We celebrated four years of marriage on the 14th of August. It’s kind of becoming tradition to be in Kolkata then, which was where we were on our first and second anniversary. The first anniversary, to pick up my parents who were coming for a visit, and the second year, we were on our way back from taking Tushar to Hebron. But this time we went to Kolkata with the big job of just celebrating, seeing Hosanna’s parents, and having some time together. That lofty goal was successfully completed, I think!

We went to Kolkata on the Moitree Express, the new train that runs between Dhaka and Kolkata. It was a very pleasant trip, taking about 13 hours from start to finish. The border crossings were very smooth and efficient — though Jacob and I wondered if the amount of guards and officials were really necessary for the small number of passengers! There were less than 100 of us on the train, and we all were carefully directed all the way to the taxi stand in Kolkata. The border control guards had boxes labeled “GRENADE”! But despite that, all the officials were very happy to serve, even buying us bananas when we were not allowed to get off the train to by them ourselves.

We enjoyed breakfasts at Flury’s, the pool at the Hindustan, good dosa and momos, and all the great bookstores. We also had lunch at the roof-top restaurant of Lindsay Hotel, exactly where we had celebrated our anniversary three years ago.

Quite a view — yet too hot to really enjoy for long.

My Mom and Dad had dropped off the girls in Chennai and then came to Kolkata to be with us for a few days. They enjoyed their grandson!!

We were walking around Kolkata, trying to find that famous mishti (sweet) shop where the first roshogolla was created. I must say, I liked the walk better than the sweets that we finally did find, though the shondesh was very good.

One rainy morning we stopped by a museum, and were pleasantly surprised by the quality exhibitions. They had some good Bengali artwork on show.

The end of our time coincided with India’s Independence Day. Right near our hotel, their set up a stage and all day long there was live music and speeches. Flags were everywhere, parades marched down the streets. Elias and I took a walk and saw a man with two monkeys on a chain. I refused to give him money, but he made his monkeys dance for Elias anyway!

Here the crowd is sitting on New Market, listening to the concert.