When the City Dawns
“Kis Lamhe ne thami, ungli meri
Fuslake mujhko le chala,
Nange paao daudi, aakhein meri
Khwabon ke saare bastiya…”
As the song blended with the entire atmosphere surrounding that elaborate Open Air Theater, I closed my eyes and swayed– mind you, not really in that I-am-in-a-concert-so-I-must-groove kind of dramatic undulation, but more because the whole aspiration of soaking up the spirit of this whirlwind of a city was finally translating into an experience.
Kolkata. The cliched City of Joy. I, however, like to think of this metropolitan as the City with a Soul. About six months I’ve been here, but sadly that Soul hadn’t spoken to me as I had hoped it would—at the first sight. Kolkata’s charm had not worked on me in the way I was sure it would.
It’s funny how the days that you think will be moderately enjoyable, turn out to be what we teenyboppers like to all-knowingly describe as “epic”. To put it in short, the day after a fortnight of the beginning of the last month in the year 2015, was Just. That.
So there we were, the five of us (the names of whom I will spare), in the midst of the Kaleidoscope, both literally and metaphorically. The cheering and hooting (and making sure that we would all have a sore throat by the end of the night) was incessant from the very beginning of the performance, the moment of sweet introspection and quiet enjoyment dawned suddenly. Anupam Roy, a person who needs no introduction to us Bongs (whether it be the “ki cute dekhte Anupam” teenage girls or the “er theke ami beshi bhalo ami gaite parbo” babas), was up on stage—and therefore there was an over-excited crowd present as well, craning there necks to watch the star perform.
It was in this crowd, in front of this stage, with the five of us standing arm-in-arm ecstatic, and Roy’s seamless songs playing in the foreground that “Kolkata” happened to me.
We don’t really get to choose how we make our best memories, neither do we have a say in who gets to live them with us; all we have in our hands is the chance to make every experience count, with perhaps that same old group of friends or with complete strangers, and when the City that you decided to fall in love with finally opens up its arms to you, those experiences suddenly turn into the memories that you longed for since you first set step into the City’s existence.