Park Street has been renamed Mother Teresa Sarani. Did you know that? Do you care? I love Mother Teressa, but, Park Street will stay Park Street to me and to most Park Street lovers, no matter how much we are indebted to Mother Teresa. After all, you associate the street with everything gay (oops, not referring to Section 377 here), and the Holy Mother stands for selfless service. No connection, if you ask me. But Mamata Banerjee’s regime has been taking a hard look at everything in Kolkata and visibly trying to change its general perception. At least, tourism is being given a big boost across the state. And so, we were pleasantly surprised to find Park Street (I will stick to calling Park Street, Park Street) not only all decked up for Christmas ( by the way, Kolkatans fondly refer to Christmas as Bodo Din) and New Year in its usual tradition, but also hosting music concerts, food carnivals, carol singing….Wow!! This made sense, considering the millions of people who stroll down this famous street every Christmas.
Strolling down Park Street during Christmas: There is no breaking this tradition if you are in Kolkata at this time of the year. The beautiful lightings will bowl you over. Stay wide-eyed.
Note the traffic restrictions if you are there on the 25th of December or 31st December. Our taxi driver told us that on both these evenings, the street is closed to vehicles from 7.30 pm to midnight. If you ask me, simply take a cab/taxi. The parking and ‘no entry’ problems won’t harass you that way.
Food Festival @ Park Street during Christmas: The tourism department of Bengal has, since the past 3 years, been holding a food carnival in the pavements of Park Street. Choose from Sandwiches, pastas, confectioneries, Christmas cakes, pastries, momos, chowmein etc of reputed names such as Flurrys, Chawlas, Golden Spoon and more. An awesome choice for those who can’t get a seat at the Moulin Rouge, Peter Cat, Trincas….
Music @Allen Garden in Park Street during Christmas: We were pleasantly surprised when a lady at one of the food stalls told us about the music concert that is being organized at Allen Garden. We could already hear Usha Uthup singing “Shan se..”. O yes, we were in her territory!! Bhoomi, Hip Pocket with Rila Banerjee, The Saturday Night Blues Band and Orient Express too have been lined up for the week.
Season’s greetings!! Have a wonderful week ahead.. 🙂