kash phool, kash flower, kans grass
Kash Phool

Navratri or Durga Puja one of the greatest religious festival for Hindu religion and when we say it as Durga pujo for bengali community then we get goosebumps with full of excitements. In Bengali terms we spell it "Pujo Ascha". In west Bengal pujo ascha means there will be long holidays for schools , government offices , colleges for a long term of about 10 to 12 days. This is the most awaited festival for Bengali.

autumn clouds, white clouds on clear blue sky
soroter akash

 Pujo ascha means we have to buy new dresses for all of our loved ones , jewelry , shoes etc. It is one of the most expensive festival of Bengal that here the businessmen makes triple profits in just one month which they can't make in the whole year .The beauty of pujo starts one month before the pujo, the white clouds like cotton balls is floating on the deep blue sky we call it “Soroter Akash”. The Kans grass or “Kash Phool” in Bengali on every corner of roads, railway tracks, rice fields and ponds enhancing the beauty of this month by reminding happily that the festive season is just about to begin. The giant puja pandals has started erecting the pandals around the city and the city and young people from our colony has started collecting puja donation from every houses and every vehicles passing by the local roads, these young people are also promoting the theme of the puja pandals so that many people visit to see the idols Goddess durga and most importantly the theme of pandal so that they can fetch a most beautiful/creative pandal reward trophy. Pujo asche means people who will get long holidays are planning to make a short trip around the country and abroad, and people who are staying abroad and out of town are reserving their tickets to get back and stay at home in those four important beautiful days.

 Pujo asche means full of shopping list for the entire family .This weekend we went for street shopping around Chinsura and Esplanade. The malls, street shops and footh paths on weekends are overcrowded in this season and the chaos from everywhere and the only few conversations of people were echoing in my ears are “dada oita din”, “dada oita koto dam”, “dada alada colour nei?”, “dada holud colour dakhan”, “na thik pochondo hocche na”. Well, at every corner there is a new model of dress , the lights sparkling from the jewellery shops are attracting the girls more. From sharees to shoes, watches, smartphones, jeweller, or any item, there is an offer banner with a tagline “Pujo Offer” for everyone and the malls are using lucky coupon schemes to attract more customer. But sadly we saw a lots of people who came up from far away who could not afford any new dress for their children, it was an corn seller, I asked him dada, kena kata hoye gache? He replied me “No Sir, even I could not afford to gift new dresses to my child on this year” . After all this I asked myself “Money or life which is the most important things?” and I think, both are parallely important.

Puja Street shopping

 Pujo asche means we have to look good in every way that is possible, the best looking dress to stay attractive and unique in the crowd, extra glow on skin as people are busy pampering their skin. People are also maintaining weight to look good on what they wear, I have gained a massive weight in the last few months and I weight around 85 kg but sorry I can not control this because I am a foodie.

 Well Mahalaya is just a week away and the beauty is to wake up at 4.00 AM early morning and listening to the “Mahisashur Mardini” on All India Radio, its great popularity remains undiminished even today 86 years later. On morning witnessing the chokkhu daan on the idol Goddess Durga is one of the most beautiful things on the day of Mahalaya.

 Festivals are the important part of our life, as Durga Puja is here and Diwali is just knocking the door and to intensify the happiness there will be gifts, foods, dress etc, but it is the sense of belongings that connect us with each other during festivals. Festivals are the reasons to bring family and friends together.and celebrate the very spirit of mankind. Its the festival so sort out some time and spend with family, friends and the people you love.Believe me, festivals are the one of the opportunities to bring people close. Wish you all happy Durga Puja/Navaratri.
weekend at puri, puri beach
Weekend at Puri

After a long week of crammed schedule which was full of chaos, office burden , business pressure and other undesired work all of us want a weekend which should be free from all the chaos , rejuvenate ourselves by spending quality times with ourselves and loved ones and by doing all the things that we love to do in our spare moments . But let me practical, spending the weekend depends from person to another person we have different priorities and we set our agenda according to that. Let it be a service personnel who would love to spend the weekend with family and setting agenda for the upcoming week. A businessman who runs a stores would not like to take weekends from the business as weekend markets are more profitable than other week days , law enforcement personnel like us doesn't have a weekend , we take days off when it's necessary plan according to it, and for a student weekend means learning something new and roam out with friends. As I told everyone has different priorities but for me the weekend means spending time with myself and family and doing all those things that make me happy, as I believe that "what I have is this moment and today" .

How do I spend my weekends :

Enough sleep 
As on other week days I usually wake up at 5 O clock which doesn't fulfil my sleeps then two and half hours of journey to reach office and again the same when back to home and it really soak out all my energy but on weekends and other holidays I sleep two hours more and it really makes me feel refreshed and energetic and on weekend let my body completely relaxed without any workout. 

Long ride

 I am not a pro-biker nor I have a cruise motor-bike but I love to ride . On weekends Me and my wife usually stuff everything that we need and leaves for the ride without any plan . We make plans on road and makes an unplanned trip within 150 km usually and explore to an unknown place , we both loved to visit forgotten monuments, sculptures and unusual place like British graveyards, temples, banks of Ganga and many more. I don't know such kind of habits are good or not but it makes us feel better and free.

Spend time with family
 Family is all I have and I feel myself the happiest person on the earth alive because of them and how they make me feel special, and it's my responsibility to sort out as much time as possible and spend time with them. I cook for them whenever I get time , family outings and unusual gossips together really help me to bond with them much better . Their eyes seeks for me in their needs , and to share their happiness and sorrows. A Healthy family doesn't only mean to stay everyone fit but it also includes a perfect bond with everyone in such a way that when they will need someone to share what they feel they will not need any other people from outside and you will become their first priority. 

Disconnecting from social media.
 Social media is a boon as well as an important part in our daily life to stay connected with the world but just like other important things we do in our life it should be a habit and it should not be an addiction, and when its an addiction it is harmful for our health, condition of our mood. I usually stay away from the social media on the weekend , no Facebook and twitter and nominal phone calls only. Believe it or not but by doing this it helps me to connect with the real world , myself and family . It's a kind of distraction that I don't want on my weekends , all I want to do the things I love and spend quality time without any distractions.

Learn new tactics 
I am always a good learner and I never leave an opportunity to learn new skills and practice the existing method. After all the chores and being a cyber security analyst I do bug bounty hunting which fetch me some good amount of money at the end of the month, because its fun and profitable too.

We all have our own way to spend our weekends but one should remember that it should be productive and refreshes our mind and body, as weekends are the best time to re-charge ourselves and it helps us to stay concentrated on the works we do on our next weekdays .

over tourism, effect of overtourism, hog market, dharmatala market, esplanade market
Effect of over tourism

There is no doubt that tourism has an ethical impact on the economy of our country as well as provides prosperity and employment to the nation and locals by generating revenue , taxes and by providing jobs. People visit the tourists places for their unique features either a beautiful bay of seas , ancient places, natural beauty , sports and adventures any many other attractive features. However in present days tourism has become unsustainable for nature due to human activities and mal-practices by the tourism companies. Over tourism may be a boon for the pockets of a region but it has arises many problems related to sustainability and environmental degradation . 

 What is Over tourism ? 
When too many tourists visits at a place and the situation creates more problems than benefits.It deluge the balance of livelihood, culture and heritage, attractiveness of the tourist spots and also it arises the problems regarding environmental degradation . 

 Negative Impacts of Overtourism 

 One of the poor impact of over tourism is sustainability of livestock, a tourist places which has enough spaces, food, drinks, medicines and daily requirements goods of 2 lakhs guests annually but actually there are unexpected guests of about 2 millions annually every year. Then the things becomes the theory of ‘Demand and Supply’, the demand of every needs increases without out any proper ratio of supply hence prices of livestock rises with the shortage of living spaces, increase in the amount of sewage wastes , city becomes congested , places becomes over crowded, beauty and the attractions of the places becomes deteriorated. Jungle of plastics , as now a days uses of plastics are everywhere from the tube of the toothpaste to the packaging of the edible foods and drinks. The more the tourists the more uses of plastics in daily needs as a results plastics are littered everywhere around us which block the drains and sewage system and land pollution. The rainwater gets trapped by the plastics in the soil which decreases the ground water level, and plastics on the bay area really harm the aquatic animals as well as the tourists surroundings looks so messy . 

 How to overcome overtourism? 
 Do not litter Natural tourist sites are regularly destroyed by human waste, plastics and mal-practice by the tourists , but if you love this earth and want your favourite destination to be look alike even after few decades then please don’t litter wastes , especially the plastics which takes more than a thousand year to abolish.

 Use Public Transport
 Use Bus, train and shared cab as transport because public transport can be used by multiple person at the same time rather than travelling on car by single occupant. Public transport not only decreases th traffic but it also helps to reduce air pollution. 

Plan a trip on off-beat season . 
On season trips are often overwhelmed by unexpected guests , places becomes crowded and tourism experiences are degraded . If you plan a trip on off-beat season then you will not face the massive crowds, the prices of rooms and daily needs becomes cheaper in this season so you will save money as well as you will enjoy your favourite destination too in the way you want.

 Spend Responsibly 
 Instead of spending much on tourist’s companies we should spend on local business which will grow the local economic, boats, foods or guide a local service at a tourists spots are better than the services provided by travel agencies . The travel agencies are always in queue to make money on behalf of their company and in the result they brings a rush at the spots where tourist could not enjoy in their own way. I suggest to travel independently and hire a local guide, eat at the local restaurants and understand their culture and traditions. 

 Respect local culture.
Every culture are unique in their own way and has their significance in the world. But what happens when we mix up our own and their correspondent ? You may not feel the theme they want resemble. By often the respect towards the local culture and traditions are con-tempted by overtoutism. Always remember its their culture and traditions that makes them unique and that is why it attracted us to visit their place. 

 Obey the traffic rules: 
Overtourism always ended up with heavy traffic and more than that people always breaks the traffic rules to get out of the traffic rules early but all of them stuck up at the source of traffic jam which makes more difficulties for the local authorities normalises the traffic. So its important to obey the traffic rules and be on your lane until it is not any emergency situation. 

 Be a responsible tourist
At the end this is your earth where you eat, live and grow , this may not be your place or country but this is the part of the same planet you live. So responsible to where you stay, do not litter wastes , always dump the non-biodegradable waste at the proper place , always respect the locals , try to avoid traffic and air pollution by using public transports. Do not do anything that may harm the environment, local culture and tradition and at the end when you return back you can tell everyone that you had a great journey.

I have left Hooghly my hometown, along with my mom and dad at the age of 8 years probably I don't remember. Five years ago I came back again after 18 years settled here and started my livelihood. It's been a great experience around the nation, I have lived a great life of about 18 years because of my dad's transferable jobs and the interests towards travels grown inside me with that . After I came back here I started peeping around my city and found lots of historical places, temples , mixed with modern and ancient traditions. I have created a list in which I have already visited those places which is nearby my resident and also those places which I have plans to visit very soon by the coming winter. 

 Basilica of Holy Rosary (Bandel Church)

Basilica of Holy Rosary, bandel church
source: JustDial

 If you are planning a short weekend trip around Hooghly then Basilica of Holy Rosary commonly known as the Bandel Church. Its a great spot with immense history . It was first established on 1599 by the Portuguese but it was burnt by some moors of Emperor Shaha Jahan in 1632 and destroyed Portuguese settlements. After sometime things has been settled down and father Joah De Cruz was successful to impress emperor Shah Jahan and he donated about 100 hectors of land to local Christians and the church was re-elected in 1660.There is much more to explore inside. Me and my wife we often visit this place specially on weekends. To visit here you will get Howrah Bandel Local train after every 30 minutes from Howrah . From Bandel station there are AutoRikshaw available and you can also book a cab. 


Imambara, Hooghly Imambara

 It is also near to the Bandel Church and situated in Hooghly at the beautiful bank of Ganga river. To reach here you have to board the Howrah Bandel local from howrah and de-board the train at Hooghly station. From there totos and AutoRikshaw are directly available. Let's get through the descriptions of Hooghly Imambara. Imambara means the residence of the Imams, but it is a congregation hall for commemoration ceremonies of Shia denomination and associated with recognition of Muharram. The construction of the building was started by Muhammad Mohsin in 1841 and completed in 1861 by Hazi Muhammad Mohsin and it took almost 20 years to build. It was designed by Keramtulla Khan , the main courtyard is surrounded by two storey building and there is a fountain and pool in middle of the courtyard which attracts the beauty. But the main attraction of Imambara is the two high towers of about 85 feet and consists 152 stairs in both which gives a magnificent view of Hooghly river , railway bridge the connect hooghly and Naihati . At the back of it there is a sun dial which shows the time with the changing position of shadow but I did not able to understand its concept. But despite of being a nation heritage moment it lacks of care, the ancient lantern glasses are broken , fountain is not working and the water is full of green algae. You may go there and discover the history on its every wall and enjoy some moments at the bank of river ganga. 

 Hangseswari Mandir 

Hooghly, Hangseswari Mandir,
source: templepurohit.com

The construction of the temple was started by Raja Nirsinghadeb but after his death It was completed in 1814 by his wife of Rani Shankari, the temple is dedicated to goddess Hangseswari and manifesto of Goddess Kali. The design of the temple is truly extraordinary and it is the prime attraction. Each of the tower of the temple has a lotus flower on it which enhance the beauty. Raja NirshinghaDeb was followers of Tantrik rituals and the idol of Goddess Hangseswari was made according to it, presiding four armed made up with blue neem wood. They don't allow to take pictures of the idol but I have managed to take a picture. The temple has both the deities of Shiva and Shakti so the temple is named as Hangseswari Temple. 

 Radha Krishna Temple (Birla Mandir) Kuntighat

 Its a very beautiful Radha Krishna Mandir situated at the bank of Holy Ganga at Kuntighat . It is very well maintained and have very good greenery and scenic beauty. This place is so quiet and peaceful. I have visited this place only once and it was very relaxing. If you want to spend sometime with yourself or mediate then there is no better place than this in Hooghly. You may take a Howrah-Katwa local train from Howrah and deboard at Kuntighat station. From station there are many autorikshaw and totos which will take you to the temple. 

 Triveni Ghat Hooghly. 
This is one of the oldest Holy Hindu cremation ground in West Bengal on the bank of holy Ganga. The word “Triveni” portray the meeting point of three river that is the Ganga, Saraswati river and Kunti River. This place retains its holiness for centuries even after captured by Mughal Dynasty and British. There are many Nissen Huts built during World War 2 and many other historical touches . Triveni is a very vast area even I have not explored in much, there are stories behind every streets. just take an Howrah-Katwa local train from Howrah and deboard at Triveni station and from station you may go onfoot which will take around 10 minutes of walk or there are also totos .