Roshogullas, Mishti Doi and puchkas. This is not all about Kolkata for me.
I came to Kolkata for my bachelors. Relatives said, “Why Kolkata of all the cities?” “Oh, just going for B.Com?” “She could have done it from Jamshedpur itself, no?” I have the answers now.
“Kolkata taught me what I’m supposed to be and how”.
I’ve never been a bright student. Never went to the best of schools or colleges. However, I know what I’m good at and all this happened in Kolkata. I never wanted to be far from home and Kolkata being the closest metropolitan city, choosing it was obvious and I’m glad I did it. The trials and errors. Friendships and relationships.The realization. All happened in Kolkata.
I do not exactly remember when I started scribbling and writing short stories. But I’m glad I did. Participated everywhere I could, including Twitter (where I won, one time). Friends listened to all those stupid stories and pathetic poems. Encouraged me with each poem every piece or thing I wrote. They say they make you, mold you like the city you live in. I say, not exactly! My city, Jamshedpur, made me what I am. My family, my school; they did.
Kolkata molded me into what I’m supposed to be. Gave me so many opportunities, most of which I lost. But, I have nothing to regret. It’s not just the friends who make you, but also the people who you live with. The people here are weird. They are united and divided at the same time. They stare at you when you dress up for a party. They will make sure you feel uncomfortable wearing that skirt when you pass by them. They will even discuss that it’s okay to be modern and outgoing and that how narrow-mindedness will ruin the society. With every biskut they dip into their tea cup, their opinions and thoughts vary. Another interesting fact is, we have the cheapest transport, yet people howl and fight for single penny. One rupee increase will be the hot topic of discussion over tea breaks for over a month.
To sum it all, Kolkata gave me enough space to grow, to learn, to experiment, to be high, to get low at times and still survive and be happy. I must say, I have become confused and opinionated like my fellow Kolkata-ians but nevertheless, I’ve managed to push myself to somewhere (which I’m not very sure is where?) and hopefully I will make it one day.
The city gave me the strength to believe in me. Be confident, and walk heads-up without fear even if the street is full of bad-boys or say, potential eve-teasers. I can laugh on the street while I’m with my girl-friends without feeling insecure or scared. I have the guts to slap a man or shout on him in public they are indecent (or if I feel so). I know, I have people who will, if not fight for me, will definitely fight with me. This city taught me how to judge a person before trusting. Making friends out of strangers yet keeping safe distance. To be what I’m, without getting pointed or laughed at.
For me Kolkata is the best Metro-city to live in. Not only because I have lived here. Because, you can be a tree which grows in whichever direction it is ought to without any restrictions or walls or people watching you in whatever you do. Almost 5 years in Kolkata included random “addas” with friends sipping tea in maatir-bhaad, roaming around like crazy and shopping, late night study sessions and what-not.
I work now. I’m content with what I’ve made out of myself so far.
“I’ve not judged Kolkata. I’ve lived it”.
—- Neha Mishra