Calcutta. India. Home. And the lure of the Soil.
Nothing’s changed but the fourth dimension. And everything’s changed!
Red has given way to green. The traffic still bursts open at bottlenecks, screaming and loud. People still throng the roads in hordes and the footpaths are still catering to the busy vendors.
The favorite late afternoon snack is still the road-side phuchhka and chicken roll. And smelly, sweaty men still hanging off the buses and trains. Or fighting with each other to get into the already crowded metros, before the tired automatic doors close on them. The red-and-yellow mini buses roaring and almost flying over the asphalt like the king of the roads, racing with each other and competing with the shrewd, yellow-and-black auto-rickshaws, which would slither in and out and across as the fastest public transport. And all the while the rich and regal yellow Ambassador taxis fly to reach destinations or crawl by the farthest lane in search of its quarry. Hell, how I miss the constant screech and omniscience of public transport. How I love the noise, the crowd, the constancy- the life of my city.
Monsoons had just made its first rounds and I’m still waiting for its encore. But I couldn’t love it less.
Travel back from across oceans and you realize how beautiful, how rich your land is. And appreciate it with dawning comprehension, with a love and a pull that goes beyond time and you and the simple.
It is hot, humid and fantastic. That’s my Calcutta.