Calcutta, Kolkata

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Kolkata, India. The place where I was born and brought up. The land of illish maach, roshogollas and Rabindranath Tagore. A world away from another. This city is versatility in its most dignified outfit. A foodie’s paradise. Forget the eclairs and pastries, let me open your eyes to Kalakand, Gurer Jalbhora and Mishti Doi.

We, Bengali people, absolutely adore food. Be it tandoori chicken, Kung Pao chicken or Coq au Vin, Kolkata has every cuisine known to man. Apart from the scrumptious delicacies, we have music. Sitar, harmonium and tabla: creating the most amazing sounds, almost as good as a Violin Concerto, if not better. Gritty yet so charismatic, she’s beguiling, my city.

Forget Uber and taxi cabs. The city boasts of trams, metros and rickshaws. Sitting on a Phaeton while you traverse the grounds of The Victoria Memorial, a spectacular scene of greenery all around. Cricket matches at the Eden Gardens, boating below the Howrah Bridge. Puja shopping at New Market and Goriahaat, when Kolkata is dressed in Autumn. The ambiance of South Calcutta, the liveliness and the heritage of the North. Pandal hopping and street food, dancing to the beats of a drum before the Idol of Durga Ma and her children. Christmas in Park Street, New Year’s eve in Peter Cat. Oh, Kolkata is wonderful!

A city  enriched with culture, a city called home to three Nobel Laureates. The old world charm of Dalhousie,  the murals of Sealdah. The ghats of River Ganges…all illuminating this place with such brilliance.

A city so homely. Trust me when I say you’ll never feel left out here. A city full of festivals and friendly people. She’s someone who will entice you when you least expect it. She’s traditional but she’s modern. She’s beautifully bejeweled with astonishing architecture. Loves literature and films. She is a bit of a hipster, but a very nice one. She’s the ultimate friend.

No, not everything about this place is bright and shiny. Actually far from it, every silver lining has a cloud. She maybe the perfect background setting for your stories but her own tale is a bad one. There was a time when she was the belle of the ball, flourishing and thriving. Intellectualism and modernity began with her. But that didn’t last, though she tries to stay happy…she is broken. Broken with how she seems like a dead end to the youth, unhappy with the fact that her career is rollercoaster that only goes down. Her beauty tainted by politics and crime. She secretly fears that someday she’ll become obsolete and no one will remember her.

But she still hopes, hopes for a better future. A future where she’s been restored her old glory. Nevertheless Kolkata still loves you , and you can’t help but love her back.

So visit sometime. I promise you’ll like her.

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