The city of joy.
“How apt a name”, the thought kept coming back.
Here I am, moving away from the city @ around 100km/hour, and I just can’t let it go. “Its coz Doc lives there, alright”, my head offered explanation. It took about twelve hours to realize my misunderstanding.
Time for departure had come; I obviously was sad- moving away from that special someone does strange things to you. It’d take at least an hour to reach the railway station, my co-passengers said. I decided to sleep.
But the traffic didn’t allow me to do so.
I put my head out of the window- and heard a deafening horn. A truck was approaching the vacant spot by the side of my bus at a speed I never imagined possible, and my head was in direct firing line. A microsecond late- I’d not be alive to tell this story. Obviously it didn’t happen, and me sat there, dazed, and fully awake.
Suddenly, some innocuous pictures started to fill my head. Small events, which might happen anywhere, which, generally, get blended with surroundings, but when seen in isolation- would evoke a completely different feeling. And I could see something of that sort every minute.
Young couple sitting on a cycle rickshaw, which is being pedaled by an amputee; an old man crossing a road, oblivious to the fact that a bike almost kicked him out; a coolie carrying a heavy buggy, taking a breather in the middle of the road- and the subsequent traffic jam- The list goes on. How much I missed my camera, I just can’t explain. I remember thinking “a day in this city, and I can easily organize a photo exhibition on ‘slices of life’ the next day”.
I don’t know. I have seen busier cities, and madder traffic. But the feeling I experienced in Kolkata- nothing came close. It was something like a desperate elation; it felt as if the city was reaching out for my soul. There really is something calming in the mad chaos of this place.
I don’t know when will I return to this place; but whenever I return- I’m damn sure I’d be more than ready to embrace it with my outstretched hands. I was a reluctant ongoer during this visit; Kolkata would get a (nother) devoted pilgrim the next time.
P.S: This entry is plucked from some obscure pages I scribbled, somewhere between Orissa and Andhra. this post is being made on 7th of august, but the date reflects the original time it was written on.