GloMag GloMagMay2019 - Page 175

On a typical winter Sunday morning I would walk from Park Hotel to Howrah bridge drinking in the unique feel of legging it on the old bridge and getting lost in romantic thoughts of an O P Nayyar tonga song in the middle of clinking cycle rickshaws and honking rickety buses and ambassador taxis. A swim in the hotel pool and a quick bite would ready me for a walk along the maidan to skirt the Memorial and past the zoo and National Library to a cousin's flat in Alipore for lunch. The evening would find me walking back to the maidan teeming with picnicking Sunday crowds and occasional football fields. The Red Road past Fort William would take you to Eden Garden, the statue of Gostho Pal in the AIR corner of the maidan and to the iconic Dalhousie Square and Writers Building. Gostho "Cheener Pracheer" Pal's may be the only footballer statue in Kolkata, India's First Football City. There's also a road named Gostho Pal Sarani. Goshto Pal was a bare-footed player for Mohun Bagan (1912-35). When his mother in his east Bengal village asked him how she would find the way to his house when she came to Calcutta, he famously told her, "You tell the first person you meet in the Howrah station that you're my mother; he will take you to my house." 175