To Kolkata, With Love
Coming to Manipal for my bachelor's was not only a life changing experience to me, but also a trip down memory lane. With every bite of dosa and every utter of Tulu, I found myself reminiscing the nostalgia of my hometown Kolkata in more ways than one.
Nostalgia according to me is tucked away in the dingy alleyways and overcast skies of Kolkata, the memories of which demand to be remembered just like the stick of roshogolla juice on my fingertips. Kolkata's nostalgia lies in the small things that which I call home: to the backstreets that echo a 1950s vibe, in the smell of morning coffee served in delicate handmade pots; it lies in the sound of my mother's bangles gently hitting against the anjali tray; it lies in the unspoken conversations through shared eye-contact with several commuters on the metro; it lies in the taste of wai-wai I craved at my tuition place while the rest of the world munched on pizza and it lies in the palpable magic of new clothes and pandal hopping during Durga Puja. It follows me around like a lost traveller, a ghost, a child wandering across a strange city curiously. Kolkata's memories break my heart like the crunch of puchka, because I realise how the little things that I loved would be missing once I reached Manipal. I'll miss the little children and their mischievously twisted jalebi grins; I'll miss the shy smiles of newly wed brides, I'll miss the sizzle of hilsa fish on the frying pan, I'll miss how 7 o clock evenings were dedicated to mindless gossips, baseless soaps and chicken rolls; I'll miss Kishore Kumar's dulcet voice on the radio during rainy afternoons.
I'll miss the way the city used to be draped in colours of blue and white; I'll miss the confusing four way crossing of Gariahat; I'll miss the cheap miscellaneous items that would come in handy every now and then; I'll miss the highways jammed with a yellow sea of taxis which left black fumes forever polluting the environment; I’ll miss the people with whom I would find a piece of myself in them, and finally I would miss the sweetness of my language, where my fingers itch to feel the elegant characters and their graceful curves.
So, when I left Kolkata, I took these tiny details with me because even though I might be in Manipal, my heart will always be somewhere over the Howrah Bridge saying, "Don't worry Kolkata, another chapter waits for you!"