Well this column is for those café-hopping, nightclub regulars and the ones who generally drive their cars with all the four windows up. We know the joy of a luxurious date in a five star café followed by a long drive in your air-conditioned car is the definition of a regular date for you. But even you know that the real charm of a quality moment with your ‘loved one’, or that ‘special memory’ has more often than not happened by chance instead of a carefully coordinated date. So, long story short, with each issue we plan to bring to you a well thought out yet unpredictable date for you at easily a quarter of the cost of a regular date.
This time we make you take the underground metro, the tram and the hand-pulled rickshaw, read on to know more…
Old Calcutta is enjoyed best on foot as you will spend most of your time finding a spot to park your vehicle. So the convenient mode of transportation is to take the nearest underground metro and meet your date at Esplanade metro station, gate no. 2.
Once united at gate no.2, a brisk walk will take you to the Esplanade tram depot where you are supposed to take the next no.1 or 5 tram to college street. The ride will take you through the bustling traffic of esplanade through the ever crowded Chandni market and the clatter of the wellington hardware shops. And yes that’s when you’ll be thanking us for having convinced you to not take your car.
Alight from the tram in front of Calcutta University. Oh and don’t forget to pay the tram conductor Rs. 10 for the both of your tickets.
A 100 meter walk after getting down from the tram along Surya Sen street; which means you’ll be crossing Umesh Chandra college which will be on your right; will bring you to the legendary Kalika at 29 Surya Sen Street. Now Kalika is a place where they have been serving a clutch of different kinds of chops for over half a century now, and it is to wonder what has been their trade secret, as even today they sell out within a few hours and the glass box containing the mouthwatering fried delicacies have to be refilled with a new set every few minutes to keep up with the demand.
The different variety of chops they serve include the mundane aloo chop to the uber bekti fish chop.
It actually feels like a buffet of chops waiting to be consumed, leaving one in a dilemma, for every single one of them seem tasty, and so they are. They also have a variety of cutlets- mutton & chicken, and also fish fry.
Well, after the chop bonanza it’s time you give your taste buds a rest and quench your thirst at the oldest sherbet place in town. Introducing the way beyond introduction haven at 1D, Bankim Chatterjee Street, College Square, College Street, Kolkata- Paramount Sherbets & Syrups.
The history of this place dates back to the early 1900’s. This shop for sherbets was started way back in 1918, with the name Paradise, at College Square, during the British Raj in India. Later in 1936 the name was changed to Paramount. Many Swadeshi activists like Subhash Chandra Bose, Meghnad Saha, Kazi Nazrul Islam and many more had their meeting venues here, and with those crucial meetings developed the sale of sherbets.
Try out the “Dub Sherbet” if you’re confused what to order. A very simple but nutritious and worthy drink. It is basically made of coconut water specially brought from Basirhat, some sweeteners and a thin flesh of the green coconut punched together to produce something which fills out your thirst, give you the energy for your journey back home.
The Ride Back Home.
After such an intensive date with rustic Calcutta what other better way of ending it than taking one of its oldest mode of transportation back home. Yes, we are talking about the legendary hand-pulled rickshaws of Calcutta. Give your date the royal feeling of being a colonial era princess on this vehicle of the bygone days. An elaborated bargain with the rickshaw puller can get you a ride all the way to New Market for Rs.60. After a stint at street shopping, you can take the metro back home with your date!
With inputs from Lahari Basu