Why ?

I don’t seem to be liking Kolkata any more. I really don’t know whether it is the muggy, clingy, sticky humidity or, whether it is just that I don’t seem to like the city. Bottom-line I am having a fairly torrid time this visit around.

Which is by itself very odd. This was supposed to be a ‘happy’ visit.

I tend to console myself by saying that I have been away from the city for so long – close to half a decade now that I cannot really align myself with the pace and spaces around me. And, that Kolkata has grown by leaps and bounds while not being able to figure out how best to carve out an identity for itself. For example, cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore etc have a ‘media driven’ face and ‘culture’. For close to 30 years, Kolkata has been the place for ‘Dada’ s – that half affectionate and half snarky term that denotes anyone Bengali (or, Bong if you are so inclined). And, in the midst of all my difficulties, the spaces in and around the city that I could identify with. Or, recall fond memories of have changed. Radically.

It is as if the city decided to implode and morph and, all I saw was the transition period. Hell fire. Purgatory would probably be a good place.

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Do you ask yourself why … ?

Do you ask frequently ? Or, just when you are down and somewhat out ?

I ended up asking myself ‘why’ on a number of occasions this week. And, I don’t have answers to any of the questions. Just that I sometimes end up feeling redundant and, sometimes, I just feel do I have to give it so much thought.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic…

Each time I land up at Kolkata, I have an emotional floodgate open. Am not too old (although, some people tend to think otherwise) and, I have been an infrequent visitor to the city for a while. So, each time I look through the eyes of a visitor, I get seared. So much has changed and, so much of that change is for the worse. However, what is painful is to see that the youth haven’t gotten up to speed with the ways of the world. Admittedly, I have been sampling a small section of them, but I do eavesdrop on conversations in malls, buses and public places and, return disappointed. What stops them from having a world-view and yet, have a firm grasp of reality ? What is so stifling that they have stopped to think and, cannot seem to form an individual opinion on issues ? Why do they have to remix and re-spout the vacuum laced ideas that abound on various media ?