Monday, October 22, 2012

Letters from Kolkata

Letters from Kolkata

On the morning of the 15 th I woke up early in the morning and like millions of Bengalis living outside Bengal, I hummed along with the rendition of Mahishahur Mardini, while I packed my suitcase for a flight to Kolkata.

I am aware of the chaos, the dust, the pollution that would recieve me when I land in Kolkata...but the desicion for me was already made by nostalgia that...reaches out to every pore of me as every other legitimate Bengali's or those who have stayed in Calcutta, for even a small spell of time.

Bangalore airport is no different from any other airport in the world, except for the fact that you get to see little sparrows chirping and flying in and out of the airport inner sanctum is somehow pleasntly surprised to see these little creatures come to fly with us. The airport resembled a mini Calcutta, with Benaglis of every size and shape catching every flight back home. While on the flight, a child about 5 years old sat behind me and suddenly asked a lady seated next to her, " Do you stay in Behala or Alipore?" The lady at the reciving end of the question laughed and asked, " Kano bolo toh?" ( why do you ask that?) the little one immidiately pipped, " My grandmother stays in Behala and uncle in Alipore"..Homecoming was never sweeter!

In the distance since yesterday and today, I saw Durga who had been given an artist's expression...Her eyes vivid, with anger, mercy and love..In some places Ganesha and saraswati are still busy wearing their clothes.

I took a rickshaw ride first thing after I landed. I was asked, with a familiar smile, " Didi bhalo achen?" As we exchange unnecessary and regular exchanges, a group of local addabajas raise their hand in salute..over numerous cups of Cha.

The roads are closed in many places, there is irritation on people's faces and yet every time a dhak sounds from somewhere, everyone stops to listen...I am in South Kolkata, it is evening...thousands of lights come up as if from no gloworms on the mountains..a Reliance footprint, I spy a Dhaki( drummer) pacing the front of the shop and playing his drums in totaly ecstacy..some children join him, while their parents buy inside...the man is excited and starts a little dance to match the children..I smile

Kolkata, you look like a resplendent bride tonight!

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