Part 2

December 14, 2006 at 6:34 am (Uncategorized)

The four of us made a run for the main road, where we were told we would get a cab to Balligunj Circular Road easily. Actually, we weren’t running. We were wading through knee-deep water!

This was kind of fun. What wasn’t so much fun, though, was the fact that there wasn’t a single cab to be found on the road. One chap in an Ambassador asked us for 150 bucks, and his license plate didn’t even have a yellow background.

We were screwed. We didn’t know which direction Balligunj was in, and there was no one on the road that we could ask! All we knew was that we had to go to Balligunj for dinner, and then to Mirza Ghalib Street to Hotel Green Star.

We walked into a lonely lane, where we found a cab! In broken Hindi, we told him where we wanted to go. He said we had to pay 10 bucks more than the meter charge. No problemo! We were soaked to the skin. We just needed to eat, and then sleep.

The moment we got into the cab, a chap walked up to the cab, yanked open the driver’s door, and threatened to have him beaten up. He accused the driver of refusing to take someone to some place. The driver denied these charges. The other chap told the driver that he was going to have him killed the next day, and then walked away.

The car waded through dark alleys and streets. The meter seemed to be ticking quite normally. We got a call from Mayank Kedia, one of the guys at Hotel Green Star, telling us that the guy at the hotel wanted to shut he hotel for the night. We told him we’d be there soon.

We got to an eatery at Balligunj and were just gorging on rotis and sabzi, when Mayank Kedia called again. I picked up, and informed him that we’d just started eating. He screamed at me saying that he wasn’t waiting for us, and that we could find our own accommodation. I handed over the phone to Squid Prabhu, who’d been handling the previous conversations with Mayank. Turns out that Mayank had organized food for us at the hotel, and was mad that we’d gone elsewhere to eat. The line was unclear, so Squid hadn’t heard when Mayank said he’d arranged food. Squid pacified Mayank and said we were coming pronto.

We gobbled the rest of the food and hopped into the waiting cab. It was still pouring. The driver didn’t know where Mirza Ghalib street was, so he spoke to the hotel owner for directions. The hotel owner screamed at him for coming to Balligunj. The driver explained that that was where he was told to go.

Finally, we reached Mirza Ghalib street. We waded into the hotel. There was no electricity. We were soaking wet, and so were our change of clothes. We did some chatting and hit the sack all wet at 2.

We woke up at 10 the next morning and spent the whole day in a musical shop, picking up musical instruments for our hall music room. We blew 92000 on one day! On the hall budget! It sure was fun!

At about 6 in the evening, Habba told us that all trains back to Kharagpur had been cancelled on account of the rains, and that buses weren’t safe. We took a bus to Howrah just to be sure. Habba was right. We were wondering what to do, when Kedia said there was a Mumbai Express train that we might be able to catch. Four of us went to get tickets, while the others went for a walk on the Howrah Bridge.

Out of the four of us, two of us waited at the booking counter, while two others went to the enquiry counter. In about half an hour (it was 9:30 now), we got a call from the two at the enquiry counter saying they’d got tickets on a train that left at 9:34, which was waiting on platform 21.

We made a run for it. The problem was, we couldn’t see a platform 21! We found out from some helpful passers-by that platform 21 was in the new station which was adjacent to the station we were in. We broke into a run. We hurriedly waded through not water, but hordes of people. We met the others in front of the train just as it was about to chug away. What an end to a most crazy trip!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: