Friday, 9 November 2007

Calcatians don’t bite….1

I have never been a calcatian. I have always had lot of problems with this city. To tell you the truth we never got along nicely. Neither did we this time.

As the readers know, I grew up in a small town called Siliguri. Growing up in small towns have their disadvantages and advantages. I knew greenery. I knew how nice it is to look at kanchanjungha right when you wake up in the morning. I knew how nice it feels when all of a sudden you meet someone on the road and smile back. I knew how to go on your cycle and get lost in a rain forest. I knew how cold exactly the water of Teesta is. Like this I knew a lot of things. There were things I didn’t know as well.

When I passed the so called hurdle of JEE which is most dreaded and respected GOD of West Bengal these days, I came to join college in a small village and I got to know some Calcutta guys. Guys of Calcutta were a thing to see for us. Although siliguri is a quite modern city compared to the other mofussils of Bengal (Thanks to the proximity of the nepali and pahari gorkhas- the girls are simply to good in the hills), still we always felt a tinge of inferiority complex when we met those convent educated Calcutta guys. Fortunately for us though, there were only a few to fall into this category.

I still remember a conversation from my early days in college, where someone was telling about his preparations before JEE counseling. He actually got a fair amount of guess (!!??!!!) of how much he is gonna rank (which incidentally was something so obscure I have no idea how he got it right), and he went around to all the colleges he could get admission to find out which college has which dept in shape. That was the time when private colleges were forming up in Bengal. We hardly had 6 colleges under private control, and we being the backbenchers had to choose one of those alone. Whatever, my point is not how this guy did his research and all, or what all parameters he actually calculated to say which dept is good in which college, or whether he did some crash course from AICTE for accreditation of colleges! My point is calcatians do these things, they do these things simply to show their class and we were so much shadowed by the calcatian’s aura I felt ashamed. I felt ashamed that I didn’t do any research at all, one of my teachers told me that I was an idiot not to get through JU or BESU, so I can go to hell and get admitted to any engineering college. Another of my teachers told me that I should look for electronics and gave me two colleges’ names which he believed was good. I kept faith on my teacher. While in counseling, the guy asked me what I want, I said I want electronics, that guy replied u have the following options. I heard one known name in that options list (which was a very short list though), and there I was getting admitted to a college and making the most important decision of my life (or atleast it seemed to be so at that juncture of my life). So you see we small people (a direct translation of “chhote log”) don’t stand a chance when it comes match a calcatian. There was another guy who within the first few days announced that he was from South Point school which has the world record of most no of students in a class. I and a few others who were from the land of “far far away”, were awestruck again. South Point!!! The school of all those bespectacled geniuses whose pictures feature in the front pages after every HS or Secondary results, those who clearly announce after their feat that they want to do research in NASA or treat poor people of India, make medicines of cancer, win noble prizes, fuck Katie Moss, lick G W Bush’s arse and God knows what! Then he announced another bombshell, the higher secondary topper was his batch mate and he copied the last sum of the second paper mathematics from this higher sec topper to secure his 80%. He also announced he has never believed in luck, he believes in being at the right place at the right time with the right people. God Damn us small towners.

These people had a different chain of thought in their heads. We didn’t know a lot of things at that time, and that is the essence I am trying to give out in my meaningless essay. Have u got it? If not its not your problem, you see we people don’t know to write English properly. Never read in convents you know! I remember one of my friends wife quipping about this strange breed. SHe told me about one from this tribe saying once "Ishhhh...this road is so kada pachpach. so disgusting u know!" Readers who don't understand bengali I am sorry i do not have enough knowledge in english to translate it.

[this is the first of a chain of posts I wish to do about calcutta and things i like and I don't like about this great and beautiful city.... the starting I am doing with a not so pleasant note but keep reading and I am sure you will find that I am not so much nagging about thsi city after all...]

3 comments:

ad libber said...

First write the good stuff. Want to read both sides of the coin before I comment.

The Ancient Mariner said...

@ad libber,

since you seem to be the only reader i have, your comments are my orders. Aye aye madam!

Jhumur said...

Being a Calcatian! ( Though I do not think I am that nak unchu Calcuttan) I should say this is your personal experience. Probably u think that it only happens to the people who come from suburb in the city. But it is not true. How many Calcuttans get chance to read in South Point or Calcutta Boys? So the same thing happens within the city also....The convent educated guys or Gals always think they are the superiors in every terms. So there is always discrimination in our society in terms of accessibility of resources and information....
When I went to Presidency it happened to me....I was from a typical Bengali medium school who knows nothing about elite culture of the college...but u know I learned a lot from that culture....
Actually those Calcuttans who comment on kada patch patch life, they have only viewed one aspect of life....So don't keep any grudge....There are Calcatians who are really intellectual and talented and I got inspiration from them.....may be you have not met them...