I’ve a lot to say. Let me try organising my thoughts.
24th evening till 25th December midnight – was some crazy time. Not as crazy as my Maha-Kumbh experience, but just next to it.
And now, what was so crazy?
I was in my office, worked the entire time from 11:30 AM till 4:30 PM, without break.. My eyes were paining, and the team was celebrating Christmas. A little bit of work after that and I left the office at 6:20 PM. Caught hold of a cab and made my way to Bow Barracks. Met Soumya Shankar Ghoshal and his friends.
There, Santa Claus came at near 7:15 PM. The Santa Claus came on a Hand Pulled Rickshaw, distributed gifts to children. I couldn’t get a “Photograph” and am content with just a snapshot. The “photographer”s there pushed the children back (for whom this was all arranged) to take photographs.
I had a long talk with Soumya da after a long time. Tried getting back home, but somewhere deep down – did not feel like coming back home. Went back to Bow Barracks, when the “photographers” were not around, played with few kids. Followed one kid, whose name is Kaif. He wanted to go for a ride and I was so okay with it, then he wanted a toy.. and I became a Santa Claus (Without costume), gifted few balloons to children around. It felt SO GOOD!
But somewhere I felt, spending the night alone is not a good idea. There I met a photographer Shanu Ghosh (and he photographs good) who thought me to be a local boy. Had exchange of words and views.. and we both decided to photograph the entire night.
We started walking from Bow Barracks to Esplanade to Park Street. Went to CCD. Then rushed to the St Paul’s Cathedral (again walking), Shanu da had press card. I did not. (Although he did not show to the security), and I walked in with my attitude, like a BOSS and no one stopped me. (Thank Almighty for it. The queue to enter the church was a kilometre long I believe.). While Shanu da got happily lost photographying around, I knew I can not manage anything more than just Cliches. I spend the time seeing the church service. But somewhere there, I fell sleep. Woke up after an hour and discovered that the church was shutting itself. Went in, talked to the father.
Came out. Knew that I am alone. Was telling God, “Get me someone who will keep walking and talking.”.
Well, I saw someone like Venugopal Menon. He came right in front of me. ..and I was like “Ve-nu–Gopal?”. Well.. Had tea with him and the 6 other children whom he was talking to. Started walking from the church, kept on listening to Venu ji. He asked me to run away from home, state to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. Then possibly one year tour in European cities. I was like – YES.
Was on one of the footpaths of Park Street near the Tea Junction, sitting and listening to Venu ji. I told God, “I want some one to listen to him as well. More people please. Good things should not be taken alone, we should share it… send someone.”. And Damn!! moments after, Shanu da came from the left, spotted me. I was more than happy to welcome him and make him sit beside me.
Near Park street Fly over. Near 4:30 am.
I don’t know what struck us, we started walking towards Maidan again. We listened to Venu ji. We sang. Had tea. We listened to Venu ji. We sang. We photographed. We had tea again. And woah! we reach Victoria at 5:15 am. All these while we were listening to Venu ji and sang and photographed, time flew.Tried to take photographs of the misty maidan at 5:30 am.. Took our time out to visit Victoria after the sun rise. Was lecturing a brother and sister, when I realised Koustav, Achira and Aishwarya were supposed to meet me at 7:30 am. Went out.
We visited St. James’s Church, Mother House, St. Andrews’ Church and then St. John’s Church.
I need to speak about the St. Andrews Church. For the first time I attended one Christmas sermon. It felt so divine. I sang the hymns, remembered my school, Mr Rodricks. I had goosebumps. I was all emotional at the Lord’s prayer. I have no words to explain that. I miss my school and the morning prayers. I miss the assembly. I miss the celebrations. :'(
Maidan, Shot at 5:40 am.
I loved these kids. There were awesome and very friendly.
I got back home at 1:30 PM. Went out again with Sayan, then met Shilpa di, Sumantro, Asmita and Pradipta da. Had fun!
Shanu da met me for the first time and I promise must be abusing me inside his mind. I did not let him go back home and my arguments were like – “Bari phire ke kon din boro hoyeche?” “Biye toh koroni, baari giye ki hobe?” “Snan kore ke kon din boro hoyeche?” .. Unconditional and public apologies to him. I was extremely childish and stupid.
I’ll leave you with few photographs.
Shot at St. John’s Church, Kolkata.
Shot at St. James’ Church, Kolkata.
Shot at St. Paul’s Cathedral Church, Kolkata.
Shot at St John’s Church and at Mother’s house.
At Mother’s house, Kolkata.
Auto awesomeness by Google+ 😀 Shot at St. Andrews’ Church.