Where the bong inside is lit and smoky

Two things reminded me of Calcutta today.

One was the arrival of a good friend who was working in that wonderful city. Over home-made khichdi (God bless the inventor of the pressure cooker) and insufficient cutlery we spoke of the six-rupee auto rides and the momos and the crazy things which can only happen in that city.

I like to think that I am an adopted child of kolkata. I guess its just so bloody impossible to be indifferent towards that city. Either you hate it or love it. And the more you love it, the more you complain about the dirt and the heat (uff kee adbhoot gorom) and the mad bongs going “hain hain” all over the place.

The other was an article in open magazine about how the turnover of food stalls at the Book Fair was more than that of the publishers. By a pretty decent margin.

And I can totally imagine the bhadrolok in their monkey caps and “maafler” biting into another telebhaja and making sure that poor Shunty’s is not suffering from some new form of cold.

And the clear drops of dew on Maidan and the tram rides through the smoky city. And the yellow taxis coughing and shivering in the cool evening breeze.

And I remember the taste of a kabiraji and the cool, cool taste of daab sherbet in me mouth and I wish I could take it with me wherever I go.

And I think about the sweet, crazy and insanely talkative people of that wonderful city. The ferry rides across the Hooghly (it is not the ganga apparently)

Cycled through this city in the middle of the night and it felt wonderful. The broad avenues and the empty roads and the sweet, lingering chill of winter on my face.

If only those fukin dogs wouldn’t attack me for no fukin reason, it would all be good. Bastards really like the concept of catch-catch. It gets real fun in the fog cause then they all appear out of nowhere. And there I am: trying to swat them away with highly inadequate “shoo shoo”‘s while they nip at me ankles.

I am sitting on me desk right now and it is a little cold outside. There is a glass of hot, sweet milk on me table and I can see the steam rise slowly off the top of the glass. The hot bath was nice and relaxing.

I know that there will always be some friends I can count on for anything.

The chat box is open and the words are making me smile.

There are not too many things I wish for in this world.

Not too many.

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14 Responses to Where the bong inside is lit and smoky

  1. Maheep says:

    never been there.. but heard a lot about the city.. good to see it from your eyes πŸ™‚

  2. Rahul says:

    Getting chased by dogs is good practice for when you are cyling in the hills. There, as you might know, you get chased by rabid monkeys.

  3. Jayantika says:

    “I guess its just so bloody impossible to be indifferent towards that city. Either you hate it or love it. And the more you love it, the more you complain about the dirt and the heat (uff kee adbhoot gorom) and the mad bongs going β€œhain hain” all over the place.”

    Oh, yes…utterly, totally true…

    Oh, Calcutta…! Two years and no kabiraji…no kosha mangsho… 😦 😦

    Calcutta is like true love, or sound health. You never realise its value until you’ve lost it…

  4. Eveline says:

    Calcutta seems like an awesome city to spend time in. I’ve just never been there but would love to visit it after reading this.
    Now dogs chasing you… that’s not exclusive to only Calcutta. But I guess the trick is to ride or drive really slowly past them. At least that’s the thing to do with B’lore street dogs. πŸ˜€

  5. Lemon Girl says:

    Calcutta sounds like the great-gran-daddy of all the cities in the world. I visited it a lot when I was younger. The sights & smells of Alipore road still bring back some beautiful memories.

  6. oh. nostalgia attack.

    mini buses. lanchas. gariahat market. rajindar puchka wala. smoking chulas. mocambo. free school street. the bar at globe. shaheed minar. oly pub. india hobby center. jhadi kora. college fests.

    and smoking. i miss smoking so much.

  7. mentalie says:

    ah…i went to calcutta once and have loved it forever more. i wish i could live there…but i’m too wired, they’ll chuck me out in no time…or hot box me maybe…then i’ll do just fine πŸ™‚

    • kroswami says:

      @swayzee: thaankooo

      @Maheep: well, you seem to live in a pretty interesting part of the country as well

      @Mr. Saha: rabid monkeys? damn, i think i will be grateful for just getting some crazy canines!

      @Jay-dee: kosho mangsho? ahhh, that one had initially slipped the list (blasphemy!)

      @Ms. Eveline: ya, im gonna ride real slow past them…give the bastards enough time to sink a tooth or two! i LOVE rabies shots!

      @Lemoneee: Alipore is one of the few parts of the city which I never really got the chance to explore. When I did go there I would just gawk at all the pretty bungalows.

      @Goddess: Nice! Except I would replace oly’s with broadway and , add jhal mudi, kathi roll and suresh’s shorbaja.
      What is jhadi kora?

      @Ms. Mentalie: know what you mean, especially the hot boxing thing. Bucket bongs ahoy!

  8. jhadi kora: sweeter version of taadna.

    so the boys line up on one side of the puja pandal, usually the roll stall. and the girls giggle and drink thams! up on the other side, by the terracotta jewellery stall. and then they all give each other the eye…and that’s jhadi kora!

  9. praxist says:

    Soon..very soon…you’re going to start waxing about college, and then i shall laugh at you…right now I am one of those in between people…I don’t hate the city not by a long shot and yet I nod sagely along as someone complains about something…peer pressure i tell you. For some reason, I don’t think much about places i live in…cities are cities to me and though they are all different and unique for most parts, i see them as one more place I am supposed to live in…er…like whatever yeah?

  10. Sroyon says:

    @agg: It’s jhadi maara, actually.

  11. kroswami says:

    @Goddess & Sroyon: Hmmm, never heard of it.

    @Ms. Praxist: Right. And when do CT Queens bow down to peer pressure? Or is it just part of the game?

  12. Lemon Girl says:

    Aah, it’s a slightly intimidating part, but the by-lanes have some wonderful secrets stashed. I remember a particular man, whom I saw for the better part of a week, carving a flute from tree branches.

    He was rather inspiring in his dedication.

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