Cuddled under the quilt, I half opened my eyes
As I rose to a delectable coldness in the air
The loud calls of the street mongers reached my ears
The noise of the rickshaw horns also had their share.
Instantly I knew even in partial consciousness
That I was in a space most dear to me
Tea in clay cups, music and family
It was Kolkata, the city that appears in the dreams I see.
The Herculean horses by the race course
Or the early morning beauty of the Victoria memorial
The crimson setting sun by Babughat
Or the evening bells in St. Paul's Cathedral.
I love every hue of my City of Joy
From the narrow lanes to modern Broadways
A city that houses art and culture
To the rhythm of which, an artist mind sways.
The city is a flavor in itself
Like the aroma of coffee in Coffee House
A signature that is never too old
The colors of tradition that never fade, like feathers of a grouse.....
When I was kid I lived in a beautiful fairy-tale township. Green, clean and effervescent. At that time I hated city life. The packed buses and trains, the jammed roads and crowded markets were nothing but turn offs to me. But fate brought me to Kolkata and soon my life and living started to be getting habituated with hustle and bustle. Without my knowledge, the so called city of joy, started to intimidate me.
This post is my meager attempt to pay back to the city that has given me loads of memories, jingles, verses and colors. Truly Kolkata is eccentric, inspite of all the political turmoil and other social issues, it continues to overawe. It continues to evoke art, it continues to evoke poetry in me. Hence my favorite city, in my colorful Nation India, will most definitely be Kolkata, "The City of Joy".
Probably the beauty of the city is in its bemusing mixture of the old and the new. While the narrow lanes of North Kolkata, takes you to the 70' s era, as in, "Ala Kolkata", and speaks many a stories, South Kolkata is different. It is contemporary. The Malls, the culture is like in any other big city, like Mumbai, Delhi. So this city gives the luxury of time to time commemoration of the past and drown in nostalgia and also lead a hep city life. The city roads are frankly not as wide like in cities like Mumbai, yet traffic pressure is manageable. Hence driving is not as big a pain as in many other cities in the country. One praise worthy aspect of my city, would most definitely be the strict traffic policing, you can hardly spot anyone without a helmet on a two-wheeler. And the wondrous traffic management of the humongous crowd during Durga Puja, is commendable.
This city is an intricate portrayal of art, culture and heritage. It symbolises literature, in a delectable dough of ancient and modern. It is designed to perfection to evoke the story teller, the poet and nature lover in you. True, it lags when compared to most modern cities, given to its laid back development. Yet it is designed to be one of the most liveable cities of the country, by providing liveability to people of varying economic status. The standard of living of Kolkata is much lower than the other big cities of the nation, however it also provides a wide range of choices for the upper economic class as well.
For any big city to grow, its connectivity with other parts of the country and abroad has to be great. This once capital of British India, is one of the four metropolitan cities of India, with an International Airport. The connectivity via road and rail is adequately developed, for my city to be called well connected. However I believe the east and west should be connected a little better.
It may not be the best, but it is my city. A city which has ample scope of development and modernisation. Its geographical location naturally connects it well to the rest of the world. And its colourful, literary atmosphere makes me the blogger I am and connects me to it, heart to heart.