So this is kind of old news, but I didn’t have time to quite finish my story for this week, so here we go. Also some random pictures including stories.
In this segment of Adventures with Auntie, we had a common problem within open-air Indian households: intruders. For this one, I will try to write through the lens of such intruder. Let us call him Monty.
On this particular full-moon evening, Monty was likely enjoying himself. He, roughly the size of a butterfly, was out and about picking-off a good helping from the bountiful monsoon insect harvest. As he fluttered past one of the higher apartments, he saw a very strange sight. A strange, six-foot something light-skinned creature tapping frantically on some glowing plastic device.
Monty thought so himself, “I must get a closer look at this creature, my furry friends will not believe me”.
So Monty decided to glide his way through the window and flew a few circles around the creature when, suddenly, it jumped and moved to a corner. Monty was intrigued by this action flew to a curtain to observe. The creature grabbed a towel of beautiful brown color and started to approach Monty. Shocked, Monty flew out just before he could be collected and took the high ground of the room, dodging fan blades and keeping a healthy distance from the lengthy creature. At this stage, a wide-eyed Indian woman entered and began sending soft, comforting calls. Monty became calm and decided to land on a bed. Just as he was getting comfortable, the wide-eyed Indian woman swooped in with a purple dustpan. He narrowly escaped once again, returning to his ceiling circling position. The wide-eyed Indian woman then instructed the creature to turn off the glowing tube in the wall. Seeing the creature blinded, Monty swooped in for a closer look. He landed softly on the creature’s right thigh and stared up at its face. When the switch was reverted the creature looked around its gaze finally met his own and for a moment, there seemed to be mutual understanding between the two of them. For a moment, Monty felt he had made a friend. This was quickly squelched once again by the soaring purple dustpan and he booked it for the window. Seeing it closed, Monty feared for his poor, leathery little self. To the rescue came a straight-haired Indian boy who calmly opened the window and coaxed Monty out the window. Having freed himself of the alien’s room, Monty took a quick selfie to confirm the sighting and merrily fluttered his way back to the gol park mango tree.
So you may be thinking to yourself, “Is this some sort of devil worshiping ceremony?” Well think again, I think.
On this particular day, I was feeling particularly adventurous. After walking random allies for a few hours, I came across Calcutta University. I really wanted to look inside the university which was founded in the mid-19th century, only one problem, it was surrounded by police vehicles. So what is a traveler to do? Go anyway, that’s what. So as I carefully moved through the grounds, I heard a commotion coming from the auditorium and decided to investigate. The atmosphere told me that I wasn’t supposed to be there (seemed exclusive), but I acted like I fit in and sneaked by the transfixed guards into the auditorium. I found a spot in the left corner of the box seats and kept a low profile. This show, whatever it was, looked like it was going to be good! After 15 minutes of waiting a woman came on stage and started thanking the Kolkata police force for their generous sponsorship and then quickly proclaimed.
“Welcome senior citizens of Kolkata! Are you ready for some fun!?”
This threw me off my guard a bit and as I slowly rotated my head around to look at the crowd I saw hundreds of slightly amused-looking senior citizens wielding small multi-colored flashlights. Not one person in the complex was a lick under 60, except the police officer purposely approaching me. Part of me was intrigued enough to hide and part of me would have been fine with being kicked out. As he got closer, I decided the later would be better, but, when he was just a few feet away, he asked me if I had a flashlight in Bengali, handed one to me and walked on.
I decided I might as well stick around and see the commotion for a while, and was treated to one of the most rowdy concerts I have ever seen. The lady was singing a lot of jazz and traditional Bengali songs, but in the middle of the second song some of the senior citizens arouse and began yelling out requests. This trend continued throughout the next 5 songs until I decided to leave due to being late for dinner. I handed off my flashlight to a surprised old lady and stealthy moved out of the building.