A foggy day, in London town
Had me low, had me down
I viewed the morning, with much alarm
British Museum, had lost its charm
How long I wondered,
Could this thing last
But the age of miracles, hadn’t past
For suddenly, I saw you there
And through foggy London town,
The sun was shining everywhere
Fred Astaire’s memorable 1937 song could well be used to describe the mood of Kolkatans this winter. You see Kolkata, this year, has seen temperatures plunge to lows not seen in decades. Kolkatans, already notorious for their phobia for any climate remotely cold, brought out their woolens with a vengeance! Department Stores ran out of stock of winter clothes, before you could spell w-i-n-t-e-r.
On top of that, the New Year in its wake brought a heavy fog cover everyday early morning. This became and still is a hot (or should it be cold?) topic of discussion and the local newspapers covered it regularly. One morning I came across an awesome photograph of the fog and it inspired me so much that I decided go out one morning to click photographs of the early morning activity at Maidan.
The Maidan (literally open field), is one of the largest urban parks in Asia, housing among others, the famous Eden Gardens stadium and the Victoria Memorial. It is a vast stretch of field. The homesick British rulers apparently wanted something to remind them of Hyde Park in London (I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this story)!
So, one Sunday I woke up shivering at 4:30 a.m. and was off to Maidan. Parking my car at Park Street, I walked to the Maidan area and started clicking. Here are some of the photographs of the Sunday morning activity at the Maidan.
The cold and the heavy fog was no deterrent for these kids, who had gathered to play Cricket. St. Paul’s Cathedral is in the backdrop.
Click, click go the mobile phone cameras, as the youngsters wait for the Cricket match to start.
The vast open space of the Maidan is perfect for people wanting to learn how to ride a motorbike, one of the most common forms of transportation in India.
And then, there are the numerous morning walkers…some in groups….
….and some solitary.
The fog started dissipating and “the sun was shining everywhere”. I was so engrossed and happy clicking pictures that I hadn’t realized couple of hours had already passed.
It was time to head back home.