Friday, July 24, 2009

Romancing Kolkata

Rain has just started…the gray skyline becomes darker…droplets on my shoulder…my eyes have become moist…
I was returning from airport….returning from Home…back to work…back to Bangalore….


My mind still dwells in roads of Kolkata…in my home…lot of unfinished things…lot of things to get…to achieve…to sense…to see…to tell…how I missed my family and friends…

Kolkata…that is the place where it all began…
It is not a glitzy city comparable to Bangalore…it does not have the page 3 tagged Film industry as in Mumbai…neither does not it have the elegance and panache of a Delhi…but what it has something else.. Something absolutely unique…
Here you can find different eras co-existing with equal √©lan…the Park street…still trapped in swinging sixties…when you travel down the road...you can listen to Elvis…and guardian angel Bobby Dealan playing…the sweet little chime of bells…gentle sound of jazz...you can feel the light in your heart…

Come to north Kolkata…it’s the oldest part of the city…this is Kolkata indeed…narrow lanes…crowded markets…bazaars...stream of humanity flowing down from the jetty…amongst the hazes…you will unmistakably find the old Kolkata…old small road side shops selling Singhara (aka Samosa), telebhaja (meaning deep fried delights)…these places have been there for generations…what a smell...a smell to die for…

Come south…you will find the vibrant Kolkata…latest flats...cars…gizmos…shopping malls…rivaling to Bangalore…crowds…PYT…buying latest fashion statements…this is also Kolkata…this is a new face of Kolkata…long traffic jams…typical office babu returning from office…half asleep…school girls in their saris…college lovers hand in hand…silent…let their eyes speak…

Kolkata is not a city…but a state of mind…it’s an abstract color palette...where many different hues and shades are mixed…mingled...matched to produce a rainbow…

It’s a city a par supreme…not because it has a legendary past…not because it will have a golden future…but it is that feeling that you are never alone…never lonely…there will always be someone to talk to you…always someone to start a debate out of nothing…on politics…on cricket…on the last known Bengal tiger (pun intended)…on poetry…on food…on love….

Kolkata is trapped in a older self…it is not just simply willing to break that image…we still love our Uttam Kumar (as par Marlon Brando clad in spotless Dhuti) romancing Suchitra Sen…the every common Bengali’s dream date…still…We still understand romance as Rabindro Songeet sprinkled with Rock band…we still call Bandhs in a self indulging pleasure…Perhaps Kolkata should remain like this…this is an utopian city…every Bengali’s pride…city of Tagore…Teresa and Roy… Our heroes are not gun totting six pack heroes…but simple Dhoti clad…simpleton…who can sing a good song…love a lady…and make audience cry with tremendous sacrifices…Let us remain that way…let us remain as pacifist…let us remain as old worldly…

We are good that way..