Sunday, June 13, 2010

To Kolkata

Well, as I am typing this note TMC has given the whip lashing to CPM in the elections for corporations. The city of Kolkata is in a moment of cautious celebrations. The new has taken its right stand. I am not a big fan of Mamata Bannerjee but since CPM has taken its time to prove its incompetence (actually impotence), I would welcome any change.

So this is the political weather in Kolkata. The police and the CRPF are walking the streets and I am house arrest until 6 in anticipation of the winning snare that the TMC dogs would give the older canines and hence the ever famous Kolkata bandh and curfew. Inside home, my aunt’s house in salt lake, the wind chime and its partner are successful in creating a winner of an atmosphere. Warm, peaceful and appetizing.. especially for a nice Mojito!

But this is what I feel. People from all around Kolkata have warned, sympathized and almost threatened me about how harsh, merciless and unhealthy this summer is. My aunt was surprised to see me happy and bouncy when I entered her house. She was expecting a wet cloth beaten on a stone and then wriggled and dried in the same state under the heat of Thar Desert. A friend of mine welcomes me to Kolkata albeit with a warning of this terrible summer. Although I don’t feel the pain.. this anticipated heat attack has spruced up the value (if I may say) of my trip. The “madness” has been poetized!

But yeah, in all fairness it is hot and bloody hell demoralizing. I have been in this kind of heat for 4 years and I know to handle it. On my first day in the sleeper class train seat (!!!A reason for awe and awwww!!!) I did feel that it was a mistake to plan a trip with such a budget, but then logic and physics got better of me. Thanks to continuous supply of water in the train.. I must say I managed pretty well with wet hair and face every 1 hr. Along with that, the best way to handle this heat when you don’t have a fan or AC is, though it might sound disgusting, let yourself sweat and then sweat a lil more and then, even a small whiff of wind will make you feel amazing and then before you know it you are in a sound sleep! 2 Hrs later its either not that hot or its time for “one more time repetition”. Then you will be so proud of yourself that you will smile condescendingly at people “struggling with heat”.

Well, this is the shortest time gap that I am coming back to Kolkata, 3.5 months. It feels good; this city is truly a Matrubhoomi! I like train travels to Howrah. City of Kolkata is iconicly depicted by the Howrah bridge or otherwise known as Rabindra Sethu. When you around the Howrah station vicinity the first big, smiling welcome is given by the same old Howrah bridge. Its like the city has never changed. And the best part is because of the Hoogli river and the railway station you don’t find the barrage of apartments towering over the beautiful past that has remained all these years. The view unobstructed veils the dirty tracks and you are immediately a part of this bustling energetic city!

While the new political party takes over the corporation I feel the old guy (aka Kolkata) will be more welcoming to the new suburban Kolkata that has been inching and pleading its way in. For the city with the repertoire of producing almost prolifically, sharp brains that the whole of India knows as probashi (some thing like a NRI, NRBengali, Mostly because the sharpest brains have no work in Kolkata), Its time the Non Residents return to their Mathrubhumi and give it that actual change that it is looking for since decades!