“City of Joy”, yeah, thats the name Kolkata has reserved for it self which had me curious to know what is it which makes people joyous. Specially in a state of India which has been allegedly marred with 34 years of communist rules and has not seen economic development as much as other Big states of India. More over current government has also been considered anti development.
Wonder, it made me. I read in my history books and later on by internet resources how glorious & wealthy Bengal used to be. So what made the state whatever it is today however what keeps the resident still joyous. Are people too oblivious to think about the ground realities? or there can be a way to be joyous? I had my mind swarmed with a lot of anticipations.
This time when I arrived Kolkata, my train was late by almost two hours which delayed my discourse by same duration of course. I was about to see how most of has Indian Railway self time stamped here. Being an early morning commuter has it’s own advantages and one them is, of meeting minimalistic traffic on the way which reduced my travel time from expected 2 hours to 1.25 hours making me joyous.
Ah, I already started feeling joyous.
After finished pleasantries with current day, I left for Kolkata city’s one time less monument Victoria Memorial (VM) hoping to find answer of some of the questions I had in my mind. How purile it was of me, I came to know later.
On the way to VM we took several different transports which ranges from Three wheeler to Train to Metro. We could also take one bus ride though we thought of walking a little bit.
It had me dumb founded to see the grandeur and grace of the monument and I went into a mental trance & just looked at it for some time and marvelled on it. We our tickets and ventured in the structure to witness British Era history of Kolkata and India, how grand Kolkata or then Calcutta used to be, how this city had participated in history of India and had been one of the places of importance and later how bifurcation of India inflicted this city by poverty and refugees from all over eastern Bengal now known as Bangladesh.
Historian often mentioned how Delhi has been robed over and over several time but to me, it felt Kolkata just got once and it left it a bird without its features, not able to take off again or so to say.
After spending good couple of hours we left still carrying original question which were about to be answered. We took metro back to our place and I heard two passenger talking about recent events including political, social and economical importance to city and while they talking about few most frustrating events (according to them ) they were actually cheerful whole throughout the conversation. I touched holy grail of Kolkata.
Not taking life and reality too seriously is the mantra Kolkata adopt to stay joyous.
Sculpture at Victoria Memorial