Thursday, December 9, 2010

Father/Son : tourists in their own city

In this post, I introduce a pint size blogger – my nearly 8 year old son – Guchee (ভাল নাম : Abhinav). This winter, my son (herein after referred to as Guchee)and I have taken upon ourselves to trek across the length and breadth of the city. We will eat lots of different types of food, meet people, see places, walk and ride through the city we love to call home. These posts will feature pictures taken and stories by my co-blogger ! Along the way each week we will try to be a good Samaritan. At least take up one small social task in our ambit to be responsible towards the community.


We will at least be going out once a week every week, this winter season. This past Sunday, Guchee and I woke up early and took warm showers. After a hearty breakfast of cereals, breads, boiled eggs and bananas, we got underway.

Destination: Red Road. Mission: Tram Ride. Guchee’s first ever ! Excitement was in the nippy morning air. We arrived on to Red Road in flat 25 minutes. Thanks to the blessedly merciful Sunday morning traffic. Thank heavens there weren’t any rallyists or lobbyists on the street, exercising their constitutional right! Just as we arrived, we missed 2 trams, one in either direction – to Esplanade and to Khidderpore. The next one would be at least a few minutes away !  We were in the company of the city’s lungs ‘The Maidan’ ! Despite the best(read worst) efforts of the government and others - we might be the last the generation (may be one more at best) to see the city breathe through it’s lungs. The green patch if I may call it, is just a wonderful relief beyond words and breaths !


While we were waiting for the next tram, we were greeted by a mixed herd of goat and sheep being herded by their shepherds. Didn’t we read somewhere ? ‘Lord is my shepherd !’


Lord answered our calls to send in the tram. A red one at that too !


Guchee’s joy knew no bounds. He was happy as a peach and all geared up for his first ride across town. We got up in the second class compartment of the tram. Here is a little trivia at that – the rear or the second tram coach has slightly different seating arrangements, has no fans, and the fare is cheaper by 50 paise. After all fans cost money :). Below is the tram journey in pictures.





Above is proof of the fact that we didn’t just hitch a ride, by looking all cute :) . We paid for it. Tickets have been saved off as souvenir by the little blogger. We took in the sights, sounds, and mild traffic snarls through our ride from Maidan to Khidderpore Tram Depot. There was plenty to catch Guchee’s imagination. I fielded many a questions by the inquisitive young lad, my son is growing up to be. The ride took about 25 mins. We relaxed on the way and saw the city pass us by.

The plan was to go all the way to the yards, and then take another tram back to where we had parked our car at. Near Maidan. The trams run every 15 mins even on Sundays. Impressive. We got off our second class compartment and got up on the same tram as it had turned around for it’s journey back to Esplanade. This time we got ourselves the premium first class compartment seats. A little indulgence wouldn’t hurt, we figured.


Here you can see the little champ teaming up with Ricky in selling Valvoline brand of engine oils. Clearly we know who the winner is, at least in the looks department :)


Guchee sneaked into the cockpit and picked up a thing or two about driving these beauties. We took our paired seats, second from the front.


Guchee and his old man, used the auto timer feature on the newly acquired N8 to perfection !

Next stop was BITM – Birla Industrial and Technological Museum on Gurusaday Road. Tis was a day of firsts, this would also be my co-blogger’s first trip to a museum. A lot was in store for the day. BITM was a pleasant departure from the rest of the city, where parking can be a nightmare and would require super-human skills to park your car into an area just big enough to park yourself ;-). This place has paid parking within their building. We drove straight in.




We walked up to the ticket window and after a brief pow wow decided on the exhibits we wanted to check out. The entry to the museum is priced at a paltry Rs. 15. Everything else is pretty reasonably priced too.

  • Science Miracle and Magic Show for 4-bucks-a-pop !
  • Light and Sound walking tour of the mock-up coal mine for 10-bucks-a-pop !
  • 3D movie – A turtle’s adventure 15-bucks-a-pop !

It was about 12:45 in the afternoon, and hunger had started to kick in. Our stomachs weren’t  quite growling yet, but it was work in process. The earliest show among the three shortlisted was at 2. Enough time to grab a bite ? Guchee concurred. We were only a stone’s throw and could almost smell the Chinese food from Mainland China – a Chinese eatery par-excellence ! Featured below is a gastronomic story told in pictures !

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Father and son were now happy campers, contented with the meal. It was 1:45 pm, only 15 mins to our show back at the museum. We walked fast-paced, almost jogged back to the museum.  Jogging with my son, makes me realize how old I really have become.

Back at the museum, some unique exhibits awaited us.



After these vintage beauties, it was time for the Science Magic and Miracle. Magic with or without science, never fails to bring a smile on a child’s face. But what made the museum trip worthwhile was the ‘Mock-up Coal Mine’ – only one of it’s kind anywhere in the country. We were led into a claustrophobic quasi-underground mine, by our tour guide; a chatty young woman !




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The coal mine was quite an experience and rather knowledgeable. Next stop, was at the 3D movie – ‘A turtle’s adventure’.


05122010471 Eyes wide open :)

Some of the other static exhibits are more technical in nature and probably for older kids, so we decided to call it a day and hopped back into our wagon and rode back !  Guchee was spent after the day out, and fell asleep on the ride back home.

I hate to give myself an Atta boy, but the moral of the story is – be a responsible Dad ! Take out some time from your busy schedule, this winter. And take your young one for a day out. Spend some quality time with your kid(s). As my wife says, NO – taking your kid to just Mc D’s does not count. Unfortunately the kids these days are either glued to the tv sets, or their play stations or mobile phones. And in some other cases are being overfed on a diet of mall visits. Wake up.  Go on and do something different ! I can bet money, your little one(s) is/are going to have a field day.


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