Tuesday, May 15, 2012

City of change

Calcutta, they say, nowadays is changing. I differ and I agree. I differ because change is not always good. And this one I say from a very personal experience. Robi Thakur has been a never ending experience in my life, in fact many of our lives. I look up to him in times of trouble agony and joy. But the cacophony which surrounds him nowadays is something I find very troublesome, something very uncomfortable. I don't if he would have approved of this 'God'-ification of himself. It's definitely worthy to read, appreciate and spread his values. But it is necessary somewhere to inculcate those values within our given spaces. Personally, I find it a very annoying idea- idol worship of an iconic figure, almost making a 'God' out of him (yes! I mean it, the incense stick and the garlands) with complete irreverance to what he said, what he wrote, what he meant.

I don't mean to say that Robi Thakur should remain within the confines of the intellectual four corners of the Presidency college canteen. But, it really pains to see his song praising the nurturing charm of the rain being played on a traffic signal in this scorching heat. Seriously! why???? And as far as I know he was a very sarcastic person, a person who never stopped short of making fun of himself, a person who loved breaking norms. A study of his wedding card (we share same wedding dates in Bengali- 24shey Oghrohayon) shows glimpses of this polymath. He steered clear of all established norms of the invitation cards being printed in  the name of a senior in his family. He invited everyone on behalf of a very dear person of his. The subtlety and the innovation is something to look up to. So if you claim to be influenced by him, show some innovation in your thoughts. It might not be as radical as thinking of creating a form which will be later known as "Rabindrik style" and encouraging girls and woman to go up on the stage and dance while being shouted at by Bengali Intellectuals of his time, but in casd e granting a simple SEZ status to an upcoming IT hub draws some investments for this money strapped state, so be it. The reasons for your disapproval in this case do not make a healthy ground. Singur had a different background story and we cannot customize everything.

But that does not mean that every change is bad. The way the work of the metro corridor in this city is progressing, I grow hopeful everyday. And I salute her spirit. She might have a thousand flaws, but she is an inspiration too. I visited Rajarhat recently and I was amazed. The building complex that I was visiting and the surroundings still did not match up to the glitz, glamour and life of the city, but there was a buzz. And what Roads! My frequent visits to the airport had always been through the Keshtopur-Baguihati route. It was only recently when my family was leaving for a holiday to South India and I had decided to drop them till the airport that I discovered the beauty of the roads. The recent trip was on our new car and that gave us another opportunity to be hopeful about the city. I think I have the deepest regards for our CM. You may say, Rajarhat is a gift of the bygone left rule, but she maintains it and how. By that logic most of the policy making and Bidhannagar- the satellite township  is a gift of the erstwhile Congress Rule in the state- the brainchild of the best CM we ever had- Dr. B.C. Roy. We are at discomfort with her also, may be because it pains that somebody with as humble beginnings as hers, is calling the shots today. Her story will be the fodder for a different post though.

Every story asks for a perfect ending. This story will see one, if the gap between the two decimates gradually and I remain hopeful. Calcutta, I love thee.


  1. You are a bong to the core... unlike your other half :)

    1. I am :) And about my better half, well! he has recently been listening to a lot of Rabindrasangeet and has been gifted a fat Bengali book for his birthday- that's all I have to say :P

  2. Saddened by the recent crime spur in New market area against women :(


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