Sunday, April 25, 2010

Confessions of the predominantly Calcuttan mind.

So there its is. Sunday afternoon and I had nothing much to do. Actually a lot to do, but didn't feel like. so I decided to watch TV in the common room. No one was around so I had the complete liberty to surf and change the channels at my will. I will vouch for the fact that the tv remote in my hand makes me feel liberated and anybody who has stayed in hostel will agree with me. It was then that I suddenly realised that I have been watching a shabby bengali television channel called Etv Bangla (the only one available here without a dish tv or other snazzy stuff) for the past fifteen minutes. I mean that was disastrous by my standards. I have forgotten the number of times I have hated my mom for putting on that channel or something else like that. They really have some sidey shows on and I hate them. you could never expected me to watch etv bangal on a sunday afternoon. But that was then. some 4 years ago when I stayed at home and was not taunted at the regular social dos on being converted to a 'probashi', an allegation which I vehemently deny till date. 
But then again what made me actually watch that channel for so long? The long and short of it was that I was missing home and the bengali chitchat and blabber around me. More so everything Calcuttan. Yes! it was listing out some show to be staged by a theatre group in rabindra sadan on a particular date. And I was listening to it. Am not an aantel and I speak to my family some 5 times a day on phone and I have amazing friends from other parts of the country. But it was just another time that made me feel what i miss the most. A voice shouting on the phone with the background score of honking horns and "Garia, Garia" nagging from the side - "Paushali kalke amra menokar smane theek 11.30 tay meet korbo. jodi deri korechish chotolok tahole toke na niyei hall ey dhukey porbo kintu"
Or may be like some one singing "ek tajmahal gorbo hridoye tomar" in the last class during SPHS days and dedicating it to... (erm) and then a favourite teacher of mine coming from the background (who was till now eavesdropping) and saying- "Porashunota koro theekmoto."
All these happens. Still. I mean I will be in last year of college next semester and these keeps on happening especially with my batch. But the language and the tinkle of it. It's "Legen-wait for it-dary". Or may be its all about romanticising things.
So should I confess? Off course I should. 

1. I cherish and crave for macher jhol bhaat everyday even after having the exotic delicacies around the world.
2. I miss my mom shouting after me and my dad cribbing about me on the phone for so long. I like the pampering during the holidays nowadays but I miss those days when I was in school.
3. I miss evenings. Completely lazy ones or completely weirdly busy ones. The sky had a different tinge those days. Even if I was running late for Hajra sir's tution.
4. I miss buying books dirt cheap or borrowing them. I still borrow books. Only that they are not in Bengali. 
5. I miss bandh holidays. I miss Rs. 3.50 auto rides.
6. I miss being in a city which is so easy on your pockets. I miss being in the city where you can have the best phuchka at the rate of 5 takay 6 ta.
7. I miss bhaat boka. I miss ledge. I miss adda near dakshinapon- golpark.
8. I miss early morning school bus rides. I miss taking trips of our very dear and now dactar babu by translating and singing sharara sharara in bengali.
9. I miss the buzz of the city. I miss the metro ride. I miss the people and hustle bustle. I miss the honking horns.
10. I miss those "damn it, the signal had to go red now only" moments near Anwar Shah more or jadavpur p.s.
11. I miss romanticisng the gullies of Shyambazar, old calcutta, joint family and dreaming about marrying into one. But wait the person concerned needs to be  a bangal. No ghoti food for me.
12. I miss ghoti bangal fights at every tender occasion.
13. I miss being at every family function and that includes my 2nd cousin's baby shower where a random relative pulls my cheeks (yes! i am open to that embarrasment till now) saying - "Kotto boro hoye geche"
14. I miss having a bhalobashar manush (not a bf) who can buy me jibonanondo or sing "hoyto tomari jonyo" near the gangar ghat for real. 
15. I miss torko. I miss socialising with people who think bengal is still the buzz word.
16. I miss fighting with my mom that south is much much better than the oh! so mofussil north. (don't kill me for this. I still want to marry into a typical north Calcutta house- i mean those with khirki janla, dalan etc.)
17. I miss listening to my pishon leaking out nostalgic secrets about who had a crush on whom and who dated whom sessions which started randomly during every get together.
18. I miss being at my para. My pujo. Ashtami morning. Anjali. Bhog and times when "jhaari mara" was an art and I thought "tomaake chayi" and "pehla nasha" coexists and they are for real. (I still do.)
19. I miss get togethers and never ending adda session at Kisha's lake gardens house. 
20. I miss randomly roaming around the city to take a feel of it and then bargaining with the ghorargariwala near victoria when we all were short on cash. 
21. And them promising ourselves to be a part of this "most beautiful city" forever while crossing mohor kunjo.
22. I miss breaking news on star ananda. I miss my morning telegraph and robibashoriyo anadabazar. I miss forming my opinions on them.
23. I hate when my friends blabber about being thrown out of the south city mall food court since they parked themselves there since morning without buying anything and indulging in such good adda.
24. I miss those long walks that me, kishu, suku and all used to take via dhakuria bridge and stopping for phuchka near dakshinapon while returning home from DP's tution.
25. I miss those days when we attached so much importance and romance to the lake. Dhakuria lake. 
26. I miss going for tution at aunty's place in jodhpur park and chatting up with her randomly about everything.

I miss being home. May be that's the only place in this entire world that I will call home. always. 

(Sorry for putting you through this emotional junk. But nobody needs a hug more than me right now.)


  1. very tempted to add a contrary pov -

    1.Those power cuts, sorry blackouts.
    2.summer heat and power cuts.
    3.summer heat, humidity,power cuts and mosquitoes.
    4.those missed trains, because you just couldn't get in.
    5.those suffocating mini's and armpit chokes.
    6.those missed flights for bandhs
    7.that bribe for AB+
    8.that sleeping nurse and a lost life
    9.those forced chanda collections
    10.those ganja golis and spoilt futures.
    11.those snooty schools,with ancient attitudes
    12.those fatalistic rock addas
    13.those pessimistic lazy bureaucrats
    14.the corrupt sergeants at every traffic light
    15.those dilapidated buildings in the name of culture
    16.those wires in burrabazr waiting to ignite,
    17.that haath tana rickshawala starving
    18.those eternal dug outs on fresh tar
    19.those garbage vans leaving evidence
    20.those tuition classes for the 4year olds
    21.clay,modelling,dance,sing,draw,..classes burdened children.
    22.1.5 page times ascent
    23 those peanut salary ranges
    24.those closed jute mills
    25.those ponds on roads, and floods after rains..
    26 yes i miss kolkata too..but dont think would want to go back.

    PS - dreams have a stark reality behind them..but we chose to ignore it.just to feel good.then one day,when that feel good factor goes away..those stark realities start to bite..and then you regret having been there in the first place.

    Being away from Kolkata for so long, I miss my home town quite intensely from time to time,no doubt it..but while my heart thinks of 26 points like brain thinks like my 26points.

  2. @gyanban,
    well, don't they add up to the entire hotch potch called calcutta? that's whatmakes up the city. I will like to accept it as it is. I don't know where life will take me, but given a chance i will like to return home and make an effort to make it a better place to stay in.

    But the minis stay so does the snooty schools and that haattana rickshaw (they were recently abolished by a stroke of government notification and making them more vulnerable to starvation). they give the "character" to the city. After all the ac in the room might become monotonous in some faraway land, but the buzz of the mosquitoes and the following dhyattarika can never be. :-)

  3. Contrary to the post you commented on, I absolutely love Calcutta and Bengali food.. :-)

  4. @tamanna, glad to hear that :D. but that was just a query

  5. No city is perfect! For all the 26 lovely points mentioned by you, some one like Gyan Ban will come up with 26 more points! Its a matter of perspective and view point.

    And a matter of personal romanticism - which was so present in your post!

    I agree with both your points and Gyanban's - but I am more inclined towards yours :-)

  6. @debosmita, he he.. i can understand. your true blue calcuttan side shows up in your posts too.

  7. oshadharon lekha..oshadharon shobdo..oshadharon all belongs to the kol(cal)cuttans..with the salt and the sweet..its all so very bangali's..and its all so very bangali..:)

  8. I am in your league pau....all d powercuts n so on and so forth cant make me love my kolkata any less.....:)

  9. GB...You are such a party pooper! The kid writes the longest, most nostalgic list and you come up with this?

    Hey, I love Kol's ranna, it's never die spirit, the addas.

  10. @Purba, Thanks for visiting my blog :-). 'Kid'...erm!

  11. @ Paushali Loved your make me want to go back home right now :-( .... And yes, that's the only place in the world I'll ever call home too.

    @ GB powercuts and the like happen in every Indian city. As a matter of fact, the situation is far worse in places like Bangalore and Delhi. As for the "that sleeping nurse and a lost life" et al, that still happens because we (and that includes you) do not raise our voice when we see someone/something like that. Its as much your fault (and mine) as it is Calcutta's. Because we are Calcutta (or Kolkata...whichever way you like it). The problem is not with the city; its more our fault than anything else. Yours. And mine.

  12. nice post. can sense the longing!

  13. :))I call it the 'displaced Calcuttan' syndrome :)


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