Born in a city far from the buzz of capitalisation, it made me more nervous than excited to begin my life in the cultural capital of India.
The sun burned my skin every time I stepped out.
The yellow taxis never seemed to stop.
The buses black-holed my oxygen.
And, the crowds scared me out of my wits.
It was crazy not finding joy in the “City of Joy”. It made me almost homesick.
Almost want to run away from the lights, the dreams and the people.
But, I decided otherwise.
You need a mad city to set you right on this mad journey called Life.
And before I realised, I was making small talks with people at the metro, asking puchka walas about the secret recipe for their puchka stuffing, looking for nolen-gurer chaa in streets I have never been before, overwhelmed watching the Kumortolis’ sculptors build the Goddess that protects us all.
I was watching sunsets at Princep Ghat and exploring the Jorasanko Thakur Bari.
I was trying new cafes without forgetting Manna Dey’s Coffee House er Adda.
Selecting Bhetki from Dhakuria Fish Market and Mangoes from Jaggu Bazaar.
I spent days at Maidan watching the horses ride into the known wilderness and raised a toast to the florescent moon over the Saravor Lake.
I did everything a stranger does in a strange city driven by the passion of adventure and eerie sense of belonging.
And it took me a while.
A long while.
To discover the lives of the people and the culture in their veins.