Two whole weeks. In Calcutta. Good old Calcutta. Of parents and relatives and all, of course. The parents' part is great, especially with all the fish and scotch that comes with it. The relatives are, at best, an occupational hazard. Of being part of society and all that jazz. Plus, of course, there's Olympia, and the old set of committed, dedicated Olypubbers. There's Nahoum's in Hog Shaheb'er bajar also, and all the maccaroons and fudges and breads that are such an integral part of my Calcutta. There's Free School Street, which we missed for some reason this time around. But we managed to get to the Chinese shoe shops for Ajitha, a bit of time at Music World (next to Flury's), where we found subtitled CDs of Meghe Dhaka Tara and Komol Gandhar, we ate at Mainland China and Kewpie's (missed Porto Rio again), and picked up loads and loads of Ujjala'r chanachur.
And, we saw Bose: The Forgotten Hero. Why? I don't know. Primarily because Ajitha needed to be taken to Nondon. We haven't managed to get there in all these years of travelling home together. So we watched it. Hated it. But the theatre's as awesome as it always was. A bit rundown from lack of maintenance, but the ACs still awesome, and the screen's still the biggest in India. [The AC bit is important because Calcutta was sweltering at about 40-plus, to go with the usual sweat showers].
BOSE: THE FORGETTABLE FILM...
I know that's a bit of a cliched sort of sub-header, but it is rather apt. It was such a bad, bad, bad bad film. The actors were bad. Universally. The movie was three-and-a-half hours long. And could have been sorted out in less than two hours with all the content in place. Subhash emerged after three-and-a-half hours a petulant, spoilt man with a death wish. He emerged as someone who took off from a spurn from Mohandas KG, and went about doing stupid things between Afghanistan and Japan, with a stopover in Germany, incidentally, because the Russian embassy wouldn't let him enter, and the door to the German embassy in Afghanistan was across the road, and had just a guard. Historical accuracy or inaccuracy is another matter altogether. As a film, it was terrible. And made worse - along with all the stuff already mentioned - with refrains of Ghoom parani mashi, pishi and Ekla cholo re every once in a way. The first, whenever SCB's mother was shown or mentioned or remembered; the second, whenever someone told SCB that they can't be of any assistance to his moronic plans.
Anyway, those three-and-a-half hours aside, it was a wonderful stay. And I had fish every single day: Pabda, Parshe, Topshe, Ilish, Loitta...and Rui of course. Plus there was Ma's awesome pork achaar.
And then, the days ran out, and it was back to normal here in Delhi.