A day goes by in a blink of an eye! But sometimes isn’t that quite enough to capture a moment in time and lock the entire cityscape in a frame. That’s exactly what I did in my small trip to Kolkata from Bombay. With my little Go pro handy it is so easy to do the traveller’s thing while on the go. But this trip was not just about me or my Go pro or simply covering any travel story. This trip was immensely special to me. I was going to see my younger sister Himani again. Last time she had gone under a major surgery while she was in Mumbai. It was nearly six months after the surgery I was going to see her. And more than that she had bid her goodbyes to her medical university in abroad and had just landed in Kolkata as a glorious doctor. Next day was her MCI entrance examination at TATA Gitobitan which she had been preparing since last 2 years.
I wanted to be there for her most important examination and support her. I took a midnight flight to Kolkata to start my day early in the city. I boarded my flight at 2: 30 AM from Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai. While flying I peeked ou of the window, it was 4: 00 AM and the sky started to turn blissfully brighter and brighter. I landed in Kolkata by 5: 00 AM and it was as sunny as it is at 9: 00 AM in Mumbai. It was the first time I was travelling so light. I came only with my handbag as I would be returning next day escorting my sister back home and her luggage was definitely more than the travel limit.
I checked the time it was 5 30 AM and I was still loitering inside the airport like a lost child trying to capture cool facades of the airport for my Instagram stories. My phone suddenly rings. It was a video call from Himani, She asked me where are you? I said Kolkata! See you at your hotel in 10 minutes! Her face lightened up! She had been waiting for me from past 2 days in Kolkata. But what was even more beautiful is we are going to be living together from now. We had been away from more than 6 years now. And our lives changed so much in this period. These 24 hours in Kolkata were like a meltdown transition period of our lives. And the best life update is I now will have my favourite company!
I booked an OLA to Salt Lake City that is where I had booked the hotel for Himani and her best friend Charity. The hotel was 2 minute walk away from her centre TCS GITOBIAN. I wanted to make sure she is in the utmost comfort to give her exam. I reached the hotel. Charity opens the door. I have spoken to Charity so many times over video calls and messages and she knows almost everything in my life as much as she knows about Himani. I hugged them both. I noticed Himani had lost even more weight after surgery and had deep dark circles from studying more than 15 hours a day. The hotel room was way too quiet. Two doctors were studying, trying to revise everything they had learnt in the past six years. I had so much to speak to them but I did not want to disturb. I quietly updated my Instagram while they studied. By 7: 00 AM we went for buffet breakfast. Oh Shit! They have pancakes today! Himani remembered how much I love pancakes and English breakfast. It was my first meal in Kolkata with my most favourite company.
We went back to the room.I slept till 12: 00 pm trying to get back some sleep from the last night! My mother had sent packed lunch for them. Himani’s favorite masala fried bhindi and fried brinjals.I went back to sleep and when I woke up again I realised why from past few days I have been immensely feeling the power of universe and the law of attraction as they say it. It is so astonishing to experience the delicate balance of this universe. I really believe in the good karma by my very own personal experiences in life. Every emotion of love, courage, loyalty, trust, comfort you give always in some or the other form comes back to you. If I roll back to time six months ago I remember how Charity helped me go through the tough time when Himani was hospitalised. She kept hosting prayers in the church and helped Himani heal and when the test reports were to come, in that freaked out moment her texts of positivity helped me get through. Today I see her studying, worried what tomorrow beholds for her. I felt grateful to realise that today this is my moment, my chance to do everything in my bit to give that comfort and positivity to her as well.
Salt lake City is an IT hub of Kolkata. You will see almost all the multinational companies in their shining glory amongst the sky. It was 5 30 pm I wore my sneakers, grabbed my Go Pro and went to check where TCS GITOBITAN was. We were suppose to be their at 7: 00 AM sharp next morning for the big day so I thought I go on the recky in the night. Google map showed 5 minutes by walking distance! Perfecto! I clicked every beautiful building I saw in my stroll around the lanes. I came back to hotel with roasted bhutta that one bengali lady sold it to me. Kolkata apparently has its own vibe when I compare it to other metro cities of the nation. You will experience a local warmth in the city. The cultures are rich and the accent of the locals kind of touches you heart. The only bengali people I conversed in my short trip was my hotel staff, bhutta vendor lady, moma wala and ola drivers. you just cannot miss the heart warming accent of localites.
So when I reached back to the hotel we decided to sleep early. Since it was a big day next day. We went to the rooftop restaurant for dinner in our hotel. We ordered lemon- butter garlic flavoured grilled fish with mashed potatoes and virgin mojito , cranberry juice. The poolside dinning with a spectacular city view was everything that we needed to delish in that moment. When we came back to the room, something that i have started to do these days, we prayed together and went to sleep.
Next day we were early birds. Himani and Charity went for their exam. While they were inside the TCS I kept capturing the city for my CITYSCAPE series. After her exam we had to rush to the airport to catch our flight back to Bombay. However please note their is an amazing momo vendor at Sec 5 at Salt Lake City right opposite TCS building that you definitely need to try. Himani bought 3 packets of those momos while on the way to the airport. After the security check in eating momos was the first thing we did and in that moment Himani and me realised it was going to be our first time- flying together. We tried to sleep in the turbulent flight and made it through holding each others hands like good sisters. These 24 hours in Kolkata were like a meltdown transition period for both of our lives. Kolkata adds to my favourite life update and that is because I brought back home my favourite company! Welcome home my dearest sister! Life is million times better with you! Lets make memories!
#HimaniSwatiForever #xoxo #Love
Below are some post card worthy shots of Kolkata Cityscape I captured using Go Pro Hero 5.
An ArchAttire Production
Story: Swati Sharma
Shot on: Go Pro Hero 5 /I phone X
Location: Salt Lake City, Kolkata