Monday, May 25, 2009

Oh! Calcutta...

What did Calcutta do to deserve this?

I mean, yes, the city sucks, no doubt. It must be the dirtiest, most polluted city ever. Everybody who goes to Calcutta should see the marvel of Free School Street (just ahead of Kathleen) where Pigs and Humans co-exist peacefully on a wonderful garbage dump which would, one day, be used as a model for sustainable housing.

And, of course, the water logging. Other Indians hate the Brits, but the Calcuttans love them for building the first and last sewage system the city’s seen. The white man actually cared for us! But then again, I’m being a bit melodramatic as usual. The water logging’s not all bad. Most taxiwalas pray to Indra for it. Because, when it rains, the Ambassador is king and the cabbie will casually say, after you flag him down standing beside your firangi car which has conked of due to water in the engine: “Sir, today no meter, sir. But you give me 200 rupees for Theatre Road, sir. Arre yes, I know it costs 50 by meter, sir, but today paani jaam, no Sir?”.

Even when it’s not raining, though, the buses don’t give you too much joy either. They do, it must be admitted, look ugly and a more than a bit unsafe. And I swear I’ve been on quite a few buses whose floor boards have cracks big enough to see the street passing by below. But then you do appreciate them, at some level. I mean it’s not every day that you would have 300 people packed into a mini-bus meant for 50. It brings us Calcuttans closer—a tightly knit family some would say.

Of course, all this is small fry compared to Calcutta’s real problem—Bengalis. The city’s filled with them.

But even then, did Calcutta deserve this? I mean, the city’s not all bad, is it?

Where else would you get a Biryani with that lovely aloo included along with meat? The legend goes that when Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to the city by the Sewage-System Builders, the poor man had a tough time keeping up his old lifestyle. It’s not easy when you’re busy using Muta to marry girls for a few days and casting them off, is it? It’s hard on an exiled nawab’s finances. So the poor man cut back on his food by replacing some of the meat in his Biryanis with aloo. It’s true—some people would do anything for love.

And since were're on the subject of food, the kati kawab rolls which Nizam’s claimed it invented must be brought up. Succulent and tender pieces of roasted meat wrapped in a crispy, flaky yet not very oily paratha served to you by some chap who obviously has some sort of groin infection. I ask you, does a city that invented the kati roll, deserve this sort of treatment? Does it?

And what about Park Street? And Peter Cat, the chicken sizzlers and the prawn cocktails (Mrs. G., it was said, ordered her prawn cocktails from Sky Room. They used to go out on the evening Calcutta-Delhi flight. Sky Room’s shut down now, though. Why? Labour problems, of course. This is a write-up on Calcutta you fool!). And New Market during the Christmas holidays with marzipan from Nahoum’s. And those horrible tacky Santa Claus dolls, who, went the tale, cried because the city did not deserve what had been done to it.

Of course, all this is small fry compared to Calcutta’s real asset—Bengalis. The city’s filled with them.

So, I ask you, ladies, gentleman and Karan Johar, did Calcutta deserve this?

Kolkata Knight Riders:

Played: 14; lost: 10, won: 3, tie/NR: 1


Suchintya said...

arrey... its all conspiracy against the bengalis. They undermined their greatest strength - Dada. In Dada we believe !!! and we hold the bochas responsible for this sad fate that has befallen us :(

Kislay said...

The KKR were last in the fair play tally as well . :D

abhishek said...

Arey don't time, kolkata jeetega, hum bolta hai.

Dekkan last tha, aabhi dekha to koisa pharst aaya, next time kolkata aayega. :D

Atul Prasad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Atul Prasad said...

t is a pity that the passionate fans of KKR had to witness this.

But, sometimes, and in fact most of the times, this passion crosses the limits of insanity..

Anonymous said...

Hades, you ask what did calcutta do to deserve this?

Anyone who thinks Dada should be the captain of the Indian Cricket (as well as Hockey) team, till 2050 should get this sort of result.

Hades said...

@Suchintya - Maybe Dada was the problem. Anyways, this whole firnagi thing is getting out of hand. Both IPL winners have been Australians, saala. :X

Kisaly: Why?

Abhishek: I hope so, man.

Atul: What limits? Are you talking abt the general way Eden Gardens behaves?

Rakesh: Not 2050, only till 2020. :P

Indyeah said...

I can empathize..honorary bengali and all..

karbo ladbo jeetbo? :((

Sarit said...

i would have to disagree with you on the dirtiest city tag. I think megacity Mumbai deserves it more than any other in India. True, labour problems and rickety buses are truly Bengali, but everyone's not running a 'salivate-the-city' contest. Drainage, again, well...

Suki said...

This post clinches it. First time here, and I HAVE to blogroll you.
This is brilliant stuff!

Hades said...


I dunno about the saliva but Gunter Grass had once famously called Calcutta a pile of shit so Calcuttans do manage with other bodily ejections.


Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it