A city of joyful book lovers, and many many mouse fans. Not that I need to mention it, but I am having the time of my life. A very shy tour guide, Idurchondro Lejgotano, picked me up from the DumDum airport. He was obviously nervous, although he managed to mumble the day’s itinerary after we got into a taxi. When he reached into his satchel to pull out the printed version, I saw something that surprised me quite pleasantly. He had three books in his bag, and all of them written by me! Idurchondro blushed and bumbled even more when he realized I had seen the contents of his bag, and bashfully admitted that he was a huge fan who couldn’t believe his luck when his manager asked him to give his favorite writer in the world a tour of Kolkata.
This touched me so deeply that I invited Idur to join me for a buggy ride which I was supposed to do later in the day with my Bengali fans. Idur relaxed a little after this, and took me all over the fabumouse city. We visited Jorasanko Thakurbari, the house of Rabindranath Tagore, one of my favorite writers. We saw an old Kali temple in Dakshineshwar, and nibbled on delicious mishti sitting on the banks of the Ganga.
When we reached the Victoria Memorial, I was overwhelmed by the number of mice waiting for my arrival. About two hundred mouse fans squeaked my name continuously as several horse-drawn carriages lined up one behind another, readying themselves to give us rides around town. I shared many stories and answered many more questions as we rode around the Memorial, the astonishing St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the sprawling green Maidan in the heart of the city.
I was sad I had to leave the very next day, but then my next destination is Lucknow, and although Idurchondro loves his city with a passion that can compare only to my annoying cousin Trap’s love for playing practical jokes on me, he assured me that Lucknow will prove to be an equally memorable experience.