Monday, January 5, 2009

angst


it is disheartening to see the world zoom past our city as it just about manages to peep through its shroud of smoke.it is sad when one hears of youngsters flocking the Delhis and the Mumbais for call-centre jobs.
i feel angry when i see rallies on the city roads and imagine my friends in Delhi speeding down some new flyover.i shout abuses at cabbies who strike against something which could be remotely "progressive" had it been better planned.
it hurts to see the Calcutta of my fairy tales become a story without a beginning,middle or end-a story which just goes on without a plot.
it hurts more because Calcutta is home.it's always been.
it still is.
"Shaat koti shontaner hey mugdho jononi,
rekhecho bangali kore,manush koroni"

23 comments:

Phoenix said...

poem tar last duto line amar chiro diner khub priyo ar amader ai durdoshar jonno akdom uchit dikkar..

khub shundor post :) ar ami tomar chintar shonge akmot

Revived Angel... said...

Its a v.sad but cruel truth that after more than 30 years of administration of the same bullshit governance, the city is taken nothng more than granted and u can't ask for nethng better than this..since its almost an untold fact today that thinking of a Calcutta beyond "them" is next to impossible.

Rahul Saha said...

I like calcutta the way it is. If people actually started giving a shit, cal would turn into another bombay or delhi.

Dewdrop said...

I partly agree with Rahul and partly with you... Kolkata has its own charm, its culture, its soul and that must be protected. A completely cosmo city (like Delhi) may not hve a soul... but yes, undoubtedly, progress, broadening of vision, opportunities whether in terms of education (English as a compulsary medium of instruction), industrialization etc are things Kolkata has lost out on, because of a selfish, narrow-minded govt.

little boxes said...

@all:i love calcutta too...its soul and all that.
it doesnt have to turn into a mumbai or delhi really,it could do with a decent leadership...
i wonder if you can see the soul of the city when buses are burnt.
the people need to give a shit..otherwise they have no right to complain.
most of the people i know have a problem with the govt here,but they dont do a thing about it.and yet they crib and complain.thats is what i have a problem with.
no bible says that the soul of the city will be lost with a slight improvement in the way the leaders manage the state.

Neel said...

Nice one again.
I think the people of calcutta were more concerned than Delhites or Mumbaikars. But now it is becoming like another metro with the coming of the newbies. Calcutta always had a class of its own and I'd say that class is essentially honesty and selflessness. It sad to see us becoming self centered. Change is essential but the 'how' matters the most.

Neel said...

Also Calcutta is much more cosmopolitan than Delhi or Mumbai. Nowhere is India you'd find a Chinatown or an Armenian church or a chinese daily or Christmas being celebrated in the streets. Mumbai definitely comes close and bollywood is killing the cosmo Mumbai. And I always believe a cosmopolitan atmosphere adds to the vibrant spirit of a place. be it New York, Berlin, Kolkata!

Aruni RC said...

We Bangalis have been the butt end of many such self-deprecating lines. That's honesty for you, and the fact that majority of Bengalis are underachievers, have a 'cholchey-choluk' and lackadaisical attitude. Yet the ones that do achieve, achieve a lot. We've got the only Indian director to get an Oscar, the two Nobel laureates, an Intel processor designer among scores of others.
Calcutta is the same dirty, smelly, dingy, chaotic yet lovable (unbelievable, i know) city under all that grime. It's the essence of your average Bengali - lazy, intellectual and armchair-politicking.

little boxes said...

@aruni:these arent my lines,but tagore's.
these essential things are fine,but i'm sure wwatching people burn buses on the road and stay quiet about it isnt an essence we are proud of.
we've also had bengalis who chose to speak out and fight,when words sounded weak....a certain mr. n.s.c.bose

Neel said...

It's high time we stop basking in the glory of Stayajit Ray and Amartya Sen, Rabindranath Tagore...
It's been a long time fellas. Time to move on. No Oscar can value Bengali Cinema. No Nobel can value Bibhutibhushan. There is a lotmore to bengali culture than just rabindranath and satyajit ray.

sujaan said...

it so angers me as well...these lines i really liked:
"...without a beginning,middle or end-a story which just goes on without a plot."

Aruni RC said...

@little boxes: Was aware of the origin of the lines, but intended to address the spirit of the words. That we know (and knew) what our drawbacks were as a community yet blithely continued on as we were.
And aye, the certain Mr. Bose is certainly an example of what we can be when we sit up and start giving a damn. I guess there are always a few that do - getting fewer over the years.
on the brighter side (lit by those burning buses) - well now there's a new year's resolution for us all to mull over.

Astraeus said...

calcutta, i was reading a book byt he same name a few days ago (some foreign publication) that a friend sent me and i was surprised how all the essays just looked at the bad/dark points of the city.

At that point i thought we must have some glitz in all this muck, recent events have slowly corroded that belief too.

x

Dream Baron said...

What a lovely post..u just said it..each time when i come back to Pilani i think that i can chuck my abroad prospects and other opportunities and return to my shohor, and here i have dealt with delhite snobbery with an iron fist.I am filled with dreams of rebuilding Kolkata.But each time my flight lands and i spend those 20 cherishable days of vacation all my enthusiasm about ''phire asha''
is bit by bit dismantled.

but then again..''e shohor janey amar prothom shob kichu'', and someday no matter what ami phirbo. :)

Pongy Papaya said...

lovely post!
kothao toh amra pichhiye porchi definitely.. tobe manush botey amra..utkristro projati'r manush jar dubhaak-ekbhag suffers from inferiority complex(joins people in ''bong chaat'',shame on them) ,arekbhag believes in bangali howar shokti and all that.
eta gulo cultural side ta.
aar talking of the social scenario, we were always the meeting-meechil-bondh'r shohor(n mithye bolbona i so love my city that way it is). what remains vital is tha chakri-bakri.. but that gets political. it is the state govt. who needs to address that..

inihos said...

i plan to go back to Cal after I graduate...in a few months...

little boxes said...

oo...but that doesnt make the state of affairs any less miserable.
also,you have to agree,that the fraction of young people who want to come back-like you and me,are way less than the fraction leaving the city

little boxes said...

*my last comment was intended to begin with:
"i want to come back,too"

Rajtilak Bhattacharjee said...

Till the time the cholche na, cholbe na culture remains in Bengal, we would never be able to flourish in any field.

Ibanov, Sir Rekaf said...

Well, you are one of those youngsters! Unfortunately, that sense of pride is missing or subdued - you can feel it when you're talking to some of the old generation, but that's it. No translation of thought into action. The onus is on our generation. God save Calcutta.

little boxes said...

I'm sorry i dont take pride in the bandhs.and it's a vicious cycle really...how much is the youth allowed to do?and anyway,the youth here is too occupied in 'lyad khawa'.it's a mindset and i'm not proud of it.there are other aspects of the city i'm proud of but all that is irrelevant to this post

Ibanov, Sir Rekaf said...

I see you missed the point. Pride in the city, not the bandhs. All the pride is limited to drawing-room conversations and living in the past.

little boxes said...

Well the present doesnt have much to offer,does it?also,i believe that being proud does not imply ignoring faults.i'm proud of my city in my own way.