicate information and fast message. This is some desperate attempt to square framing.

 

Purulia – the weekend destination. 

I thought of adding this bit of information as I believe people might be interested to give this place a visit. There can be multiple reasons why you would like to visit Purulia. First this is the place of the traditional (and popular masked dance) called Chhau. Purulia and Chhau has been synonymous since long. If you are a photographer and you happen to come across Mahadev Lal Barai or Santosh Rajgarhia, you know how beautiful this district is through their photographs. If you love nature, love culture, love folk art … Purulia is the easiest weekend destination for you.

The name Purulia also brings with it threats of Maoists, most of which does not exist. Since you know I’ve come back and blog posting about it, you know I am safe and alive!

 

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

 

There are MANY trains from Kolkata to Purulia. Prefer a one where you can sleep the entire night. You’ll reach Purulia at around 6 AM. The car you’ll take will drive you through the roads crossing fields, brooks where buffaloes are bathed, trees, curious people looking at you. Just the kind of bucolic village scene you must have drawn in your childhood copy.

And yes, it has small hills as well. The Ayodhya hills! En-route, you shall find some really incredible landscape, and example of which is given above. With the chill of the wind, the cloud and the serenity there, it was nothing less than a calming heaven.

 

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

 

We were blessed with such incredible fog. Although I had this bunch of young people sitting with/behind me, fully enthusiastic about it and their trip, I managed to fall asleep. (My entire idea of this Purulia trip was to sleep. Sleep as much as I could have slept.) I woke up to see a herd of cows blocking the road. When we (Rajatabha and me) tried to photograph it, we almost became the target of an angry ox !

 

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

 

A frame with the lovers (really not) the fog, made this seem to be the best lover’s spot!

What followed next is a series of photo shoot, stopping the car at almost every possible place. Rajatabha, Shilpa and their team is extremely enthusiastic and creative. They were trying different things out, when I dozed off again.


Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making
The area is dominated by the Santhals. The Santhals are the tribal people there. They are known for their customs and valour. Talking of customs, they have occasions for everything.  This year I covered one of the events called Tusu Parab ( Parob )

Another of such Parab (festival / occasion) is to paint their home exteriors with mud and then create designs on it using chalk and organic colour. Their homes are small huts, with thatched roof, often accompanying a piece of agricultural land.

We reached Purulia during the last week of October. November 6th was the full moon day and was the time for the design to happen.

The designs range from huge wall paintings to simple hand prints, as you can see in the photograph above.

 

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

 

In this photograph, the lady is applying a layer of mud on her hut. 7 days after this ritual, during the next full moon, designs are drawn on the hut walls.

 

Following are a few photographs shot on the top of Ajodhya hills. It was raining that time and I had hardly photographed anything.


Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making
Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making
Below Ajodhya hills, there are small villages that make the masks for the Chhau dance. There are two waterfalls and other places which you would love to visit and spend time with your friends. Have a look at the photographs.

Word of caution: If you are planning to take someone who is old or has knee joint or spine pain, please do not.

 

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

A painter paints the face of a mask in Bagmundi, Purulia.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Preparation of a Chhau mask in Purulia.

 


Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making
A fountain near Ayodhya Hill. 

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

The smiling lady.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Untitled.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

The welcoming and not so welcoming goats!

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Who are you?

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Bamni Falls.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

Barir korta!

 

Keeping all the square frames seemed so weird. So here are some of the photographs keeping conventional aspect ratios.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

The herd of cows that blocked our way!

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

The women carrying logs on their heads down the hill.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

I’m very sure, not many friends in Kolkata know about this place. This is the secret place where I might do my next photo shoot. Details কেন বলবো? :P Hahaha.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

One of the water falls. Small, powerful and majestic.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

An workshop of the Chhau mask makers. I wish to visit this place again to shoot them, with time.

Purulia, Ayodhya hill, people of purulia, mask making

And the cows to end this post!

Do let me know if you like the photographs. And if you love the photographs do not forget to *SHARE* this blog post with your friends. Thank you.

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Basic Photography and Social Media meetup @ NIT Durgapur

To be invited by the students of the esteemed NIT Durgapur to conduct a basic photography workshop was more than just an honour. More because NIT Durgapur is very close to my heart & I’ll tell you why.

This college was the first one to award me something (for short filmmaking). That in 2008, gave me motivation enough to take part in IIT Kgp and be active in college activities. Like a foreign degree helps you to be recognised in your Indian society, the win in NIT Dgp made people in Bengal College of Engineering and Technology (my alma mater) believe I am slightly capable of something. What followed next made me what I am today.

The club I got an invitation from is “Centre of Cognitive Activities (CCA)”. I had humbly accepted the request. Now that you know why NIT Dgp is special to me, you know seeing myself on the posters felt very good.

 

 

After Loreto College, I was invited to Maya Art Space where  I showcased my photographs as a slideshow to an august audience there. Next was a basic photography workshop in an IT company – Techshu. So this was my second college visit.

The presentation that I had shown was made at the beginning of 2014 when I was invited by The Frank Anthony Public School. Most of the audience there, and in Loreto and NIT Durgapur are extreme beginners who primarily use their compact cameras and not DSLRs.

Well I loved the anticipation more than the day perhaps. I’m not sure about the actual figures but the turnout was more than 40 at the beginning. Post lunch, it was 25+ . The first year students has to leave at 4:30 PM, after which I showed the Basic Bloggers workshop slides. That made me somewhat sad.

If the presenter needs to keep this audience awake and active (mind it : 4 – 5 hours and specially if there is a lunch break in between, is a real test for the presenter.) there needs to be stupid jokes, motivation and constant interaction.

The interaction with the students were good and honest. While a guy admitted that he was feeling sleepy, another guy did not like the frame of Tarpan (I loved interacting with the guy the entire time. And I believe by the end of the workshop we became friends.) The expressions of the students when they saw the Charak photographs, priceless! The interaction in the first half and during the hands on photo-shooting felt incredible.  As one of the students personally messaged me, “It started a little slow , ( primarily because audiences were not so enthusiastic about opening up , and interacting ) , but half an hour later ,,, people were totally into it.” The organisers gave me a piece of my college life in their hostel. Damn, I missed my college.

I’ve a few places where I can improve. I keep on speaking till the point in time, the person in front of me seems convinced. This time, while the girl I tried to convince seemed convinced towards the end, the person near to her seemed tired. I should restrict myself and learn to take a few things offline!

I’ll end the post here. Oh wait, the mandatory advertisement : If you have liked me, stay connected to my blog www.anirbansaha.com and over all social media platforms (Links given below my signature) . :)

Caving in Meghalaya – Closer to the core

Do you know: Meghalaya has the subcontinent’s longest and deepest of caves and is in World’s top 10 caving destinations? Every year expert cavers across the globe visit this place to explore, research and find newer caves. Although not experts, we thought of exploring one of the caves near to Cherrapunji.

Harshit tells you more:

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
Harshit and Surrbhi inside the cave | Photograph: Anirban Saha

“We reached Krem Mawmluh at around 10.30 AM on 29 September, 2014. It has been more than a month since we left that place but the place hasn’t left us yet. We are still thrilled and satisfied.

This post is about our caving experience. ‘Closer to the core‘ because at some point while going in I felt I was actually walking towards the core of the earth. We started out at 9.30 AM from lower Sohra, a little later than was planned. Gregory had reached exactly at 9.00 AM to pick us up. He heads Meghalaya Adventure Tours and is an expert caver. We were lucky that we went with him.

About Krem Mawmluh – It is a seven kilometers long cave in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya. It’s not a show cave or a tourist cave. People do not go there for sightseeing. Entering the cave requires proper gear and supervision. Adventure seekers will go to any height (or depth) for that thrill and experience.

On reaching Mawmluh Cement Factory, we got off the car, and were given our gear. I got excited by just looking at the gear.. It was a jumpsuit, more like what miners wear along with superb rubber boots. I realized its importance once I got into it. We got suited and felt great in dirty, ragged clothes for the first time. We took a customary selfie before the start. And the next moment we were walking towards the cave.

Caving in Meghalaya, Krem lu
The start of the walk | Caving in Meghalaya
Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta
The first part of the walk | Caving in Meghalaya
Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh
The view from the hill | Caving in Meghalaya
Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh
“second half is like going into the Amazon forest.” | Caving in Meghalaya
Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Surrbhi Koul
Preparation before entering the cave | Caving in Meghalaya

 

It’s a long walk to the entrance of the cave. First half is just walking along a hill through thick grass, second half is like going into the Amazon forest. It was challenging but fun! The rocks were huge. Throughout that time I felt like Bear Grylls from Man vs Wild. It was a hot day and the walk was a little tiring. But I forgot everything about it the moment I saw the entrance to the cave. We decided to take a little rest and some more preparations before entering the cave. We put on the lights on our helmets cause that’s the only way you can see anything inside the cave. Took water, some food and put our valuables inside the Darren Drum (An air tight container, which can float in water logged areas in the cave). The cave has a narrow tricky entrance. Seeing it made me think how tricky will the ways inside be. A narrow way through which one can only enter if they turn to the right and bend forward.

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta
The entrance | Caving in Meghalaya

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta
The entrance to the Cave | Caving in Meghalaya

 

It can be difficult for people who are fat. Right after that narrow space between rocks, there is suddenly no ground. Flexibility, fitness and energy are very important. Rocks and walls have to be used for support at places and move forward. After one or two climbs and falls, we started getting a hang of it. Strategically placing legs to shift body weight and using hands to grip the rocks were what it was all about. If I think too hard I might also be able to explain how we crossed every drop and climb from the beginning but I’m not writing a DIY Caving blog post.

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta
“Right after that narrow space between rocks, there is suddenly no ground.” | www.anirbansaha.com
Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta
The ground down below | www.anirbansaha.com

Some portions of the cave were very small and narrow. We had to bend down and walk or else our head would hit the ceiling. Without the helmet you’d come out with a part of your skull in your hands. Cavers are extremely careful not to break or spoil any sandstone or limestone formations in the cave when they enter. Those formations take hundreds of years to form. I made it a point not to hit my head anywhere and not break anything. You can only see in one direction at a time. As far as your light range allows. Everything else remains pitch black. For some this could be an uncomfortable situation. Surrbhi at first thought she was claustrophobic. After a few minutes she felt like she was a cave dweller in her previous birth. There are many phobias we think we have, most of those are because it is something we have never really tried before.

Along with adrenaline I think some other brain fluids too start flowing when you’re doing something adventurous for the first time. While calculating and analyzing every step I was taking to move forward, I started realizing something. I get weird ideas all the time. I realized we are all very used to living in a controlled environment and we try to make it more controlled every single day. It was when I was out there in an environment so different and I had nothing under my control, I realized that the life I’m living is narrower than the cave. Everything is huge and vast but still it is all controlled and restricted. In the cave anything can go wrong any moment. If you love the controlled environment you live in, cave is a hostile place for you . If you love freedom, and if you like being vulnerable then the cave is action packed. As we walked in we came across many interesting formations. Just water, limestone and sandstone work in mysterious ways to create exquisite formations. We saw cave pearls being formed. Water droplets fall into a bowl and somehow create small white pearls. We saw white shiny marble inside brown sharp rocks. Due to some minerals, some of the rocks were sparkling and shining. We saw a huge Swiss Cheesecake. It is a rock formation that is white and brown, looks like a cheesecake due to the texture and color.

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
Cave Pearls | Caving in Meghalaya

As we kept moving forward we saw more interesting formations. It’s hard to believe how things like that are formed over the years. But a human in his entire lifetime will hardly see any changes in the cave. The changes are slow and difficult to find. That is why it’s all so precious. We soon reached the Gold Fish Pond. There is no fish inside the cave, but cavers give names to different sections of the cave, just for the sake of reference I suppose. The gold fish pond was dangerous. The darkness didn’t allow us to see how big the pond really was. But we were supposed to walk into it.

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
In the wonderland | Photograph: Anirban Saha

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
Water dripping down the walls | Caving in Meghalaya

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism, Suurbhi Koul
Surrbhi stepping down | Closer to the core.

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
The climb ahead | Surrbhi Koul

 

Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
Interiors of the cave (1) | Long exposures www.anirbansaha.com
Caving in Meghalaya, Meghalaya caves, Krem Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta, Gregory diengdoh, Meghalaya adventure tourism
Golden fish pond | www.anirbansaha.com

We had to walk from extreme left because on the right the pond had much more depth. A sharp drop. We had to walk on the extreme left, holding the wall, in waist deep water. That was scary. The real challenge was to get out of that pond. We were half inside water and had to climb around 6 or 7 feet using the rocks to move to the other section. Our boots were full of water and if we would fall back, we would have to swim with those non-existent gold fishes. Definitely none of us were in the mood to swim, we climbed up like champs! Surrbhi and I didn’t have anything to take care of except for ourselves. Anirban had his hundred thousand rupees camera hanging from his neck. Before entering the cave he calculated that if anything goes wrong he would save the camera before himself. His medical expenses would still be less than the cost of his gear. He took good care of his camera throughout. He himself also came out in one piece at the end of it. I wanted to see a bat and I thought we’ll see them hanging out somewhere. But they were all busy flying from here to there. Didn’t get a chance to see one properly.

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure
The water flowing by the side | www.anirbansaha.com

Some sections of the cave were huge. There is no evidence of any human inhabitation inside these caves. We were the first ones to enter the cave this year. That added to the excitement. There was water at many places in the cave. At some places the water was flowing like a stream. There was a big section in the cave where we walked on false floor. It is called false floor because that is not actually the ground. Under that floor there was a stream of water. The floor had numerous holes and gorges.

 

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism
The way forward | Closer to the core

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism

 

We could see the ground a few feet below. I had only heard about stalactites and stalagmites before and didn’t know what they were. Gregory showed us all the different kinds of formations and also told us how they are formed. Stalactites grow from the ceiling and stalagmites grow from the ground. A rare structure is formed when a stalactite meets a stalagmite to form a pillar. We saw that when we reached our destination, our picnic spot. The Hanging Gardens. Almost two kilometres inside the cave, was our final stop. This place had many more formations everywhere. We were asked to be extra careful and not walk anywhere without watching. There were cave curtains, that formed from the ceiling. And there was a structure that looked exactly like a ‘Shiv-ling’ – sacred stone.

Coincidence or miracle of Lord Shiva is upon you to decide. There were many stalactites and stalagmites at this place. Gregory went in a little deeper to take some readings. We could also  go in deeper but usually only those who have special interests go further. We took a closer look at the formations, drank water and ate some biscuits to regain energy. And of course clicked some pictures. The cave wasn’t being very kind to Anirban’s camera. There were sand inside his lens and water vapor condensed on the lens. The buttons didn’t work properly also. But he managed to shoot somehow. Gregory and Anirban found that spot, two kilometers inside the cave, a perfect place to discuss cave photography and try a few things out. We tried light painting but it was a failure.

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism
The picnic spot | Caving in Meghalaya
Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism
The formation inside | Caving in Meghalaya
Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism
The gorgeous interiors of the cave | www.anirbansaha.com

We spent some time at the picnic spot and decided to head back. We were taking the same way back. All the way in and back out Surrbhi walked ahead of us. She is someone who would trip on completely smooth and flat surfaces but surprisingly the cave dweller was doing a good job that day. Anirban seemed exhausted and walked slower. I walked with him. All the drops were now climbs. There was awesomeness flowing everywhere in our bodies and we crossed everything just as easily as before. Crossing the same places we had crossed before, when I looked back there was complete darkness. If your lights stop working two kilometres inside the cave, you’re as good as dead. If you’re deep inside the cave and it starts raining very heavily outside. The water starts flooding the cave and again you’re as good as dead. It was around 4 or 4.30 PM when we finally saw daylight again. We got out.

Caving in Meghalaya,   Meghalaya caves, Krem   Mawmluh, Harshit Mehta,   Gregory diengdoh,   Meghalaya adventure   tourism
“I screamed my lungs out. I had never felt like that in my entire life so far. It was easily the best experience of my life.”

I screamed my lungs out. I had never felt like that in my entire life so far. It was easily the best experience of my life. We talked, stretched, relaxed and drank water. It was a trek back up to reach where the car was. It was hot again. From the top of that hill when we looked down, we only saw the jungle. Not a hint of the cave. You can never guess there is a huge cave in there. We stopped for a while. No one said anything. We all had something going on in our heads. If you’ve watched Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, the Bollywood movie, you’ll understand what feeling I’m talking about. We were so lost that we didn’t even care what way we were taking to get back to the car. Just kept walking. Anirban dropped his lens cover but luckily found it. It was right behind behind him. Surrbhi dropped her spectacles, didn’t bother to try finding it. We got into the car and headed back to our cottage. I only told people it was a great experience. I had no words to explain that feeling. Anirban asked me to write this and I think it’s a little too long but I had to include everything I could. When that feeling and memory will fade away, this post will help me re-live that day all over again. Though I plan on going again whenever I can. If you read this till the end, I think you’ll enjoy caving. More than anything else, the experience brings you closer to your own core. Your Life.”

একটু অন্য রকমের দীপাবলি ।

I wish you all a very happy festive season. Warm greetings on this auspicious occasion of Mahavir Nirvan Diwas, Kali Pujo, Naraka Chaturdashi and what is popularly known as “Diwali”.

mother teresa, missionaries of charity, diwali celebrationDebarshi Duttagupta, flying lantern, fanush, phanush

While most of us are celebrating “Diwali” across religions, regions, age groups and while most of my friends are shooting candles and Diyas or else partying, a few friends of mine were doing some real good job. While Aroop organised gifts and clothes for the Salt Lake slum dwellers, Asmita and her friends go to the Missionaries of Charity bursting crackers with the children and nuns there. Photographer Debarshi Dutta Gupta and his friends light flying lanterns in memory of those who have passed away in the last year.

Valmiki’s Ramayana reportedly has no Diwali in it. While the Jain texts mention this time to be the festival of lights after the Supreme light ( Lord Mahavir ) attained Nirvaan (Enlightenment/ Death) . The rulers of the land said that the Supreme light might have gone, but the event shall be marked by the earthen lights. “Diwali” is popularly known as the festival of lighting lamps across streets to mark the celebrations of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after having defeated the demon king Ravana. In Tamil culture, it is Naraka Chaturdashi where God Karthik and Goddess Kali killed a demon. In Bengal, this is the time for Bhoot Chaturdashi, where the spirits (read: Ghosts) roam around freely on the streets without restrictions and is followed by Kali Puja or worshipping Goddess Kali, the war Goddess and the Goddess often associated with excess power, ghostsand supernatural acts.

 

Did you know about Mahavir Nirvan Diwas?

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fanush, flying lantern, debarshi duttagupta, calcutta, kolkata
flying lantern, calcutta, debarshi duttaguptaflying lantern, calcutta, debarshi duttagupta
The flying lantern event was like a mini Kolkata Photography Club gathering, many of whose photographs I follow and have learnt from. I saw photographs last year and this year, I asked for an invitation for myself :D ..and took Saimantick with me.
Diwali at Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata, nun, diwali
asmita nandy, asmita nandi, asmita diwali, Diwali at Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata, nun, diwali
I wish I could spend some more time with them. I took a friend Rajatabha with me. He seemed fascinated and he appreciates the initiative to spend time with the children and nuns of Missionaries of Charity. He said he has personally conveyed his regards to Asmita. Another very small incident happened that touched both Rajatabha and me. Koustav bought a chocolate for a girl on the footpath. The girl did not run away taking the chocolate. She actually smiled and said a “Thank you”. Well, we all had smiles on our faces.
I am happy as long as my friends are happy and smiling. Both Saimantick and Rajatabha seemed very happy, (Koustav কে দেখে কিছুই বোঝা যায়ে না। আমার মনে হয়ে ওরও ভালোই লেগেছে।) ..and I seem to be the happiest person.

Rajatabha Ray, Missionaries of Charity
Photograph: Rajatabha Ray

 

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I’ll add a few photographs to this blog post sometime later today. Bhai Phonta time, you see.
How was your Diwali?