Calcutta has become the home of LED light art. Every Festival, mind you we have many, the main streets are decked with lights as if an installation is being created on the streets. The city that usually goes back home by nine and sleeps by ten, finds a burst of activity on such occasions. The first was Durga Puja, then Kali Puja followed by Id and Chatth puja. Come festival and you can be sure that some arterial road would be blocked.
On Christmas it was Eliot street and Park Street. Eliot street is home to St. Pauls Cathedral and it closed by 4:00 pm on Christmas. Park Street is where the sea of humanity, a major part of a highly populated city of a highly populated country, descends to “see the lights”. The second vocation of all Bengalis is eating. Kakori kababs , puchkas and jhalmuri compete with plum cakes, Christmas mince pies and turkey pies on this street alone.
I must appreciate efforts of the local Kolkata Police. They barricaded two ways along the street, one way up and the other down. I wondered if any entertainment happened in the open space between the barricades.
“None today” said a friendly policeman on duty, ” Everyone just goes straight up, eats from the stalls or the restaurants, then turns around and goes back.
We did exactly that; picking up a parcel from Flurrys, a well known tea shop; before leaving the street with moments always to cherish.