Literature & Culture

Oh Kolkata!!!

Author: Sunday man


“ ….. the much loved, much hated but always interesting” — Desmond Doig

Where … Neruda and Feluda are always on the bestseller list. Even beyond Jadavpur… Or the score in a basketball match between Ethiopia and Sudan, is of far greater interest than where the Dalal Street closed yesterday.
Where… affection is doled out in the form of delicious blobs of cottage cheese soaked in sugar syrup, served in a bowl of caramelized yogurt.
Diabetes has no protectorate here.

Where… voices are only raised in passionate defence of righteous causes such as which fish tastes best?  Illish in mustard sauce or Lobsters in coconut curry.

Where… hours are spent arguing which local soccer team reigns supreme or who should win the next election in Peru.

Where…  love triangles are made and consumed every day.   They are deep fried golden pyramids filled with savoury stuffing…

Where… the essential companion for the vital afternoon cup of tea is puffed rice swirled in pickle oil. More so when rain showers.

Where…reunions are greeted by the family harmonium. But that, only after the traditional evening Conch Shell is blown and the holy water of Ganges have been sprinkled on the doorsteps. Yes, don’t forget the incense sticks.

Where… there is a song for every season, every occasion, glad or sad.

Where… bookstores, sweet-meat shops and pharmacies abundantly exist in close proximity so that one is never far from knowledge, from indulgence or from medication for over indulgence.

Where… in every house there would be an Artist, a poet, a songster, a rebel, or a musician.

Where … in all colonies there would be a Khokanda..or Subashda or Bheblada who you may summon for any assistance in case you are in trouble, small or big.

Where … there is abundance of suggestions as to how the government should function…

Where…  serious, mature, men and women are addressed lifelong by hilariously childish nicknames assigned in their childhood by their family;

A dark skinned fellow could be a Saheb or a Bankim be a simple buku. Embarrassment has no place

Where, relationships, whether through blood or friendship or even casual acquaintance are indistinguishable. Everyone is either an Aunt or an Uncle, or a niece or a nephew or a brother or a sister…even fellow passengers on a public bus who one will never meet again.

Where… no occasion is complete without Tagore being referred to.

Where … the phrase “I’m coming” is the very same phrase used to say “I’m leaving”.

Where… there are no goodbyes.

Only welcomes.



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