Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Androgynous Friend

Entry to Marble Palace is free, but visitors must first obtain a permit from the West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau. They give you a form, you fill in the visitors’ names, they sign and stamp it, and you’re good to go. Here is the relevant part of the permit obtained for last Sunday’s visit.

Ananya Adhikari, the fourth name on that list, is actually a fictitious name which Myshkin and I include every time we go to Marble Palace. The idea is that if an extra person joins the party at the last moment, that person can get in, pretending to be Ananya Adhikari.

The choice of name isn’t completely random. Under the curious conventions of transcription from Bangla into English, Ananya can be both a boy’s name [On-own-no] and a girl’s name [On-own-na]. Adhikari – a relatively rare surname – was chosen just because it is alliterative and rolls nicely off the tongue.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

adhikari also means "authorised individual"
which, in the general scheme of things, makes the alias close to perfect!

mrunmayee said...

and was aastha not spared the "roy" this time also?!

karthy said...

So this permission business really exist! The whole process sounded very fictitious and bogus when the guard at marble palace gate was explaining it to us. Do they ask you questions when you ask for permission like when you go for a visa? and why is the permission given from dalhousie and not from near marble palace and why don't guide books ever mention that? curiouser and curiouser.

ps: ananya adhikari sounds awesome and to my non bengali ears very much a girl. :)

Aastha said...

@Mrunmayee: Sroyon wrote the names in alphabetical order though!

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

Hahah. Baprey. You and Myshkin take deviousness to whole new levels. But I had no idea about permits being needed. The only time we went, we got in fine without any!

Shrabasti Banerjee said...

And I agree with Anonymous. :)

Indecision Personified said...

@ Aastha: and how does that answer Mallu's comment? No concentration woman!!!!

sreejita said...

Even I too agree with Anonymous.:D

Safdar said...

Oh,and if you want to get through without the permits, pay the guard twenty bucks.

it happens only in india. :)

Pratiti said...

Why do I know everything that goes on on this blog beforehand??
Ei jonyo boli, you've been in Kolkata too long.
Travel post, I say.

Vikrant said...

Ha, I had no idea there was so much thinking involved :D

Sroyon said...

@Anonymous: Excellent point!

@Mrunmayee: It was my doing.

@Karthy: But guide books do mention it. At least, Lonely Planet does.

@Aastha: Woman on top.

@Shrabasti: Did they let you inside the building though?

@IP: I don't think she was trying to answer Mrunmayee, just making an observation.

@sreejita: Well, Anonymous stated a fact. You have to agree.

@Safdar: Yeah, you can always bribe your way into the grounds, but some guards don't let you into the building even if you bribe them. That's why it's safer to go with a permit.

@Pratiti: I am Taking Steps.

@Vikrant: Now you know :D