A Kolkata Window

While flipping through various sites about Kolkata and her charm, I came across this fantastic quote from Chidananda Dasgupta – the soaring film maker and critic, “What can one say about a city that discusses Spinoza and Bertrand Russell during a power cut?”

A quick smile played across my face and thought, “Well, what you can say about the city which talks with pride about Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Mother Teresa and Amartya Sen? The city, which is the intellectual hub of every poet, artist or film maker. The city that talks about the irresponsible rickety govt however celebrates the spirit of bandh willfully. That city which is sometimes mocking called, ‘the city of joy’. That city where everyone knows about communism just as much, ilish maach and golda chingri

The city which is proud about those dilapidated trams as well as, the underground ‘Metro’ rail. Where, the Nahoums of New Market is as famous as The Flurys of Park Street.  The city whose head is full of revolution but the hearts beats of ‘adda’.

Photo Courtesy: Google 

The city which stands as a queen during the Durga Puja, acts like a Shehjzadi during Muharram and live likes an angel in the months of Christmas.

That is as serious about its literature as about her ‘very’ own, mishti and maacher jhol.
Like seriously, who can ever not be in love with the indomitable spirit of Kolkata?
Kolkata has always been an abode of beautiful contrasts. She has her very own colors – the colors which no one can fade.

Who knew when almost three centuries ago, an English trader Job Charnok came to this city to do business. Right at THAT instant everything about these three villages changed. Kolkata, Sutanuti and Gobindapur were about to be the proud intellectual hub in the history of the world. 

Calcutta was rapidly changing its colors; it became a city of contrasts to much of these days. There are dazzling shopping malls co-exist with shaggy, dirty Jagubabur Bajar. There are books in Oxford and Crossword; there are books even in the lanes and by-lanes of College Street. There is Coffee House and then, there are CCDs.

Photo Courtesy: Google 

When you will step in Kolkata, you will find the latest cars zip-zapping through the traffic as well as, hand-pulled rickshaws. There is opulence of wealth and there is extreme poverty. But still the city is not Mumbai, but Kolkata – rather my, Calcutta.

You can find any intellectual celeb in few old-fashioned pubs or bars or even cafes in Calcutta in a crazy rainy evening. You will find the same ones in one of the top posh ‘stars’ in the city with 20’s classic playing in the background served with the rarest French wine!
It is this quality that makes this city unique.

The spirit of ol’ ‘marketing’ (Sic.) in the New Market is as pleasurable as shopping from one of the Parisian Designer Brands in a shopping mall.

You get a grand feeling while coming from Howrah Bridge to Fort William. From Raj Bhavan to the world famous Eden Gardens. From Shyambazar’s paNch mathar more to the lavish city restaurants in Park Street. This, unique culture drives the juices for art, literature and music. This is THE ‘mojo’ of the city. 

Calcutta was the cradle of the Indian Renaissance and its legacy is still standing still in her broadways and lanes. It breathes ‘hope’ to those several of us who are living far away from the very heart of the city. It’s the love only a child can understand of its mother. It’s that intense desire to go back.

Photo Courtesy: Google 

The city breathes art. Whether you watch an artisan in Kumartuli drawing HER Holy Highness Goddess’s eyes with as precision as the para’r bhNepuwala plays its flute. Where to travel to the nearest metro station, your para’r kaku takes hand-pulled rickshaw every day.  You will understand that Calcutta’s fascination defies in every analysis. For many, therefore, and for us Bangalees, it is an addiction of prem of the mind and soul…