Wednesday, December 21, 2005

If on a winter in Calcutta

Calcutta’s been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. Foggy mornings, monkeycap, pullovers and shawl-clad vigorous morning walkers and the overpowering lethargy that makes a blanket statement on Calcutta’s work ethics. Maidan gearing up to unfold its Pandora’s box, New Market and Park Street bedecked in all their Christmas finery and the fervent planning of X’mas and New Year parties.
D’Gama’s Plum cakes, Nahoum’s cookies, X’mas itineraries from RCGC and Tolly club, lazy afternoon strolls around RCGC, Baba’s daily dose of a teeny weeny peg of Old Monk, days spent reading snuggled under the lep, happy family evenings spent at Expo, painfully drooling times at the Lexpo (considering my insatiable fetish for bags and shoes) and of course, the secret moments spent counting all the unfulfilled wishes from the wishlist jotted down on the insipid blue “inland letter” marked to a certain “Santa Claus” in the godforsaken North Pole.
Do I sound like I’m missing something? I probably am. But is it the city or sundry moments/things in it? Don’t know, or may be am scared to confess. But what the heck, Calcutta, it’s on my mind these days. (Ok stop sneering, JAP, Urmi et al).
G hasn’t had the good fortune to experience any of the above. On my wishlist this year, I hope to take G to Calcutta sometime this time, at least once.

PS: I believe Maidan is no longer given out for the winter “melas”, it’s been metamorphosed into an Eliot-esque park. Now, did I hear right, or am I dreaming? Before the city itself morphs, must take G around on a pilgrimage.

PPS: Don't know how I forgot, (guess it's all abt..err... geriatrics), but the one thing I miss most...The BOOK FAIR. Rushed from school or bunked college to touch, feel and smell the intoxicating flavour/aroma of new books. Stood and devoured the untouchables, quickly grabbed and paid for the more affordable and just sat around like the most pretentious antels talking shop.


At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 1:04:00 AM, Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Rolls at Nizam in the chill after a night show.

The smell of unun dhorano, early in the morning.

Incredibly pretentious but somehow comforting - young 'uns dissecting a play outside the Academy as the lights of Victoria Memorial begin to haze over.

Walking through narrow lanes in the afternoon, warm when you step in the sun yet chilly in the shadows, with the sounds of life behind the windows.

Planning a beriye asha, and highway dhabas in the winter sun.

But of course you don't want any of this, you have Cubbon Park and Celsius 108.


At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 3:32:00 AM, Blogger Priya said...

Since I can't identify with any of the above, can't say I "don't want" any of them (especially the Nizaam rolls;-)). Cubbon Park is actually quite a nice place to walk around. Celcius 108??? No clue what that is...tho' knew of a place called 180 degree celcius which has now morphed into 1912...clueless abt the connection.

At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 6:38:00 AM, Blogger M (tread softly upon) said...

I'm glad you finally did write this post on Cal priya. You should take G down before everything that we remember about Cal disappears or metamorphoses. Boi mela deserves a post by itself. Heard someplace that it will be in jan this year. Do I miss Cal or what!

At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 3:44:00 PM, Blogger Bengali Guy said...

"Pithe"s (patisyapta etc) are deeply entrenched in my memories of Calcutta winters.

At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 6:21:00 PM, Blogger erebus said...

Winter in Calcutta is just too funny though.
Last winter I flew down to Calcutta.... after a fairly long absence. As soon as I got off the plane, I had to strip down to this raged old cotton T-shirt I had underneath everything. It was so friggin hot! I skipped outside, sweat pouring from my face, my palms sticky, feeling like I was winnie the pooh with a pot of honey. And there were all these people... with monkey caps and shawls, hugging themselves and rubbing their palms together.
Ofcourse who can forget the classic and unique Bihari fashion item... the scarf tied around the jaw and over the head.
For the love of god... It was just 17 degrees!

At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 10:08:00 PM, Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

OK, so it was 180 Celsius.

What about gorom phulkofi'r shingara and jilipi?
And ada cha, sitting in the sun on the balcony late on a holiday morning? (Which is what I hope to have this weekend)


At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 11:10:00 PM, Blogger Priya said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Wednesday, December 21, 2005 11:14:00 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Bengali guy: Yes pithe patishapta and of course the most delectable jhola gur with rooti, nalen gurer sandesh ...ok so I forgot a lot of things...thanks for refreshing my memory.
@JAP: was 180 Proof!! Hope now u know I DON'T frequent these places, hence the ignorance. R gorom fulkopir shingara and jilipi r yumm, as are koraishutir kochuri. Here I have to rely on KC Das for such small happinesses. Koraishutir kochuri-ta jodio barite banai majhe shajhe;-)
Also, cha khaiii naaaa tai oi roshe bonchito, saar.


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