Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ok, children now write an essay abt your trip to the zoo 

A trip was made to the Kolkata Zoo - after almost a decade. Now the present generation with all their malls, multiplexes, fast food joints and game parlors don't know what the zoo meant for us. I grew up at a time when every city of India had 1-2 major sight seeing spots and the Zoo was the definitive weekend hangout spot in Kolkata. Sunday mornings would see loooong unending queues of determined visitors outside the swiveling doors of Alipore where peanut sellers and straw hat salesmen lured waiting visitors. A half an hour wait was commonplace. And then we would enter. Uncles, aunts, cousins, friends ... We young ones would carry a truckload of cricketing gear; the colorfully dressed up moms would bring a truckload of mouth watering edibles; and the dad's would come prepared with a truckload of their childhood stories along with well chalked out plans for the day.

The trip to the tiger enclosure was a must. That was usually followed by a visit to the two cute elephants who loved being fed peanuts. There was also the highly popular Children's Zoo that boasted of a baby elephant. There was a time when I actually knew the names of the animals in the zoo (Rangini the Tiger, was a favorite); it was also a time when I boasted of knowing the difference between the tigon and the litigon and could rattle the scientific name of the red butted baboon.

Ten years have passed by. The zoo, now, is a distant reflection of what it used to be. The children's zoo is gone and so are the children. The place looks battered. Poor couples who cannot afford the lofty prices of multiplex darkness make out in obscure corners. The tigers looked underfed - so much so that I even volunteered to offer my sister as meal (but it turned out that the hungry beasts had good taste) :) The BJP had a rally in the city and many of the volunteers who had landed up in the city for the first time were brought to the zoo as part of their welcome political package. Maybe some of them will stay back and return next week as part of another party's rally. A tea seller followed us for a while, reading out fresh delicacies that hadn't been touched in weeks. Even the Himachal State Apple Juice stall, a childhood favorite of mine, was gone. The hoarding was there, but the fascinating spherical juice maker and the huge crowd in front of it was gone.

We left soon to play a game of pool, a relatively newer pastime for the City Of Joy. As I reminisced abt the countless knocks of sheer cricketing brilliance that I've played in those premises, my sister expressed her apathy towards the projection of the zoo as a city heritage. Her boy friend regaled at the result of our game of pool. My father kept calling up to find out if we were safe. It was very different from those childhood trips to the zoo. One generations delight is another generations boredom. Hmmmm!

Hmmm.. the Zoo is, perhaps the single greatest invention that used to keep all of us happy... The reason why the culture of visiting the zoo is long gone, me thinks is because the people are tired of seeing reflections of themselves in the place that they go to!!!

Nishchoi!!! dekha korai jak... would try to contact u...

Love, laughter n keep the Faith

No more childrens zoo!!!??? Thats...so sad!! Is the tigon still there? I distinctly remember being terrified of it. And you are right, I offered to take my sister to the zoo when we go to Cal later this month, and I cannot desribe the look of supreme disdain she gave me...and said something that sounded like a "hrrmph". I am now feeling rather old :(
Baba - koto sentu!

But sar, why is there not happening a blogmeet to celebrate your arrival?
hey!! your blogs are back finally!!:) so, having a nice time in cal??:)
Yeah, I remember Alipore zoo. A cousin of mine lived in Alipore. We visited them whenever we went to Kolkata because it guaranteed us a trip to the zoo!
Recently my parents visited the zoo, and we (kids) were surprised. They said, they want to check it out before they took the grand kids out.
Student Excursion Tour, Student Group Tour, Student Travel Tours, Student Travel Tour Groups Comment Thanks for sharing good information !
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