All we have to do to go to Bannerghata National Park is to turn the corner at Dairy Circle and wait for the grand volvo bus that comes along at regular intervals and so we did on Saturday morning with Ma Baba in tow! What followed was a nerve soothing ride in a volvo down Bannerghata road- past the Meenakshi Temple, past Apollo Hospital and sundry technical institutions and residential schools to the forest area. I planned the trip carefully- first was the Butterfly Park. After going for the safari and visiting the zoo one does not have the energy to loll at this quaint little enclosure teeming with butterflies of every hue. There are some exquisite flowers too. Then we went for the safari. To tell you the truth, I did not want to go for it because it is a bumpy ride on a cramped bus, I am rendered completely immobile because of the mite who sits on my lap and refuses to budge, if a lion is spotted on the opposite side of the bus I cannot stand up and get a good view of is because the mite is sitting put. Anyhow the Mr insisted that we go for it because it is a unique feature of this national park. Off we went for the 'Grand Safari' there was an insufferably 'naeka' (an untranslatable Bengali term which means stupid, silly, idiotic, foolish tiresome all rolled into one, in other words it has a pretty wide connotation and yet not fully explainable in any tongue other than Bengali) Bengali couple sitting behind Baba and my seat who said stuff like- "aami ei animalder shathe handshake korbo"( I want to shake hands with the animals), " aami bear ta ke biscuit debo" (I want to give a biscuit to this bear), -the girl. The boy says " aachha tumi ae animal gulor shathe ekhane thakte parbe?" (will you be able to live with these animals?)"haaaan" says the girl. The boy says " lion mane to shara jaigai doure barabe e gulo mone hoi oshustho" (lions should be running ferociously about the place, these look ill) The fool does not know that lions are very lazy and they are nocturnal hunters like all cats, and we were visiting the zoo in the middle of the afternoon when the animals are relaxing after a meal. " Aer por Corbett jabo, Kazhiranga jabo, Ranthambor jabo" says the boy announcing his intention of inflicting their noxious presence on almost all the national parks and sanctuaries in this country. May they never cross my path! I suffered silently because I did not want to get into unpleasantries. We spotted deer, wild buffaloes, black sloth bear, a lion and lioness, several tigers. Thereafter we had lunch in the zoo and took a short route around it and headed back home on the volvo- a day well spent.