A walk to remember! (By Miss P. – Team urbanZing)

So yes, the weather is indeed turning cold and it feels so good to wear warm clothes once again. So to enjoy the cold and to celebrate the festive season and to get some much needed Christmas paraphernalia yesterday I went to New market – the only place to go for Christmas shopping in Kolkata. I took along my old friend Gee, and two other buddies who wanted to see how New Market looks during Christmas, and I gladly offered to be their guide. Need less to say the trip involved lots of food and loads of shopping.

Our journey began with a little pre-shopping treat at Mughal Gardens, a branch of Nizam. We tried their Kheeri Kabab, chicken Roll and Bhuna Beef. And of course it was all that we had imaged and more!

I had not come to New Market during Christmas for a long time now, so as we entered the market I realized how crowded New market can be during Christmas! In the center of the market, near the cannon, a huge array of Christmas decorations were being sold, from Christmas trees of all sizes to Christmas ornaments to decorate the trees with, to dancing Santa and Rudolph. On the other side we could see marinated dry fruits, pumpkin petha, mincemeat, nuts and raisins. Being the foodie that I am I just could not resist buying a bag of dry fruits and a small tree (small enough to carry in my bag).

Our next stop was Nahoum’s a Jewish bakery just a few step from the center of the market. Right next to that was Asian Arts and my friend Gee went crazy over the silver jewelry and stoles, and probably would have bought the whole store if it was not me dragging her away from the eager sales men. Our loot: Two pairs of earrings, some beautiful bangles and a scarf. Gee of course could not stop grumbling since she could not buy the rest of the stuff…but she forgot her jewelry and stoles once we entered Nahoum’s. For those who do not know, Nahoum’s has the best cakes, brownies and fudge in the city(or atleast that’s what I think). At Nahoum’s I bought some Marzipan for my Cake and Gee bought a pack of vanilla fudge. So after two more quick stops to buy ingredients for my pot roast and few other awesome bargains from random street vendors we decided to go take a rest at Simpark, right opposite Globe Cinema. By then we were tired and needed to sit down. Yes, shopping and haggling do take up a lot of energy!

It was evening by then, and I could see the beautiful moon, nearly full, rise just beyond the church. The clock struck six and the whole area reverberated with the chime of the church bells, and the noise of the crowd who plodded through the crowded street. My friends took some pictures while I walked around, seeing all sort of people around us, a veritable conglomeration of faces which I will remember only as a mass. People from all walks of life come here to shop for Christmas, amidst the noise and the crowd and strangely enough most of them are not Christians.

Well our night was not over yet! Next we walked down to Free School Street, where Kalman’s awaited me. Kalman’s was founded nearly 80 years back by a Hungarian sailor, and still remain one of the best cold storage in Kolkata. I entered the meat paradise (trust me, it is) and checked out the long list of things they have, including Ox Tongue (for the connoisseurs), Salt Beef (for the ones who like a good stew), Pork Shoulder (for an awesome pot roast), whole turkey(only on order) and Hungarian Sausage (excellent for stews and goulash). If you love Bacon and Ham, then you should see their full fat versions. It is worth salivating on, any day! and yes, I do not believe in Cholesterol control when it comes to Christmas food. After all, it’s one day a year, so why restrain?

But our Christmas walk could not be complete without one more stop: Flury’s of course. So loaded with all our Christmas paraphernalia we walked down to Flury’s for one last food stop before we headed home. This Park street landmark has seen it all, and still serves authentic (well almost authentic) British coffee, pastries and pies. We sat down with cups of coffee a platter of pastries and some meat pies as we went over the day’s adventure! To sum it up we got enough food to feed a king’s troop and enough decorations to decorate two big trees but best of all I got reacquainted with my city in a deep intimate way. An afternoon indeed spent well, I daresay.

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