Calcutta 

A number of years back, I visited this city for a wedding. My uncle’s wedding. Don’t remember much because I was too young but I do have a few memories. I’ve visited once before that too but again, barely have any memories of it.

Mishti. Reached the house of my relatives and the first thing they gave me was a plate full of mishti. And somehow we were expected to finish all of it!

The rickshaws and narrow lanes and yellow taxis and praying the taxi drivers drops us at our destination in one piece. We had a driver there who used to drive so fast in such narrow lanes that I often thought he was going to get us killed! As a child, I used to have a fascination for rickshaws. I used to tug at my Dida’s saree and beg her to take me to the market in a rickshaw. Something about Calcutta reminds me of that.

Red. Flying dupattas. Red sarees. No, not angry red. Festive red. Happy red. The red mixed with yellows and oranges and happy colours. Red Bandhej work. Yes, I have a slightly romanticised view of Calcutta in my head and in my mind, I see red.

College Street. A place I’ve always wanted to go but not gotten a chance yet. Books. Happiness. Someday soon, I want to take my sister there.

High four poster beds that I had trouble climbing cuz I was too tiny.  Playing with my cousins sister. The colourful blocks and the laughter. One of my old Didas sitting in a chair in the garden.

The entire family sitting in a small room with barely enough small and having adda sessions that ran late into the night.

When I think Calcutta, all these happy memories come back. But also, a few bad ones. I can’t help it. “Are you not eating?” “Is she anorexic?” “That’s a typical symptom of depression.”

Calcutta will always have a special place in my heart. Mixed memories, both happy and sad but I think I’ll chose to focus on the happy ones this time. I want to go back to that city soon. Hopefully for pujo this coming year. Cannot wait.

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