Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ushu Uthhup would love me for this

A few days back, I realised exactly how much I love my city.
I was on a flight to Delhi. The plane had just taken off. For the first time in my life, I observed how Kolkata looks from a few hundred feet above the ground. And I felt an upsurge of affection for it- so strong, that it took me by surprise.
How delightfully unplanned Kolkata was! How magnificent the Ganga looked, even as a meandering white line! And it was MY city. It would miss me while I was away, I knew it would.

They say Bombay is far more modern. It's sassy and streetsmart. It's seen a lot of life. While poor little Kolkata still blushes at a celebrity crush, Bombay's gone and slept with the hottest guys without a twinge of guilt.

No offence to you Bombay, but even if I grew to love you madly, you'd never be more than second best.
I know that our city has more men who pee on the road than it has trees. I know that half my life has probably gone in waiting for the traffic to clear out. I know that Tollywood is still producing movies like 'Abelaye Garam Bhath' and 'Chirodini Tumi Je Aamar.' 
In spite of all that, I'd always choose Kolkata over you. 

Kolkata, I love you for your pulse. Your winter sunshine. 
For giving birth to the word 'nyaka', which doesn't have a good enough equivalent in any other language. 
For being a place where biriyanipuchkas and mishti doi taste equally good and are equally in demand.

At a time when cities are getting blown to bits, I worry about you awfully. I don't want you to become all stiff and businesslike. I don't want you to get battle-scarred and bloody. 
I hope that for years to come, my grocer will continue reciting poetry to me. That Star Ananda will always have enough time to mourn over Saurav Ganguly and go ghost-busting in North Calcutta.
I like you just the way you are, and I never want you to get hurt. So please, please be safe.

7 beep/s:

cry freedom said...

calcutta sure is slow and sleepy. something i haven't felt in any other city, even though i've travelled throughout india.
and that's what makes it home for me.
the title is good! :P

Prince of Mirkwood said...

If you think traffic in Kolkata is slow, wait till you reach Mumbai.

And Tollywood has given birth to much worthier 'Gardar diye Murder' and 'Shami keno asami baba keno Chakor?'

Death On Two Legs said...

But Abyelaye Garam Bhath is true!! It's running in the halls NOW.

Vikrant said...

What does Abyelaye mean?

Death On Two Legs said...

Abelaye means 'at an odd hour.'

Yamini said...

me LOVES mumbai.
me LOVES kolkata too.
kolkata rocks, n yea, apart from traffic, some roads, people who pee on streets, i don't want much to change.
me LOVES kolkata.

Ash said...

Kolkata has an old world charm. :D