Monday, June 6, 2011

Kolkata Memories - 2011

It was a journey back home. Always full of sweet memories. No matter how bitter the experiences were at that particular moment, home is something that you can always associate with fun. Further, if the home is India - the memories replay like a roller-coaster ride through Disneyland. Exactly, as I write now.

I decided to cover up many places which I missed for long. Jadavpur University, Coffee house and College street, Maidan, Alipore Zoo. For peoples from Calcutta - this is bound to bring back memories. For people outside, a brief introduction follows.

Jadavpur University - where I have done my engineering and protested vehemently against the establishment when they decided to increase the library fine by 1 paisa (yes, the denomination exists). Actually, some time back a banker was urging me to invest in some educational funds for my kid by telling that you can never educate him at college by spending less than some ZZZ amount. Therefore, in her opinion, I should spend Z amount each month to secure my son's future. I protested by quoting my monthly payment at Jadavpur. The matter ended then and there.

Jadavpur, as I visited, remains as it was. The only visible change I saw was the many papers (journals, conferences) hanging from the noticeboards.

Coffee house and College street - College street boasts of a surrounding with multiple high profile college, school and university campuses. Naturally, gifted intellectuals depend on caffeine and smokes to tingle their brains. Thus exists Coffee house - intact from its origin in British times. With some co-incidence, you can spot many Bengali luminaries in Coffee house. On the day we visited, there were only posters announcing upcoming struggles against Imperialism. College street is also a place to buy and sell books. During our visit, it was time for a new academic season. The rush for school-texts were something to note of. Still, not so academically inclined visitors made it to College street, as you can see below.

Alipore Zoo - This is the oldest zoological park in India and received visitors like young Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda when he was a college goer. I have memories of continuous dust, popcorns, balloons and tigers from my childhood. This time, it was no different. There were big hue and cry when the tiger expressed some annoyance. The major crowdpuller was a chimp, who did funny acts. However, when we laughed at him, he pelted stones - as if the fun was not intended.

Oh yes, it was pre-election time. There were boards covered with campaigns as following..stating how much the government did for the women in westbengal.

There were series of placards and festoons promoting Mamata "Didi" as well. Not sure, as below, if everyone cared.

Finally, I realized that I have become quite trigger happy, as if India represents something different. It was the same, when I arrived in Europe sometime back. Wish this does not represent a mere curiosity but, forms a thought to change our nation, for better. Anyway, in that cameraman mode, I was attracting some attention, even when riding a boat on Ganges.

Now, after months have passed since the visit - when I look at those faces again - I feel I know them.See you again - in Kolkata.


  1. you indeed know them! Thats the kind of feeling I always feel when I arrive at the airport. From the sweeper to the immigration officer I want everyone to hug and shout in excitement (I only do them in my mind though). Even if the immigration officer greets me with a tired and dejected face, I stand up there with a big smile :-D. Afterall I know these faces. I feel at home!

  2. Always felt Ganga is better than Ganges...

  3. @-B, so right. will keep in mind.

  4. @Deathmill, Yes, that's exactly the same feeling.