Look, I am going to be candid here. It sucks to be at home, day in day out, under the lockdown. And be scared. And look at the phone screen all the time, whether Netflixing or searching for Corona memes or something else. Whatever.
Time to time, Trump or others make appearances, with their bat shit crazy theories, and enablers barking behind. Worldometer website seems to be as vile as the wet market of Wuhan, no empathy whatsoever but constantly updating numbers. Numbers are numbers, with a heart of steel.
At this time, we have no idea when and how this thing will be over. How the new normal would look like. But looking at the empty lanes of Kolkata, my heart aches and hopes against hope, that things will be back to being what it used to be once again. Life will unfold in its own myriad hues. Some things might change, and rest will be as is in good old Kolkata!
- It will be sweaty hot in Kolkata. There might be rains for a day or two (or months depending on when it gets over). Central avenue will be inundated. banana logs will float and Anandabzar will make a few headlines. Summer will come back again. And Kolkata will be back to being sultry mistress that she is anyway!
- Yellow taxis with No Refusal written all over the body will look at you with disdain if you want to go to Behala from Dumdum airport. This will not change even on the day of judgement, mark my words.
- Cha kaku will go back to his daily work schedule as a mason. Might even appear in an interview with ABP Ananda with Suman. (Look up #chakaku on Fb if you are uninitiated).
- Suman will still have his fare share of issues, Asubidhe.
- Cha kaku will come back home and drink tea from the Parar Dokan, neighborhood tea stall. Other Cha kakus of the para will join him too!
- Roaker Adda will resume and those who are doing it discreetly (or not so much) even now will no longer be scared of the police-van. Which also means, no more chance encounter for sit ups with your fingers caressing your beloved earlobes. You lucky dog!
- Tiktokers will reclaim Eco Park. And Victoria Memorial. And other places (which is everywhere). We will miss the memers though.
- The last remaining two exams of HS will take place hopefully, followed by JEE. Chaya Prokashoni’s question banks will now turn into Jhalmuri Thonga. Or if you have a kid at home, you can use it to… Go wild with your ideas, really!
- Schools will reopen. Thou shalt hug the long lost friend!
- Thou shalt make time to meet the lover. Hand in hand, you shall go to Victoria, Nalban, Elliot Park, Princep Ghat and kiss behind the Jhau bon! Where else do lovers go nowadays in Kolkata?
- Should you have had an extra marital affair, it is time to rekindle the love and lust!
- The first freedom weekend, there will be yet another picnic at the Digha beach.
- Sealdah and Howrah Station will have close to 14 lakh footfall daily. That is more than Amsterdam’s population. Feel free to add a few more European cities too! Let that sink in!
- Back in the trend is the conductor’s screaming “Howrahyah Howrahyah Howrahyah” or “Shelda Shelda Shelda” and bickering at naive you, “Pechoner dike egiye jan”.
- Work will resume for Behala Metro one more time, like it has been for past 12 years.
- Bus will take one hour to reach Behala Chowrasta from Taratala.
- Uber like a basic bitch will add a stupendous 2.4x surcharge. You will utter a curse-word and get into the Minibus, if not auto. Because this is recession and money is a thing of heist.
- Summer still does not cease to exit Kolkata so you shall plan a trip to Darjeeling. You will open IRCTC website to book that night train to NJP station but it is sold out. Am I right or am I right?
- You are sad so you want to go to Mocambo or Peter cat for weekending but you do not get a seat despite prior reservation. Noone will say sorry either.
- You will go to Shiraj at Park street instead and order Special Mutton Biryani with extra potato. You might ask for another potato because biryani loves you and helps you fight depression and it ain’t got any side effect!
- Biryani stores are likely to hire bouncers to tackle increased traffic!
- Phuchkawalas are back on the road! So are Chop and Beguni artists. Nothing tastes as good as the crunch of Mitra Cabin’s Kabiraji!
- On the way back, you may stop at Haji, Behala and stand in the queue with 50 other people to buy mutton to cook for Sunday lunch! That Mutton Kosha in red curry with Dehradun rice which will put you to siesta.. what dreams are made of…
- Mashi, the thike jhi, the savior has returned to work and taken over various home departments.
- So, you decide to watch Sreemoyee.
- You still love-hate June Aunty.
- Eyebrows and hair and nails will be fixed on a Sunday but you are not sure if salons are safe. So you wait. Then you go nonetheless!
- Durgapuja is at the bay (because we are hoping Corona crisis will be over before Durgapuja) and you need to go for saree shopping at Gariahat one fine day! New market will be abuzz with shoppers. Srileathers will have a long queue to enter, yet again!
- One of the days, you will also make a pit stop to Kumartuli where Durga idols are made.
- All those cancelled weddings scheduled initially for the month of Baishak has got a second chance in life and will go on to make the most of it!
- Ghosts of North Kolkata will come back to haunt humans in the old houses.
- Many of them will take the first flight of the day (or board Duronto Express) to go back to their workplace, Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi. And they will come back for Durgapuja once again!
- That thing with NRC will restart. Yes, don’t tell me you forgot!
- ^^ should this happen, social media will go berserk, once again!
- Durgapuja will happen and end and our city will immerse in collective melancholy for a week, once again!
Now a bunch of photos from Kolkata, because I know how painful missing her may feel like!
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Omg the chaya prokashoni becoming jhal murir thonga had me in splits .. Also the fact the thiker ji being our saviour .. can’t agree more to each and everything u wrote .. oh I absolutely condemn on looking at those food pics right now .. no way imma not going to do that .. it’s a virtual torture .
What a lovely post Madhu ! Hok Kolorob
I so miss walking on the streets of my city!
Hope some day soon.
Absolutely loved reading it Madhurima… I am so waiting for things to be normal so that I can pick up my camera , hold my wife’s hand and take my daughter in my arms and roam in the heart of kolkata. Hope everything normalises soon
Osadharon, its nostalgic. You won’t believe how much I am missing home these days, I hope everything will be fine and cha kaku, parar Dokan and footpath e boi er Dokan will remain same so when I ll visit, I will feel them again.
This post has made me miss Kolkata even more. If I were in Kolkata when the lockdown will be lifted for the good, I would step out cautiously and go to para’s Phuchka stall mainting some distance with the other eaters. And you idea of spending the first freedom weekend in Digha ti mondo noy. Your photos of Kolkata all glmed up for Durga Puja makes me sad now. But in a nostalgic way. Kasbo na asha korchi
Kadhbo na. This typos I swear.
This is wonderful. I just discovered your blog today and loving the various posts especially on Kolkata and food.
Thank you! 😀