One afternoon, while we were roaming around, we decided to take a haath rickshaw ride, so I went upto this rickshawala, who was obviously taking a nap, I called him and asked him for a ride, in response he gave me one of those dhutth chhai, disgruntled look and muttered "dekhte parchen na ami ghumochhi"(Can't you see I am sleeping). I was left agog with surprise, that he is more keen on sleeping than earning few bucks was actually shocking for me. I couldn't help laughing at his laziness. But in retrospect I realised, for some people it's not always about the money, that doesn't always includes the rich. Another ingrained quality that bongs have is their love for literature, they might be bathing in the pond but they'll know all the verses of Shakespeare, they know all the Tagore's poetry by heart, their chest swells with pride for Satyajit ray, they will teach their any form of art, be it dance/ music/ painting/ drama/ poetry/ recitation and they love to flaunt the fish they eat. Hilsa, chingri, papda always makes a good topic of conversation. And I've not yet started writing about their love for politics or football.
Their no frills attitude keeps them grounded, they don't have a religious bone in their body, they believe in celebration. They celebrate the Goddess, and indulge in building the biggest, grandest of pandal and pomp and show. They rather have a good time than keep praying and asking for all the materialistic cravings from God. A steamer ride in Ganges was in my "to do" list this time. We took the ride on one of those rickety boat, with some tourist and some locals, the tranquility of the setting sun and us on a boat to oblivion will remain on my mind forever. We went to Belur Math to see the evening prayer, it was once in a life time experience, the chanting and echo of the prayer was something I've never experienced. The blog will be incomplete without a mention about the food that Kolkata has to offer, a Rs.20 road side Mughlai Parantha, with chunks of chicken will put Karims to shame, and that too for such a price, this would've cost me 250 bucks in Delhi and that to for half the taste. The charm of paranthewali gali in old Delhi will look lame compared to this. You can have a huge fish cutlet for Rs.3, tea for Rs.2 after every hour, and I'am still talking about street food here. They equally have the finesse of fine dining, offering gourmet delights for the ever experimenting bengalis. Have a stroll around the Park Street, have breakfast at Flurys or Chelo Kebab at Peter Cat, the food that Kolkata has to offer is vast, delectable and scrumptious. But the real prized-possession of that place are the priceless people.
Survival of the fittest as they say, but you will see the happiest bunch of smiling people, doing what makes life more richer i.e, eating the best, learning the best, living the best, instead of running after money in this so called busy but mundane life. The pride of the bhhodrolok is something to be proud of. I salute the spirit of the rickshawala who put his sleep first than a few bucks. As for me, I think I'll always remain a girl fascinated by a big city.
TAGS: Kolkata, Belur Math, Flurys, Peter Cat, Delhi, Karims, Ganges, Satyajit Ray, Rickshaw