After a busy semester, it was once again time to go home to my city, Kolkata. After a two hour long flight, I could finally see the city glittering at night, and like every other time I couldn’t control my excitement. Though Kolkata was home and it was natural to feel that way, there was something about the city which got me excited each time. As the cab slowly crawled through the busy traffic, I wondered what was it about the city that I loved so much. I wondered what made the city so special. Maybe it how the colonial buildings struck a sharp contrast with the emerging high risers, and every locality had a history of its own. The city was brimming with stories. Maybe it was the city’s obsession for art and literature and how every child was well versed with Rabindra Sangeet. Maybe it was the city’s love for chaa(tea) and how bonding over a hot cup of roadside tea was preferred over going out for drinks.
However, I think what made the city unique was its people. People here still prefer to hang out at bookstores and museums, and watch plays in the theater. They are warm and friendly, and willing to help out random strangers. The city infuses a burst of energy even in the most monotonous souls. They love and hate passionately, which reflects in the way they support their local football clubs,and never miss a chance to catch a game in the Maidan, even on a busy Monday morning. Also, I think kolkata was the only city where people always had time for a conversation. The concept of family picnics still exists here. Idol crafting, which is a dying art, finds its place here, at Kumortuli. The idols of gods and goddesses created here reflect the passion, creativity and devotion of the artisans. It somehow manages to set itself apart from all the competition. The myriad diversity of communities,trying to find an order here is evident of the fact that nobody feels out of place.
The food here is just like the people you come across – available in various forms and flavors, each one different from the rest, and set apart from the others by a distinctive trait you just can’t help but love. A plate of puchkas or pani puris is all it will take to make you forget your worries, while a roll from the nearest street food outlet is all you need for lunch on the go. A boat ride down the river is all it will take for you to connect with yourself. There is a sense of ease in all the chaos. Each time I see the sun setting over the magnificent Howrah bridge, I feel as if my heart would burst out of my sheer love for the city.
The city has a soul which reflects mine, trying to find love, poetry beauty and charm in the past faced world where people are driven with ambition and not passion.
This is where I have learnt that happiness is a choice and each day, a celebration of life.