I always considered Mumbai as my dream destination to pursue my higher studies. There were no second or third options. And Kolkata was never on my wish list. But as the saying goes; “you never know what destiny has in store for you”, I landed up in Kolkata: The City of Joy. Initially, when I stepped into the city I could never understand what makes it the ‘City of
Joy’? The hustle-bustle of the city, the age-old yellow cabs, the renowned puchka, the famous adda sessions of the kolkatians, or their love for ‘maach’, ‘mishti’ and more.
It was very confusing for me to understand the whole culture of the city and the Bengali society. They prefer both; Rabindra Sangeet as well as Jim Morrison; the traditional Bengali cuisine and the Chinese cuisine; football as well as cricket; theatres and also movies; Bymokesh Bakshi and Sherlock Holmes; the famous Coffee House and Oh!Calcutta!! These preferences created a dilemma for me to bring out a conclusion about what they actually are and what does the city follows: the new and upcoming trends or the vintage style of living???
But among all these surrounded confusions and queries, the city never stopped to grab my attention and interest. It rather, increased my curiosity and my urge to learn new things.
I have completed a year in Kolkata and in this journey I have made a bunch of friends or rather ‘friends for life’, I explored various places, tried a wide range of foods and dishes and most importantly, started to broaden my horizon of exploring and knowing the city more and more. I feel that there is no certain boundary to know this place. KNOWING AND LEARNING is an
infinity. In this process of knowing and learning, I had my own share of up’s and downs, I have been through thick and thins. But, today when I look back to my initial days, as a novice, I feel great about the fact that I have been a part of an adventurous and an interesting journey.
Staying away from your home and your parents is a difficult task, but I am one of those few and lucky people who did not witness homesickness. It’s all because of my friends who have always been there for me. I think that a cup of coffee in the Coffee House would not have been better if I didn’t have my friends for a perfect ‘adda’; the visit to the Victoria Memorial would not have been so memorable without their presence; visit to the Belur Math would not have been so auspicious if they were not there to accompany me; college would not have been so much fun if they were not there to participate in those silly pranks we played; hopping over the much loved egg roll and puchka would not have been so exciting if they were not there to accompany me; long walks to the Rabindra Sarobar and chatting would not have been so much satisfactory if they were not there by my side; night outs would not have been so much interesting if they were not there to listen to my silly talks the whole night and lastly, staying in the “City of Joy” would not have been so joyous if THEY WERE NOT THERE FOR ME!!
“You like a City for the opportunities it provides you; but, you love a city when you find people to love you and be there for you.” For this reason, I love Kolkata and all I want to say to all the people who are a novice in this city, ‘find out time from your busy schedule and explore Kolkata. You never know when and where you will find a friend for a lifetime!!!’
Today, while writing this article I feel happy for the paths I have travelled and the journey I have covered so far and I am hopeful that there is a long way to go and a lot more paths to travel and I will have many more memories and stories to share with you…….
~ Arpita Kar