10 Reasons Why You Should Leave Your Job and Come Back to Kolkata

Biryani

You know for a fact that no one knows Biryani like you do. No one loves biryani like you do. No one misses biryani like you do.

You don’t get anything in your neighbourhood that even remotely resembles biryani. Here in Kolkata, when you were in the mood for some subtlety in your Biryani you’d walk down to Aminia. For a full bodied taste, you’d stroll down to Aliya/ Shiraz/ Arsalan. For a plate of sumputous lip smacking biryani in general, with a large chunk of aaloo and one whole dim seddho (boiled egg) you used to step out of that car/ bus/ auto/ taxi anywhere in Kolkata. And just in case you were one of those adventurous ones, you walked frequently down that dingy lane off CIT road Puddopukur for the heavenly beef biryani at Qayum’s. You have never tasted better Biryani. Anywhere. In the World.

Park Street

Park Street

Where you drowned your sorrows. Where you made friends. Where you graduated out of childhood. You grieved over lost love/ first break up over pints of beer or pegs of rum or whatever your choice of poison was. You passionately debated Nihilism and Existentialism in the musty corridor of the Olypub, cigarette in hand, after having actively helped the well done beef steak to its rightful destination (to your tummy that is).

Taxi

Taxi

You’re not decided whether he is the hero or the villain of the Kolkata roads. Not yet. He might have flatly refused to take you to the most convenient of locations. He might have dropped you right at your doorstep at 4 AM when you were too drunk from that binge session at Park Street to give him directions (he remembers you from the last ride you took in his cab). He has argued with you over topics ranging from the fare chart, politics, sports to the sanskaars of the present generation. He was the silent witness of your first drag of smoke and watchful guard during that first quick kiss.

 Phuchka

Phuchka

It’s not Puchka. It’s Phuchka. That’s what you have tried to explain in vain to your colleagues and friends there. This deep fried thin skinned hollow flourball with a filling of mashed potato with spices, dipped in tamarind water is a foodie’s delight and a dietician’s nightmare. They do not mash the potato like they do it here in Kolkata. The flour is not as crisp with memories and the water is not as tangy with love.

Football

Football

If you are a boy, 15th August was more about that day long football tournament than anything else. Or that annual school football match. You woke up sharp at six to rush to the maidan for your weekly muddy joust of football. Football was your first love.

Kaalboishakhi

KALBOISHAKHI

The Norwesters they call it. But you always thought that the English word lacked the punch for once. Kaalboishakhi in all its glory is what made you aware of all the emotions that homo sapiens are capable of experiencing. And that smell of the moist earth. That always kind of meant that the final exams were over. Those Kaalboishakhi evenings made you wonder what if you were a kite or what if you could fly, directionless, like that yellow leaf. Those were evenings that made you rhyme your first verse.

Cha’er Dokan

Cha

The tea stall. It was always less about the tea and more about the adda. The clay bhaanr that carefully kept the searing heat from travelling to your fingertips while you sipped the boiling hot tea. The kaku with the sokaler kagoj. Or the Sandho Ajkal. The transistor radio blaring out live commentaries of the Mohunbagan-East Bengal football match or the cricket world cup.

The Geriatric Jethu

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The para’r jethu, (who claims to have accomplished wondrous deeds when his hair was still black and he was a foot and a half taller). He lectured you on everything from bankimchandra to bishnu puran. He’s the Windows 98 version of Wikipedia. If you were a girl, he has cast disapproving glances at you when you tried that skirt out for the first time. If you were a boy, he probably has advised you to drive the ball with your head down and steady.

Durga Pujo

Durga

When the biological clock of Kolkata worked upside down. When the city stayed awake throughout the night, keeping you company, while you pandal hopped first with parents and then with friends. And Maddox Square was its very own DOS version of facebook, where the classmate from school/ college suddenly looked hot/ handsome.

Baari

Windows-Key-722215

Your Home. Where you reached late, night after night. Where they cared whether you ate before sleeping. Your mom and the way she blew warm air on her aanchol to give you a quick warm compress every time you poked your eye. Your dad and all those times when he got you that ice cream or that comic book or that toy you so wanted or scolded you and didn’t. Your brother who played pranks on you or was your partner in crime. Dadu or Dida for the umpteen times they saved your ass. For that chhad or that one small window that let the sky dance on your maths notebooks on those pleasant afternoons.

112 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why You Should Leave Your Job and Come Back to Kolkata

  1. Well, to be very frank I had that pleasant feel when I was staying in Bangalore(bong’s second Kolkata) for nearly 4 years….but all changed when I came for vacation around January this year and couldn’t resist myself to return to the roots…

    I did manage to get a transfer and …well I’m here … In my city… Where I belong..
    Good old soil where I grew up.. I’m in love again to my motherland…

  2. Ah! I want some biriyani and some phuchka to wash it down! I was intrigued by the post especially because of the match between KKR and CSK yesterday!

  3. I usually do not reblog, but this language is so compelling that I had to share on my own blog.
    This would go perfectly with my own blog post, “Phuchka, Mahalaya and First Love”.
    And also this Facebook Note:
    Ek jhhotkay aaina…
    Aaj ek jhhotkay aaina dekhe phellam… sei bhorer mithe roddur, kaak dakchhe ka-ka, rickshaw-r tung-tang, cycle-er kring, kring, thela’r khorkhor, jol-er chhor-chhor… ghum theke uthe pora duronto amar shohor.

    Bohudur chole gechhi tomar theke. Tobe phire ashbo nishchoi. Ekdin asboi. Bhaater haanri agle boshe theko. Ghorer meye ghore phirboi.

    Jani tumi khub byasto hoye porechho aajkal. Duniyar jantrik jibon tara korche tomar monthon jibonjatrake. Tai toroghori haate niyechho mobile, iPod, laptop, Tablet… Bakira ekakittor saathe mon koshakoshi kore obhimaan bhore dekhche eker por ek serial. Mane khub byasto rup dekhachho.

    Kintu ami jani, ei byastotar modhyeo ek chilte chhad ache jekhane roddur upche pore. Jokhon jibonjudhhe biddhostho hoye jabo, tokhon sei roddure madur bichhiye, pa chhoriye boshe muri ar cha khabo tomar saathe adda marte marte… Bosbe to tokhon amar saathe?

    Ar jokhon ghono borshay shopshop-e bhije ghore phirbo, tokhon adore-makha gamchha-ta egiye diyo kintu!

    Ami ashchi, amar jonyo na kheye thekona. Amar aste deri hobe. Kheye nio.

  4. Am not from Kolkotta but this blog is good for all the so called expat fools out there, like me, who gets excited at nothing but the sms beep at month ends salary arrival, who eats the bhel-puris from the stall under the air conditioned shopping malls-which even though is made to look like but hardly resembles the original stalls back in our home town, and then sighs with relief at knowing he at least did something similar to back home, who thinks their aging parents are happy to receive his money, who feels that going back to India would be the stupidest idea, blinded by the life style the foreign country offers, not knowing that finally the money earned is totally useless when he gets back to his home when he realizes-Hes Old, whatever he earned is consumed to marry his children off, invested in the celebrated education he gave them, his parents, uncles, aunts all have passed away a million years ago, hes a stranger to his home, what he thought was enough is not enough now with his deteriorating bank account. But he still gets the beep of sms which does not excite him anymore, when his beloved children from a better foreign country than he was, is sending him much more than he earned or what he used to send his parents…..back when he was able, strong, and had the ability to move in to his home town to find a content work and lifestyle, to teach his children the beauty of his homeland….to not to be alone at this age……looking towards to join his long foregone- parents and relatives soon enough…………!!!

  5. Reblogged this on lifeboatblogdotcom and commented:
    Am not from Kolkotta but this blog is good for all the so called expat fools out there, like me, who gets excited at nothing but the sms beep at month ends salary arrival, who eats the bhel-puris from the stall under the air conditioned shopping malls-which even though is made to look like but hardly resembles the original stalls back in our home town, and then sighs with relief at knowing he at least did something similar to back home, who thinks their aging parents are happy to receive his money, who feels that going back to India would be the stupidest idea, blinded by the life style the foreign country offers, not knowing that finally the money earned is totally useless when he gets back to his home when he realizes-Hes Old, whatever he earned is consumed to marry his children off, invested in the celebrated education he gave them, his parents, uncles, aunts all have passed away a million years ago, hes a stranger to his home, what he thought was enough is not enough now with his deteriorating bank account. But he still gets the beep of sms which does not excite him anymore, when his beloved children from a better foreign country than he was, is sending him much more than he earned or what he used to send his parents…..back when he was able, strong, and had the ability to move in to his home town to find a content work and lifestyle, to teach his children the beauty of his homeland….to not to be alone at this age……looking towards to join his long foregone- parents and relatives soon enough…………!!!

  6. Pingback: 10 Reasons Why You Should Leave Your Job and Come Back to Kolkata | lifeboatblogdotcom

  7. Nostalgia puts calcutta right up on top. The naysayers have reasons to support their views , but the city is indeed improving.
    I can think of more reasons that can draw me back. How come no comment on the fabulous bengali food and the illish Machh ( sad that Skyroom and its wonderful preparation of fish bid us all goodbye)
    Jimmy’s kitchen was close to my para and am happy that its still there. Peiping on park street closed long ago and I remember it as one of the places we went to to célèbrate small successes – like a good performance in school.
    K C Das and the rosogollas , sandesh from Mithai in park circus Most of all the friendships that are never lost and have no connect with ones station in life. It may not be the ideal place to start and pursue a business career but its a great place to retire to!!!

  8. Aah, Kolkata-ma, amake khete diye dakccho? Kolkata-bondhu amake chhade ujjwol bikele khelte dakchho? Kolkata-prem amar shonge Moidaan e brishti te bhijchho? Kolkata-meye juto-moja haate haantu-jol thele amar shonge ishkool theke phirchho? Baba, cholo aaj ek shonge Royal er biriyani khai, jabe naki? Tarpor taxi dhore shoja Nandan. Oi dakho Kolkata, o tram theke nablo, – ek guchhi chul kaner pashe shoriye, raasta periye golir moddhye ektu nona dhora holde baritar shodor dorjaaye kora naarchhe – oke dorja khule dao. Ore showbaar ghorer janlar porda ta tene diyo – boddo rode aschhe – oke ektu ghumote dao.

  9. Very well compiled. Thou I belong to Del (mini Kolkata) but the way IT park has developed it will b a wise decision for people who spend thr childhood at Kol….

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