Monday, March 03, 2008

The Bong Connection

There are remnants of the bygones in each and every dust particle in Calcutta. The city I love unconditionally, without belonging to it, without having ever stayed in it, without having any connections to it. I still remember my first visit to Cal vividly, as if it were yesterday- the monsoon drenched roads, the lively Park Street, the crowded Forum, the beautiful Millennium Park and the place I guess I’m not destined to see (on the inside)- Victoria Memorial. I remember getting bewitched by the angel on the top of the structure and the tanga ride that followed. People wonder why I would want to go to Cal for a holiday; it is an unusual place to go when there are the hills and the beaches selling tranquility. Why would one go from one maddening metro to another? Because, I feel the Cal-Calling, a little akin to the call of the wild. And of course, there is the case of my inimitable Bong connection.

There was this lingering silence, promise and peace on the banks of the famous river. The setting sun, the lamp on the boat and the lights on the bridge; they were all yearning for attention. The coffee at the Coffee House asked to be appreciated for being in circulation since aeons ago and the crumbling College Street sold hopes, ghosts, jokes and love. The lifeless yet ageless old monuments stood in grandeur as the vestiges of the empire that it was once a part of. Modernity mixed with culture; that is Calcutta for the uninitiated…

6 comments:

anonymuse said...

http://supskajournal.blogspot.com/2007/06/kolkata-city-of-joy.html

anonymuse said...

i wrote that one time when i was really missing cal

Flittermouse said...

sincerely speaking, i kept on wondering on this very aspect...what is there in that city which is so much dead yet so much alive with no answer... i left it with the thought that it has nothing to offer yet it has so much to offer...its unnatural to like her and and yet its irresistible...somehow one ends up liking her....
charisma???enigma??? somewhere down the line there's a vibe which one would surely be entrapped by, yes even after leaving her with the thought that she has lost everything...she beckons....

well, you can smell the history she has got to offer you and that makes anybody fall for her.... Lapiere too was a victim and so was Charnock... and unlike them...you, me and so many others too... its not a criteria to belong to her, but her warmth makes you feel the belongingness....

i want to go back :(

Flittermouse said...

very unusual, yet so natural...
no matter whether you belong to her or not...she'll trap you...
Lapiere and Charnock too... you, me or anybody else... make no difference... she does what she requires to do...her charisma, enigma and the vibe.... :)

feel like moving back :|

thusspakerono said...

One of the saddest things about life is, one never knows the value of something untill he/she has lost it...
I get put off immensely by a number of things whenever I am in this city but again, whenever I've been away too long I've almost inevitably suffered...
I start seeing ghosts, images of my mother, late grandmother, other women of the household, dressed in white sarees with a red border, with wet hair, flowers and incense in hand, heading off to the nearby temple on early Durga Puja mornings...I've seen ghosts of my elder cousins trying to master the 'Dhanuchi'...I've dreamt of those long lost walks, mom, dad and I used to go for alongside the Lake when I was a kid, I've dreamt of 'The little verandah I grew up in'...

Call it a dying city, call it dirty but if one walk down those old lanes and bazaars does not arouse a strong, poignant nostalgia, trust me, nothing in the world ever will.

Da said...

loved your descriptions in the 2nd para... makes me wanna go to that city and take a closer look..