deponti (deponti) wrote,
deponti
deponti

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What Kolkata meant to me....

Amrita Bazar and Ananda Bazar Patrika ...and of course the prim-and-propah Statesman...all delivered by flight to upper-floor flats, rolled up and thrown with practiced wrists, by cycling delivery boys

A well-maintained and run Zoo



"Gay" restaurant on the Hooghly; watching tidal bores without ever having heard of the tsunami

The sound of shAnkh (conches) blowing in the twilight

Men washing the streets in the early morning with large leather hoses that arched the Hooghly water across the streets and pavements

Bengali women massaging the children with mustard oil....and the women's lustrous long tresses...left loose always...the alta on married women's feet

Flury's pastries and Nizam's marzipan

Bodo Din (Burra Din...Christmas) at New Market

Bargaining at the shops on Rash Behari Avenue

Swans in Lily Pool Park

Teaching in Svarna and then in Ashok Hall


Movies at the Metro and the Lighthouse....children's movies with free masks and sweets at the Globe

Trams

Bus no. 9 and Sardarji bus no. 47A

Svarna school and the majestic mansion it's still located in

Watching friends' romances bloom..and then fade...at Victoria Memorial, while I studied at Gokhale Memorial College

Carnatic music concerts at Thyagaraja Hall, Tamizh Sangham, Music Circle (vyayamghar hall )...and so many other locations

Kopir singhAdA and bhaadEr chA in the winter sunlight

Hot ghughni or "chop" in the college canteen..in stitched leaf cups

Dakshineswar and Belur...one noisy, one serene...on the Hooghly...crossing the Bally Bridge

puchka on Southern Avenue

buying sarees during Pujo at Rash Behari Mod or Gariahat

Muddy River and fierce Kali at Kalighat...the puja vessels and shaankh and polA bangles in the shops

Beautiful CESC properties in the suburbs of the city

Victoria Memorial and the Maidan

Severe power cuts

The sound of unceasing rain in the monsoon, and the floods

The beautiful Pujo floating on Poddo Pukur Lake

Old, decaying mansions

Mallick Palace...so many treasures

Sthol poddo flowers

the albino twins who ran a crockery shop in New Market...."dry fruits" (especially salted pistachios and huge figs strung together...from a shop run by an Afghan

Oxford Lending Library, run by Anglo-Indian twins..Wonderful books

Bengali literature...Ananda Math

Wonderful Bengali movies..the heyday of not just Satyajit Ray...but others, like Ritwik Ghatak

Star Theatre...not knowing about Noti Binodini but in love with the theatre

The thrill of getting a University rank...never shared with the family, who did not come for the special felicitation the college gave me

Leading the successful strike in college against "shAdA shADi lAl pAtth" (white sarees with red borders..it was a uniform and newly-married women had trouble as they were NOT meant to wear white sarees)...the management was amazed that their Head Girl, the most studious one, was doing this! I believed in freedom of choice then...and now

Poila Boisakh and bAyeeshEr srAbON

Learning Robindro Songeet from a geography teacher

Incredible varieties of sondesh...friend's home-made mAlpoA...all Bong sweets at Ganguram's and Sen Mahashay

Lake Market ...vegetables, fish

Nobel Medical Hall

Prema Vilas and Ramakrisha Lunch Home and when I was older, Trinca's....


Chinatown and incredibly good leather goods

Only one Howrah bridge, and the beautiful ferries plying...severe traffic jams on the bridge

Cheap taxis...cheerful and friendly Bihari rickshaw pullers who let me taste their "sattu"




Oh...this list will never end....
Tags: history, kolkata, love, memories, nostalgia
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