Friday, 9 November 2007

Calcatian’s Don’t Bite……………..2

Since I am such a comment hunter and my reader(s!!!???!!!) have threatened me of not giving comments until and unless I write some good things about Calcutta, here I am and there you go.

Calcutta as was portrayed in my previous topic looked like a city of brainless dumpers (god knows what that means) or in other words a city of modern English educated smarties. Which I am afraid is a too much of generalization of a city which far far greater than any other city of India in colour, in culture and in liveliness. If you want to see Calcutta and its life in true colors, u have to come with me for a ride which I took on last Wednesday.

I was supposed to go to a bank at Girish Park. When I finished my work, it was 1pm and I still had quite sometime at hand. I chose to roam around and capture some of the city moments in my camera.

1. I traveled to Park Street. I went to the place where thousands of people came together to do a civilized protest against the mysterious death of Rizwanur Rahaman. I sat on the pavement, there was nothing worth capturing there at that point. There was nothing which I could take a snap of and show people that see this is Calcutta and this is how the people of Calcutta are. That is a pity. But sitting there at the pavement, I could feel the energy, the sentiment and the same sympathy that those people had who came to light a candle for a guy who is from a different religion, whose life probably doesn’t have similarity to any of ours life, who was born anonymous and death made him famous. I have little to do with Rizwanur’s death and nor do I know what all went in between the husband and wife’s families. I was simply amazed at the response people gave and the way they accepted a muslim fellow’s marriage to a rich hindu girl. I am sure if you were in somewhere south or somewhere west of India, this would not happen. Bravo Kolkata.

2. The next stop was at Victoria memorial. I still remember the day when my parents brought me to this architectural wonder. I looked at it with awe. This time was no exception. I looked at the memorial, and was lost in memory until something broke my spell. A guy, in yellow t-shirts and jeans was saying to a girl, “bolo amar bou hobe?” [“Tell me,will you be my wife?”]. and quite amazingly the girl responded with a soft and quite Hollywood style kiss on the guy’s lips. A sweet simplicity which is the bloodline of this city touched me and that sweet sound of the kiss kept on ringing in my head and heart for the rest of the day. People suddenly have grown up here.

3. The last part was the most tiring of my journey. I was returning home and I had to catch a local train from Dumdum junction to the suburban area where I live. It was a train fully crowded. And as usual there were hastles at every station. People had to struggle with great vengeance. In Agarpara stop, I noticed an old man (I guess his age would be somewhere near 75) running after the train and jumping on to it with an amazing dexterousness. Kolkata lives at the age of 75 too. It struggles to live on, and it succeeds. Then there was this boul(a kind of singer from the Vaishnava Sect) who started singing a song in the tune of a rabindrasangeet in that jampacked train. Then there was this blind kid, who had a speaker on his back, a harmonium hanging from his shoulders and singing, “ek bar bidai de ma ghure asi” and suddenly I was all emotional. May be it owes a lot to the fact that I have been staying abroad or that I love my mother tongue dearly but still I would give credit to the city which stays, at this age of superfast globalization, a virgin when it comes to its people and their unscathed lifestyle. These trains are the bloodlines of Calcutta, and they truly portray the life of it.

Don’t know whether I have blabbered a lot in this post or I have talked nonsense too much. May be I’m a sentimental fool to think in these lines but these were the moments which touched me quite a lot and I am just being true to myself.


ad libber said...

I never get to watch such stuff at Victoria, all I see is two boys making out, which is not the stuff lasting memories are made out of.
The points you made aren't true for only Kolkata. Each city has its own idiosyncrasies. Do not confuse a few people as the mark of the city.
Though the city you saw is different from the city I see everyday, I like the view. Its still my city, but with more aspects to its personality.

Gauri Gharpure said...

beautiful post..

1) the candle-light vigil for rizwanur touched many hearts. It wud never ve happened in west, u r right. I am from ahmedabad (i love the city to my bones, the progress there is stunning) but i know, something on such a large scale ws not possible there.. wht sturck me ws, rizwanur case hasnt taken a communal tinge, even after such ramoant media coverage. hats off to Kolkata.. (u may want to read the poem- 'I forgot to light a candle' on my blog and post ur comments there)

2) Victoria memorial is the most striking, more awe-inspiring sturcture i ve even seen. Especially, when u come down the 2 hooghly bridge at night, we get a glimpse of it in it's nocturnal glory, and tht stops my breath mid-way everytime.. (hoogly bridge, when lit at evenings, is a speldour in itself!)

3) Kolkata is very humble, the city knows the value of money...

great post...

The Ancient Mariner said...


Kolkata gives out a different color of its life as you start walking alongside in this great city.

Kolkata like any other city of India has its own color. Its good to see coming from outside you have started to admire it so much. I am an outsider myself. And I am in quite a similar situation.