In this hectic life, you look for a serene place where you can get solace. At times, our mind clogs facing the irritation of weather and the daily chores which we do day in day out in our life. To rejuvenate and slow time down for a while, you feel like unwinding in a place where you can just be yourself. I am a working woman who have spent half of her age in Mumbai. My parents have just moved to Kolkata and I never visited Kolkata so far. This time, I made up mind to have a trip to Kolkata and see the city with my own eyes. I had taken a leave from work and I flown to the City Of Joy.

It was 2012 when I first set my feet in the City of Joy, Kolkata. When I was traveling to Kolkata, I had in my mind to meet my parents. I needed a break from my work and so I thought to have a quality time with my parents and with the city. I never thought the city, Kolkata, will leave an indelible impression in my mind.

After a long time, when I met my parents, their joys were knew no bounds and so was mine. After staying for few days, I was thinking to go out and explore the city. Parents had to attend a social event. So, I could not tell them to join me. I was new to the city, hence, could not gather courage to explore the city all by myself. Undoubtedly, Kolkata has breathtaking travel spots.

But, I was looking for a place where there will be less or no crowd at all. I wanted to be in a place where I could spend a memorable time with nature. I took a hand-pulled rickshaw and was traveling to a nearby market. On the way, I happened to see the river Ganges. The soothing sight of the river Ganga pleased my mind. I halted the rickshaw near the bank of the Ganga river.

Photo by Amitav Hira from Pexels

It was around 10.00 am when I started walking on the sidewalk which was on the bank of the river. The river was surrounded by lush greenery. I found a bench to sit on. The view of the river Ganges was inexplicable. As it was a working day, there were no people around in the river bank; except a vendor who was carrying a basket of guavas on his head. I bought some fresh guavas from the vendor. The cool breeze, the hovering clouds, and the swaying leaves of trees made the view of the river Ganges more beautiful. From distance, I could see many manual-oared boats sailing on the river. There was a boat sailing afar which was filled with passengers. I could hear the temple bells that were ringing on end from a nearby temple. The sounds of the bells were pacifying my ears.

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On seeing the boats afar, I felt the urge of having a boat ride. As a boat approached the ghat, I stepped into the boat. It was afternoon when I started enjoying the boat ride and the views adjacent to the ghat. As the boat was moving ahead in the water, I realized a serenity all around me. Only I could hear now was the slapping of the oars on the water rowed by the boatman. With his paan-stained teeth, the boatman was humming a Bengali song. There was a peace in his countenance.

I could feel he was a peaceful man with his meager income. He has no demands from life. He was satisfied with what he got from life. With constant rowing, his arms and shoulders were feeling tired. But, he did not show his tiredness to the travelers. The only reward he wishes for is to see his travelers enjoy the boat ride. Unknowingly, this boatman had become a source of inspiration in my life. The sounds of temple bells started fading away as the boat was rowing ahead.

Photo by Rabi Chatterjee from Pexels

My stomach started growling and I grabbed fresh guava from my handbag. As I was indulging in the taste of the fruit, my eyes caught sight of an old man a bit far away from the bank of the river who was on his fishing hunt. There were some other fishermen who had smiles on their faces. It seems that they captured a huge number of fish that day. I thought about how some people can be so happy without expecting much from their life.

I got lost in time as I was immersed in the beauties of the bank of river Ganges. It was time to head back to the ghat where I was sitting in the morning. The evening view was enchanting. The sky had changed its color. The orange hue filled the sky. I could once again hear the bells of the temples. It was time for evening prayer. Some pilgrims came for their holy bath. The roaring sound of “Har Har Gange” filled my ears. I paid money to the boatman and I thanked him for giving me a pleasurable boat ride. As I got off the boat, I turned around to see the mesmerizing view of the setting sun on the bank of the river Ganges.

That night, I felt a tinge of peace in my heart. I realized that one does not need to spend bucks on expensive tours. A simple place in your locality can give you the ultimate pleasure of travel. The bewitching travel of the river Ganges has truly given me the ultimate pleasure travel I was looking for.

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