25 reasons why there is no city like Kolkata

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Goddess

  1. Victoria’s badamvaja – You do not quite get romance unless you have eaten badam vaja(peanuts fried) together at Victoria
  2. A ride to remember– Try taking a boat ride on the ganga. Yes a row boat. And watch the sun slowly rise. You will believe in god
  3. The Kumartuli magic – God exists in the details. In the wrinkled hand of the old artisan. Visit this village when they are putting finishing touches to the goddess. As close as you can get to divinity.
  4. The Durga Puja carnival – Everyone heading to Rio, we have a carnival here. Fiery. Loud. Divine. Magical. Raunchy. Feisty.
  5. The long list of other pujas – No, we are not really religious. We just have that one trait called ‘Hujug’. (Enthusiasm is the less profane translation)
  6. Hujug – The birthright of the city. The city gets the Hujug attack over everything – including Iran scoring a goal against USA in Brazil. Do not sneer. We also know Brazil, Iran and USA’s capitals.
  7. Football – We play it rough. We play it tough. We play football. It is more than a game. It is war.
  8. Eden Gardens – Dada may have taken his shirt off at Lord’s but it is Eden that is his home-ground. No one cheers like Eden
  9. The Rock Stars – Nothing to do with WWF. Or Ranvir Kapoor. Rock is where Kolkata solves all of the global problems. Who should be the next president of USA? How can Messi score? Ask the Rock-star
  10. Bumba da – The man who has played a college kid far longer than half of Kokata’s population has gone to college. Jokes apart, he is not just one of Bengali cinema’s but India’s finest actor.
  11. Mrs Sen – She still gives teenaged boys butterflies in their stomachs. The daughters have gone places but it is the mom you should still meet
  12. The Ray legacy – Calcutta (and West Bengal) have given some of India’s finest film makers – Satyajit ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghotok, Rituparno Ghosh, Aparna Sen. Cinema happens here. The rest try.
  13. Aba(ng)la nari – Abala, did you say? The bong girls are a total antithesis. They are hot, intelligent and keep you guessing. As your mother would warn you ‘Stay Away’.
  14. Cholchena Cholbena – Kolkata is rebel at heart. It takes a very low trigger to get us on the streets. Yeah not the best work culture but perfects your ability to think of impromptu slogans. And shout ‘Big Brother’ or ‘Big Sister’ down
  15. The mush – The city cries easily. It takes little to make us sentimental. Tell a kolkatan an emotional story about your dog running away with your neighbour’s. And he will be your friend for life
  16. Retro Metro – Most people in Delhi and Mumbai were not even born when we rolled our first metro. Grow up, boys!
  17. Telebhaja – The Kolkata’s street food will keep you shamelessly salivating. And begging for more. We understand.
  18. The sucrose overdose – The mishtis come in all shapes and sizes. And assault your senses. Combine the lankar boda with the roshogolla. And watch your taste buds go on wild swings!
  19. The hawkers of gariahat – You will need a bottle of Bisleri and a hat pakha to cool you down after the haggling. But nothing beats the satisfaction as haggling successfully with the hawkers of Gariahat
  20. Bishleri. Coco Cola – That’s how we pronounce things. We add the h’s and the o’s and make even Shhokti Kopoor sound sweet
  21. The hippies of Park Street – Punk. Rock. Blues. They don’t sing or swing like this anywhere else
  22. The jholas of college street – Complemented by thick glasses. And endless bhars of cha. The city stamps its claim on intellect. Almost
  23. Fuchka – If you conduct a tax raid at these fuchkawalla’s home, you may have a Reliance Fuchka equivalent. If you can beat the queues, you can taste manna.
  24. The cultural mash-up – The city for all its failings is a warm host. You co-exist for ages without being asked your religion or caste.
  25. Dada ektu chapun – The city’s capacity for adjustment is legendary. The ‘Ektu Chapun dada’ can pack a football team into an ambassador. Along with the extras.
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