i believe each one of us who have lived in Kolkata for a while or have visited the city for a longish span of time have found a reason to fall in love with it .  though the old buildings of the "British-amal*"( as the Bengali's put it) which dot the administrative circles of the city, render it a charm of its own...... and the tramlines and the hand-pulled rickshaws are modes of transport that are specific only to Kolkata, they do not define this city for the likes of us.... for me, Kolkata isn't one of those cities where you simply trod the streets with your camera appreciating natural beauty or the architectural layouts.....

its appeal is of a different nature....  while some streets in Kolkata are better referred to as gourmet's paradise, others are the lanes for the book lovers and hordes of "aantels*" alike.... who are ever so ready with their suggestions and opinions on art, literature, music..... and life.   and if you are in one of those streets and you are unsure of which book to buy or which CD to pick from the racks of Music World, ...... in Kolkata you can always be assured that a voice will guide you from behind... a voice who recommends with such conviction that without further ado you are driven to purchase precisely that which has been recommended.... in this city it is not unusual that introductions happen over such recommendations and end therein... it is a city where poetries by Tagore and not just graffiti adorns the walls of  metro-stations.... it is a city where the localites wait for "boi mela"(book exhibition) with the same eagerness as Durga Puja... and at any time, any place  Tagore or Shakespeare is quoted for you in some context....     these are the nuances  that sets this city aside, lending it a flavour, a life and a charm of its own ...

besides the numerous tram-rides and "phooca-treats," these short uncalled-for yet pleasant interactions with complete strangers over a book or a CD  signature off  my experiences with Kolkata, the city of joy,- the city which i now call  home !!

[photograhs by google search] 

(*amal is the Bengali word for era)
(*aantel is a derivative for intellectuals  in Bengali. it is the word that best describes the cigarette smoking ubiquitous Bangali young-stars clad in jeans-kurta and kolhapuri chappals, carrying a jhola on their lean shoulders, who spend a considerable time of their college days in addas at Coffee house..... addas that revolve around politics, philosophy, foreign films, books and poetries..... )

1 comment:

  1. your view about kolkatta is very true.you fall in love with this city gradually not in your first visit. the essence of this city will creep in you before you realise you wil fall in love with this city .i too miss it's hustle bustle, it's silence ,it's colours,it's taste.......


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