Attachment does not come easily to me. I am not attached to the city that I was born in and spent a relevant few years of my life. I do not think I am attached to Calcutta either (or the non-anglicized Kolkata if you please) where I predominantly grew up and experienced the first woozy syndromes in the head and the stomach often considered to be love. The city where I completed my graduation and ate my first phuchkas (golgappa, panipuri are supposed to be synonyms but not quite the same). The city that gave me my first salary and kudos for a job well done. The city that surprised me with its poetry, exasperated me with its pace. The city that howled with me during my first attack of gastroenteritis. The city of yellow and black. And red. Of taxis and Marxists. Of bandhs and gully cricket. The city that serves biryani with potato and eggs. And bakes cakes like nobody else does. Of Flury’s and Kookie Jar. The city that taught me to lose my way. And still not be afraid. The city where coolers do not work. The city of sweat, the city of ‘kalbaishakhi’*. The city where I could afford movies at just 30 bucks. The city that made me look beautiful. And feel even more so. The city of Durga Pujo and ‘dimer devi’**. Of bookfairs and idle summers. And winters and monsoons too. The city that prompted me during my debates. And held my hand when I crossed roads. The city of Satyajit and understated taste. Of Mamata and boisterous beings. The city that gave me a thumbs- up when I first met my future husband. And nodded disapprovingly when I coloured my hair purple. The city of Howrah Bridge and Park Street Cemetery. Of unending entries and unnoticeable exits.
Attachment does not come easily to me. Yet, I write for you. I write to you.
* ‘kalbaishakhi’: Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of south-west monsoon accompanied by thunderstorms during the summers in Bengal.
** ‘Dimer devil’: Popular Bengali snack made, a cutlet made with egg and potato