• Sonali Awasthii

My First Visit to Kolkata - The City of Joy

Last year on the 19th of October at 2:15 a.m., I reached the Indira Gandhi International Airport (in Delhi) to catch my flight for Kolkata. I felt both excited and nervous as I had never traveled on my own before then. I was dressed in a blue tee and a plazo to feel comfortable throughout the journey. At first, I wanted to catch a flight in the daylight to get the amazing view of the clouds; as I had expected a dull sight of the ground below at night. But the darkness of the hour had its own beauty. The glimmering city lights appeared like diamonds scattered by an angel on earth.

After almost two hours, I reached my destination. I was feeling terrified and nervous to walk from the runway into the airport building all alone yet I gird myself to get started off with my adventure. I immediately completed some official paper work, hailed a cab and headed off to explore the tourist spots in the city. Since I had to catch my flight back to Delhi the same day, I could only visit the places nearby the airport.

Visiting Victoria Memorial

The beauty of the architecture of Victoria Memorial is far-famed which makes it one of the best places to visit in Kolkata. So, I decided to go there first. Made up of white Makrana marble and encircled by beautiful gardens, this museum is constructed in the memory of Queen Victoria. I could see couples having a great time there, clicking photos and beholding the amazing structure of the place.

However, the weather was unbearably hot and humid which made it impossible for me to stay on its outer area for long. I asked someone there to click some photographs of mine and then moved into the inner part of the museum. The place has 25 galleries with breathtaking pictures, oil paintings, sculptures and other such antique articles associated with great people from the history like W. Emerson, Shakespeare, etc. One of the most fascinating things here is the Achkan jacket and a lock of hair of Tatya Tope. It is undoubtedly one of the most enthralling places in the city.

Visiting New Town Eco Park

After exploring the beauty of the museum, I hopped in another cab at 3 p.m. and decided to visit Eco Park which is also a famous tourist place in Kolkata. When I told the driver about my drop location, the young man revealed that he was from Bihar and it was his first day of driving in the city and so; he was as unfamiliar with the route as I was. Though he followed the instructions of the Google Maps, the route seemed to be so confusing that we were lost and would come back to square one each time. All that was happening did make us chuckle but it made me anxious also as I couldn't afford to waste my time. When I reached there after two hours, I couldn’t spend a lot of time in admiring the beauty of the park; I felt exhausted and was running out of time. However, I did enjoy a quick glimpse of the grasslands, the urban forest and the theme gardens. Moreover, the representation of all the seven wonders at Eco Park mesmerized me.

When I reached the airport, I spend the rest of my time in purchasing some stuff including the delectable Bengali sweet - sandesh. At sharp 8:45 p.m my flight took off and before midnight I was back in my city.

Though outwardly, my experience might not appear as something unusual to some people but those who have been apprehensive about being all by themselves in a new city for the first time, will definitely find my story relatable. For me it was a life changing experience that gave me a sense of independence and confidence that I can very well take care of myself.

I’m looking forward to more such trips where I would like to spend more time with just myself, fulfilling my venturesome urge and sharing my experiences with my readers.

Do let me know about some of your interesting experiences in the comments.

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