Letter to my city

Dear Kolkata,

“Kemon acho shohor? ” (how are you my city?) How are your lanes doing?  And what about those gutters and open manholes ? Do they still stink the same ? Or has any change been forced upon them to get them clean ? He he! Sorry bhai i always thought that joke to be funny. You know i met Chennai a few days ago and it was complaining on how it always wanted to be a city with a rich history instead it ended up being a city all right, but, history as far as it was concerned did not really shed a sight on it. It went on saying but you know how i am. Pretty biased as a guy.So my ear lost interest. So how is everything?

How is Princep ghat ? How is the river ? Does it still say ,it misses me looking out blankly towards it in search of something to write? I must say Ganga is one sly woman, if not, then why would the tides always be low when i went to it in search of words, when it knows that high tides always create a better rush for rhyme !! However, it did sometimes throw in an occasional lone boat with a sunset background around Bagbazar. A sight that has etched its way into my dreams these days. The line of smoke formed in the orange backdrop from the sailor’s bidi always made me think. It seemed like in that faint bit of tar vapor the sailor let out its thoughts, maybe it was his blogs, it touched its heart (through his lungs! lets not forget science through sentiment) and as he opened his mouth, poof!it was out there. How are the green covered tram lines on red road ? Do lovers still take their walk of happy beginnings and broken hearts, the walk of sad endings down those lanes ? And do the kids playing bangalir shera khela still look on them with amazement ? Or have both the sects learned to move on ? I miss  those walks (lets keep guessing about which one ! ) They say that a kid named rajarhat is going to dominate your skyline very soon, well i will disagree with the fact even if we get a freaking WTC up in that area, to me kolkata’s skyline would be the one that borders the walls of Birla auditorium. The straight lane from Mother Teresa Sarani (Park Street), till the end of Ho Chi Minh Sarani, The Tata Centre, Everest Building, Chatterjee International, American Consulate ending at the grand St. Pauls Cathedral dominating the skies but at the same time letting go of enough space to see the blue blanket. How well can you describe a skyline if the buildings block your view of the sky itself ? And lets not forget about Victoria Memorial and a bit on the farside Vidyasagar setu, which act as the cherry on the icing of clear autumn kolkata clouds. Oh how well you yourself have spoken of your grandeur through our eyes.

What is hatibagan upto ? Has the bargaining and  “o didi” calls grown louder or have the people become more “civilized” and find it “odd” to save “du char poisha” ? So many quotes in a single stement eh ? Well what can i say, you have always been so original ! So authentic ! How often do the people visit Coffee house these days ? Are the addas still that long ? Do the coffees still turn bland amidst the discussions and the burning charminars? How is gonokontho doing ? Is it still allowing people to write their heart on it or has it too got a color these days ? I cant smell the fragrance of the burning matchstick mixed with those of old books and keo karpin hair oil, that i was so familiar with a few months ago, something i miss terrribly. I heard that a certain party has won the elections in bengal this year but who won in coffee house cos the last time i visited the fight was still on, and i heard that it had been on through generations as Robi Thakur stood and heard them all.  Tell the corner bench on college square i miss it too. (again keep guessing).

How good is saltlake proclaiming its exclusiveness? The next time it makes a fuss be straight and tell him, he does not even belong to the city (geographically ). That should keep him quite for a while.

I wont be home in a while so i need you to deliver a few messages for me.

1. 38C Shyampukur Bye lane royak.  See to that no one sits on him and plays 29 other than our group, ask him to get those red ants out if anyone does and tell it that i have left the queen of my hearts under one of its slabs the last time i played there. Ask him to keep it safe.

2. Gunodhor Jethu. You will find him in a corner off chitpur road, Ma Tara Tea Stall, ask him about his grand daughter , the last time he complained about her being in love with some guy from her college, console him that its fine and if its true it might just last and if its not she herself would know her way out of it . For now ask him not to stop her from having a reason to wear a yellow saree on saraswati puja. And ask him to not lessen the amount of potatoes in the shingara or they will decline in quality.

3. Mritshilpi Tarun Paul. 63/4 Kumotuli lane .Just thank him for bringing the Gods to our homes through his hands.

4. Kolkata Metro. Ask them to be the best Ghataks in town as they have always been. And tell them never to fix the ACs , not every metro can give you the feeling of a winter rain.

Tell them i miss them all and i will be back very soon. I count my days to cross the Howrah Bridge and enter your majestic veins which lead to my home. Ask the last Dankuni local to wait as it has the habit of completing all my journeys, its also the train of my thoughts. And for all their well being i entrust u my tillttoma as i believe no matter how much the world around you changes, you will prevail, on board your trams, through your lanes and into our hearts. The farther we go the stronger the knot gets and promises of never letting go. Your beauty has mesmerized many and promises to mesmerize for the times to come. The smell of the dew on the dry maidan grass, or the arrival of new hilsa at lake market are what define you. I am proud of you. You have stayed old while making ways for the new. As the malls came up, stronger grew your thakur dalan. I was with you this puja and i must say you looked absolutely beautiful. I thank you for giving me a place in your heart.

I have lost out on words now as my throat gets all lumpy and my brain goes dry as the neurons do not know how to interpret the signals it receives now into words of literature.

I hope to hear from you really soon.

Until then

Bhalo theko shohor (stay well my city)

Rishav

P.S. tell dhormotola i said hi !

Advertisements