It’s really hard to find a description that would do proper justice to Kolkata, capital of West Bengal, a city which over 14 million people call home! Other metros in India cannot offer the alluring old-world charm and a tranquil pace of life which makes Kolkata, a city of amiable contrasts.
033 is the code that will always be inscribed within me. When one enters the city, the magnificent Howrah bridge welcomes you, and you will be struck with awe. Yes, I am from the ‘City of Joy’ or rather the ‘City of Palaces.’ I am from KOLKATA, and proud to call it my city.
I am born here and I belong here, and will belong for the rest of my life. One falls in love with this city at first sight. It is welcoming, and truly beautiful. People here have the warmth of dearness. The British architecture, the food , football, the festivals, the alleys, and almost about everything has a story of its own. I feel extremely fortunate to be born here or else I wouldn’t have grown up with the all the cultures and values that the city has imbibed in me.
My childhood wouldn’t have been so beautiful without RAY’S GUPI BAGHA or FELUDA Series, I wouldn’t have known what it feels like to be on a Tanga from Victoria to Fort William, no city can give the taste of awesome phuchkas at every turn, what it feels like to be in Nandan and discussing theatre with friends, would never have known Ritwick Ghatak and Mrinal Sen and all that Kolkata has to offer.
My city bore and is still bearing the past with the emerging modernity. The city has a metro but our slow trams honk their bells on the streets in equal grandeur. We, too, get an Ola or an Uber at one click, but we can also enjoy the thrills of a hand pulled rickshaw. Kolkata welcomes people from different places irrespective of caste and creed, this city can offer you luxurious lunch at five star hotels as fish rice at only INR10. Heard about this elsewhere? I think not.
The strong contrast between the past and present makes me love the city even more, both of these their own glamour. The swanky new CCDs can never replace that flavour of tea stalls with mud pots or bharey cha and of course the untimely Adda on every topic known to Bengalis. The nostalgia of the early morning fish market and its chaos can only be felt here. No matter how many continents or how far a Bengali stays he/she has to come back again and again for that irrestible maacher jhol (fish curry) cooked by his / her mother.
No matter how grand a Durga-puja you attend elsewhere, each and every Bengali sits with a heavy heart and longs for the pandal hopping in Kolkata. Those who cannot come back, they keep Kolkata alive in their hearts through Tagore and Mishti Doi.
Yes my city is my muse, she is splendid, she is beautiful , she is adorable, she is dear, she is Tillottama Kolkata. This place will never be old, doesn’t matter how many times I go for photowalks from Esplanade to Bow-Barracks the place never gets boring, there is so much to click, so much to know, explore, and so much to feel about each street and every corner here. Kolkata is full of life. It never puts anyone down, it’s home to everyone. Whoever comes here finds a home here, from rich to poor.
Though divided into North Kolkata and South Kolkata, both the parts are worth living in. North Kolkata, is the older area of the city, a fascinating place painted by narrow little lanes, and hundreds of century-old buildings. Heritage structures include Chitpur, Bagbazar, Belgachhia,Shyam Bazaar, Shobha Bazaar, Maniktala, Jora Sanko and the famous College Street area. It also includes Sealdah Station, one of the largest train hubs in India, and the newly built Kolkata station. Dum Dum is the prime communication hub of Kolkata which has the International Airport, Metro Rail, Circular Rail and Ground Rail. South Kolkata, on the other hand is the posher part of the city.Covers Dhakuria, Ballygunge, Bhawanipur, Alipore, New Alipore, Rash Behari, Kalighat and Tollygunge, each with fancy malls and multiplexes. It’s really hard to stay away from a city like this.
It has a certain vibe to it and everything here is just so perfect; the food, the people, the lanes, the stories and of course football on the streets and so many other things I cannot put in words. Perhaps, the only city which has an overwhelming contrast like Park Street as the heart of Kolkata for party animals, and ghats by the river of Ganga for the nature lovers. The never ending battle between an East Bengal & Mohun Bagan fan is one that is worth a mention.
So all the people are welcomed in my city with an open heart, as Usha Uttup says “Kolkata dekho toh baki duniya bekaar hai”.