It is time to catch up and to bring this blog closer to up-to-date. At least to the end of April 2013.
I made a break from cycling and lived almost two month in Auroville. I put up my tent in a bamboo forest near Infinity, a small farm, and lived a simple and carefree life. Close to nature, no running water, no electricity, cooking on fire. A small paradise. But this is another story, I will tell you sometime.
I decided to take a train from Chennai in South India to Kolkata in the north. I was very lucky to get a train ticket for the next day; normally they are booked out for weeks on main routes like that. And I also managed to put my cycle on the same train, though it wasn´t easy: The man at the luggage counter told me, “No problem, come with your cycle at 4 pm”, (the train was supposed to leave at midnight).
So I went there at four, they told me it is too early, I should come back at seven. At seven they said,” It´s too late, why didn´t you come at four like I told you yesterday?” I was confronted with a crabby South Indian Railway employee, who didn´t want to help me, not at any price. “Just leave your cycle here, maybe there is space on a train next week.”
No option for me, so what now? But experience tells me, for every problem there is a solution, and finally I managed it, with the help of a friendly porter, to put my cycle in the last little space which was available in the luggage compartment.
A short Impression from the 30 hour train ride can you see here. All what I say: It was hot, it was crowded, and it was exhausting:
In Kolkata I went to the Embassy of Bangladesh, and got a fifteen day visa without problems. My next Destination was set – Bangladesh.
But first some photos from Kolkata:
At the ghat
Kolkata – like every Indian city it is a busy and noisy turmoil of people, cars, bicycles, busses, cows, chicken and everything else. But in the middle of the city, directly in front of the Howrah train station there is a small ghat at the river hooghly. The slowly floating water takes away all noise and a small hindu temple gives the opportunity to praise the gods.
The people here – often the poorest of the poor – come to take a bath, wash their clothes or hanging around. Two children fishing with a magnet for coins, which worshippers had thrown into the river for good luck.
They have nothing to do, no job, often no home, nothing to expect, they are just waiting that the time pass by.
But maybe that is it, which makes the atmosphere at the ghat very calm and peaceful. It seems far away from the rest of Kolkata, but it´s just a few steps down.