domingo, 15 de março de 2009


Bom dia Alegria!

I'm back to Portugal, and thus writing in English for those who I already miss enormously! I still have Indian stories to share, so here it goes! (I don't write in "the language I most spoke in Kolkata" only because my written SPANISH is outrageous! ;))

On Sunday 8th, we took some children of Daya Dan to KFC on Park Street! It was really great... they were so happy, so excited... It really felt good to see them like that. By the way, it was also amazing to see THE QUANTITY OF FOOD these little creatures managed to eat!!

Afterwards, I took the afternoon off to go for a walk - guided by Eva - to a place in Kolkata's south east area, near Salt Lake. As Eva told us, it was a really nice place to see, a place in the city but near a little lake, with much more "green sights" and peace!

And she was right! The afternoon was gorgeous and I was really happy to see such a place before leaving... As usual, my companions were, besides Eva, Marta and Ladislas! :)

Near the "lake", was a little slum inhabited by peasants. We entered a little street where speakers sang out loud a song (probably a prayer) that accompanied us all afternoon. On the street - with no traffic, no horns nor crows and relatively clean - we saw women walking and playing with their children, combing their hair... smiling!

Most of all, life in that place was quiet and calm, there was no rush, no overcrowded side walks. We could walk at ease and see the people and look at the view! We could pass by those women, smile and say "hello" and they smiled and "welcomed" us (quite different from the usual long and silent staring).

This place was filled with peace, music, green, colors and... SMILES! It's as if the rush and noise of the city that surrounds this marvelous place was unable to actually enter in it.

On one side of the street, was a river (incredibly polluted or, to be correct, in the Kolkata standard state). This sight reminded me of Dominique Lapierre's description of the City of Joy.

The afternoon was really great... thank you Eva!! :)

The week started on Monday with the word spread that "HOLI" was coming! The Holi or "festival of Colors " as it's also known, is a nationwide event celebrated by Hindus in which, as the name suggests, COLOR is praised!
Although I was happy to be able to see it, since the festival was going to occur on Wednesday, my last day in Kolkata, it was also quite disturbing. Actually, the Sisters told us that the festival could be dangerous since most Hindus, with all the drinking and enthusiasm of the celebrations did not only "paint" every person they saw but also got quite provocative and abusive, specially with female foreigners... So basically, we - I - was asked not to go to work nor go on the streets... on my last day! :s

I put that matter aside and decided to enjoy the days I had left... And many people helped me! On that same day I had the best "trip" to Kalighat ever! We sang and danced IN THE SUBWAY and all the way to Kalighat!

On Tuesday, I went to Kalighat for the last time... The afternoon went well but my eyes were close to tears many times and I left the house really moved. It was so hard to say goodbye to these women who touched me in so much ways during this time. I missed them already...
But sadness was not on the order of the day: Tuesday was also Juan's birthday, his dinner (which was also my last dinner) was waiting for us.

And what a dinner! We were many as were the food and deserts... Juan entered a bakery and went totally crazy buying as much cakes as the people who were expected to show up!

Meanwhile Marta also gave us a Capoeira demonstration which all loved...

I really had the greatest time, eating, talking, joking, laughing... ENJOYING the moment and the FANTASTIC PEOPLE THAT KOLKATA GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW!

In the end of all this, Juan and I also received gorgeous gifts...

Thank you for this night, for the "card" and for every day in your GREAT COMPANY!

2 comentários:

  1. Ia,
    Parabéns pela experiência! ;)
    Em português ou em inglês, sinto-me em Kolkata com as tuas descrições!
    Um beijinho do fundo do coração!

  2. minha querida ia, q saudades tenho! q falta fazes aqui, q grande seca e dormir sozinha...todos sentimos a tua falta e falamos de ti amiga...! Peter ja foi embora, juan tambem e esta semana vao Rhino e Mark.. foram dias de despedidas atras de despedidas..uma pena! Mas a verdade e que outros voluntarios virao...claro nunca tao bons como estes! Estou a trabalhar na estacao..agora tem estado bastante calmo, ainda so levei um paciente para kalighat. Mas tambem faltei alguns dias porque, como nao sou especial, tb fiquei doente. Nada de grave, mas chato! Tinhas realmente razao, pois apesar de sentir muito tua falta, companhia nao me falta!E o tempo passa a voar.. estou mt bem! Nao tenho ido a kalighat por ter estado doente. A telugu esta com sarna e mais triste! Mas depois doute mais noticias quando estiver mais actualizada.. Espero que estejas bem queridinha, e com mta alegria tambem nesse trabalho que, apesar de nao tao exotico, merece toda tua dedicacao! Mt obrigada pois minhas amigas e joao receberam tudinho...ficaram felizes com a surpresa!
    Mts mts beijinhos, Marta
    PS - Ja comecei a ler city of joy:)