2018-11 Kolkata

I went back alone to Kolkata, the friend I accompanied went back to France. My travel style has changed, more time, more for me, I can resume my pace. I feel tired, it’s time to rest, to reconnect. I have not planned much and the little that I have planned I will amputate and come back to improvisation, listening to me, my desires and my moods. I did not cancel my appointment with the wrestlers on Monday, nor the visit of Rahul’s family in the suburbs. I had to collect the langotas I had ordered. The city is buzzing with preparations for Diwali, the festival of lights. The protocol is first to tidy up and make the home new and fresh, then to buy new things and gold, then to celebrate and make gifts. Markets are bursting with products and customers, it’s overflowing everywhere. In Calcutta, Diwali is juxtaposed with Kali Puja, this goddess has some dark and macabre sides, she haunts cremation grounds and fights evil. There are new Pandals to welcome Kali, they are of a simple style. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen, it’s my first Diwali in India, I think there’s going to be a lot of firecrackers tomorrow night and tonight religious rituals in the temples and pandals of Kali. Diwali is Ram’s return with his wife Sita to the town of Ayodhya from Lanka where she was held captive by Ramana. Hanuman shows the way and, as there is no moon, he asks people to light up the path with candles. It is the victory of good over evil, a renewal, the announcement of a new season, it is a little like a new year celebration. For Kali Puja I did not go out, I just heard the drums and firecrackers all night long, for Diwali the noise was so loud that I had to go out and I saw the fanfares with drums, flutes and bagpipes. The parades accompanied the idols of Kali who left Pandals and went for immersion. I did a little tour of the neighborhood but I did not follow the parade very far because I did not want to have more noise and explosions and I could imagine a slightly overcharged atmosphere along the river, instead of I preferred to go to bed, I was anxious to leave the city and go down to the south. I booked a nice room with a view of beach and sea between Pondicherry and Auroville, I wanted that.

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