Gangtok, April 12, 2009 – Day 2 – On The Train to Kolkata

By | October 31, 2009

VacationsGangtok, April 2009Day 1Day 3

I suppose it is the uncomfortable berths but I always wake up very early in trains. The fact that most people are asleep and I can brush my teeth without cheerleaders also seems important somehow.

Anyway, here I am, up nice and early, teeth as clean as they will get on a train. Everybody else is asleep. The sun is up though the drawn curtains don’t let in much light. I have always had a fascination for staring out the window of a speeding train, a pleasure that my kids don’t seem to know exists. My daughter, Mamli, would rather read a book and my son, Bablu, would rather play a game on my mobile or watch a movie on it. I suppose they just aren’t used to the fun part of travelling yet. I did a lot of travelling with my parents and sister when I was a child but between Padmaja’s and my job, we don’t get to take a vacation often.


So much for pleasant early morning thoughts!

Here is today’s first photo, taken through the window of the train with my Sony Ericsson P1i in burst mode and then resized on the phone.

Photo taken from Falaknuma Express early in the morning.

Chilika Lake, Odissa, April 12, 2009, Day 2, 09.15 am

Photos of Chilika Lake taken from Falaknuma Express.


Odissa, April 12, 2009, Day 2, 11.00 am

We arrived in Bhubaneswar almost on time. My parents have come to the station with lunch and I am sure Odiya sweets. My mother only has sweet teeth, not just a sweet tooth! My mother-in-law was also there with Upma, Allu chop (another Odiya invention the Marathas stole and renamed Vada, as in vada-pao) and Mallai chop, a sweet made with cottage cheese like most other Odiya sweets.

The bengalis also have a liking for sweets but they don’t have a culinary tradition like the Odiyas. Rassagollas for example were first cooked in the city of Puri almost a thousand years ago. Odissa has a culinary tradition as old as the land, going back to the days of Ashoka and beyond. There is mention of Kalinga in the Ramayana. Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia were settled by Odiya traders sailing with the Monsoons.

The kids have munched through most of the food my mother-in-law had brought. No dent in the supplies from my parents yet. Maybe in another hour or so. After that crash off the few hours it will take to reach Calcutta.

Mamli On Train, April 12, 2009, Day 2, 3.11 pm

Mamli engrossed in a third reread of the last Harry Potter – The Deathly Hallows.


A Bengali Village, April 12, 2009, Day 2, 3.15 pm

Falaknuma Express stopped outside a small village in Bengal. A large crowd of men, women and children quickly gathered to gape.