I could not post anything for a week as I was travelling. I had a chance to travel to Kolkata, the second largest city in India. Kolkata is the capital of the state of West Bengal in India. It’s one of the most densely populated city and known as “City of Joy”. Other names are ‘City of Palaces” as one can see many heritage buildings and palaces here. its also called ‘City of Procession’ as the citizens are vocal about anything they dislike. So I was quite excited to meet the people of the city. What I love about Kolkata are its foods. Be it varieties of fishes, sweets, countless kinds of snacks, eating outlets and books. Books are everywhere; any kind of book, new or old, you will get in Kolkata. People still read books and are capable of arguing on any topics on the Earth. An argumentive Indian can be seen at any corner of any street, here. The coffee house of Kolkata is the cultural hub of the city where almost all famous Indians who are passionate about art, music and literature visited. Many themes of a movie or concept of a play were born in the coffee house. Many lyrics and many poems were written here. Another aristocratic place is the college street where you will get all book shops, the streets are always buzzing with young students and old intellectuals. The second largest second-hand book market in the world is college street of Kolkata. It is believed that if you can not find the oldest version of any book in college street, then you may not get it anywhere in the world.
The Razabazar Science College is a place where legendary scientists Satyen Bose, C V Raman and Jagadishchandra Bose worked. Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, the legendary Chemistry Professor and founder of Bengal Chemicals used to stay in a small room in the first floor of the Science College and cooked his own food. Still the room exists. So, there are innumerable reasons why I like to visit Kolkata!!
The reminiscence of Kolkata dragged me out of my house in this rainy month of July. I hired a cab and went to my favourite place, College Street. The cloudy sky could not deter me, from going out. I started visiting my favourite shops, chit chatting with the shopkeepers as many of them are known to me. Purchased a couple of books, had a cup of coffee too. I did not notice the black clouds hovering over the sky, ignored the thunders too as I was busy in smelling new books! The downpour started, heavy in weight. Not seen the sky gritting its teeth in recent times as I stay in the desert like a place. All shopkeepers dragged the shutters half down, customers took shelters in the shops and wherever they could.
Slowly but steadily water started logging in. Level raised up to our knees after one hour of a downpour. I just got awestruck! Where to go now and how to cross this flowing water filled with all the sand, dust, grits and dirt? I realised the naked truth of a crowded city! How much dirt it accumulates can be estimated when you see the logged water messed with loads of ‘what not’s’. Gosh!! I said and started moving, crossing through the water, pushing back its flow. Disgusting! Holding my purse tight on one hand, and an umbrella in another, I knew lots of grit required to reach my destination- My Sweet Home.
Reached home after three hours of struggle, fully drenched. My jeans, shirt full of all specks of dirt. Grits, sands, dust particles were hugging me tightly. Dream of buying new books, reading few pages of them, holding a cup of coffee, thinking intellectually- all buried. But still, I smiled. This is my city, taught me lessons from my childhood. Witnessed my tears and my joys. I feel grateful, as I reached where I am today- only because of you, Kolkata.