The last day of the boi mela fell on a Sunday, the forenoon of which is when all good Bengalis (god bless their collective souls) are busy contemplating a good Sunday lunch; I, the early bird, zoomed off to the boi mela and reached the gate at 12, when I was ushered in. And viola! The entire boi mela to myself and (to be perfectly honest) a couple of hundred other early birds but there was so much of the book fair per person that I could be forgiven in thinking that I was alone.
Stall owners were opening the shutters or collapsible gates, setting up books and other wares in and around the stalls.
Ah! I even went to the favorites – Ananda & Dey and did not have to queue up (that alone is like the 8th wonder of the world). I sauntered in, browsed, picked up books and even conversed with the owners about books, prices, discounts, life in general…
Two hours of strolling around the Milan Mela grounds and several books later, I walked out of Gate 3 and upto the main road wherever I was taken aback at the sight of maybe a million crossing over from the Science City side and rushing in through Gate 1.
As I crossed over to the other side which was no problem at all (god bless Kolkata Police) there was a minibus waiting on the other side which I boarded and took the only seat available! The good bus conductor told me to get off at Park Circus Tram Depot from where I could take an auto – and there indeed was one auto waiting which then dropped me off at Ballygunje Phanri where I got into another auto which just happened to saunter along and was home in no time...
tucking into a good meal of Dal, bhat and Mach Bhaja!
The post siesta evening cha
and the company of my many book!