Author : Ankit Mackar

[Bio :  The author is an integral part of Hatpakha , currently working as a software engineer in Bangalore. ]

 

STATUTORY WARNING: It is dangerous to restrict children below the age of 13 years from reading this article. Certain behavioral changes, which may prove to be fruitful to the parents in the long run, may be expected in those who read it. Although the title will attract undue attention from the college going kids and the high-school students, especially males, but the article does not have any sort of offensive content of THAT sort.(For this, there are no puns indented) ]

It is difficult to categorize this article and restrict it to a particular genre as it has contents which can belong to multiple territories, so without bugging you any further, let’s get into the business. As it is mentioned above, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, so the first one, without a doubt, has to be Calcutta, oops Kolkata, it is. Our very own city, ‘Amader Kolkata’. 538344_331843103603396_1463878260_nBeing born and brought up in Kolkata and having done my graduation there, I have spent almost 22 long years over there before moving to (the other city, remember, ‘a tale of two cities’) Bangalore, just like thousands of others, to work as a software developer in an IT firm. So, just like every other youth (no more a TEEN-ager), freshly out of college, with innumerous dreams in my mind, I landed up in the city which is fondly called to be ‘The INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CAPITAL’ of India, the city previously referred to as ‘The Pension Capital Of India’, BENGALURU (Though, the rising pollution levels and traffic congestion is a pain over here, these days). Joining the company in the month of October, just two weeks prior to DURGA PUJO (missed it for the first time in life), I realized, after multiple sessions of self introspection, that there is something about ‘Amader Kolkata’ which no other city has (No offensive remarks meant for some other-city lover), that something, in fact, comprises of many a things. So, without keeping you guessing for a long time, let’s begin the investigation together.

Being a Kolkattan (or Calcuttan whatever you prefer saying), right from the childhood, there always used to be five 24:00 hour days in a calendar year(now, we have SIX of them, Yeh Dil Always Mange More! So we actually have more) when we used to go insane (that doesn’t mean that the rest 360.5 days{to be more precise} we all used to be completely sane), insane nights, mad days, insomniac nights, sleepless days , fun-filled evening, entertaining noon ; without even giving a second thought, I am quite sure you all must have made a correct guess, after all it’s in the genes of us, Kolkattans, it has to be Durga Pujo. Panchmi-Dashami (people also call it Dussehra, but for us it is always Dashami) . The last 6 days of the fall NAVARATRI(yes you all guessed it right, Navratri takes place twice a year) are the most cherished, sought-after, looked forward to days in a calendar year if you are born in West Bengal. There are loads of activities in which people keep themselves involved, as per their own guidelines on how to enjoy to the fullest in these days. A large chunk of the mass goes out for PUJO PANDAL-HOPPING, in some cases queuing up for hours, to catch a glimpse of the creativity at its best, ‘Maa Durga’s Pratima’ and the theme based pandals, whose budget these days is in lakhs , and the planning and research work goes on for months. The other set of people spends multiple, full-length nights in rattling dandiya sticks to perfection, and showcasing ‘Raas-Garba’ at its best, turning Kolkata into micro Gujarat.(I am sure Narendra Modi would have felt ecstatic reading it), and there is a third set of people ,who consider these days as an opportunity to watch multiple movies in a row and going on an Eating-Out spree(Basically, a Food-Fest), while there is always a fourth set who take these confirmed holidays pretty seriously and go out of town religiously.

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And here I was, in this part of Techno-Savvy world, where there was not even a hint of those wonderfully mesmerizing days. Was missing those golden days, madly and completely. I was keeping myself busy by going through the Facebook Notifications and Updates by almost all my friends, relatives and near and dear ones who got the privilege as always to spend those SIX wonderful days in Kolkata, here I was feeling terrible, was longing for the feel of Kolkata.

Days went by and weeks went past, I was busy with my office work and exploring Bangalore, enjoying the only thing which has remained constant since the day I stepped into this city, its climate (no moisture, no humidity, pretty cool at night, a blanket is must and so is a hot water bath in the mornings). Slowly and steadily, was getting accustomed to the living as well as working conditions, which this city has to offer. Scavenging the North-Indian food wasn’t much of a pain here, as thousands of people from all across the country come to this truly COSMO-POLITAN city, some to study Engineering, some to build their careers in the world of technology and some to just have ultimate , no-holds-barred fun. As I went forward and delved deeper in my exploration, I came across various hilarious and noteworthy sights such as, only once in a blue moon you will come across a beggar, the streets are pretty clean and free from unnecessary hoardings, you can travel all across Bangalore in an intra-day bus pass provided by Karnataka State Transport, if the address says 50 FEET ROAD OR 100 FEET ROAD, then certainly the road is not 50 or 100 feet wide, there are more number of LIQUOR SHOPS(a.k.a ‘Desi Daaru ki Dukaan’)AND FRESH JUICE CENTERS(see the contrast) than the shops which sell soft-drinks( Cold-Drinks as per our Indian terminology), then in every nook and corner you’ll find DARSHINIS & SAAGARS, the very famous south-indian eateries.

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Thus, in my 6 months of experience I realized that both Kolkata and Bengaluru, even though they belong to the country, are completely contrasting in nature. On one hand, the former is famous for its heritage and culture, its festivals, its politics across all verticals and Bandhs ofcourse, on the other hand, the latter is famous for its professionalism, where 9am means you need to report to your manager at 8.55am sharp, where people enjoy having addas over a glass of BADAM-milk rather than ‘ek cup chai’, where every member in the household has atleast a personal scooty or a motorcycle and every family owns a car, where people spend more time in gadgets than talking, where there are 1000s of restaurants and scores of malls, and where BRIGADE ROAD actually isn’t famous for parades, rather, along with COMMERCIAL STREET , it is a shopper’s paradise. Thus, to conclude, if you love your culture , heritage, legacy, festivity , ‘adda-baazi’, ‘ ghup-shap’ and won’t mind a day off due to BANDH, Kolkata is for you, whereas, if you prefer the high-profile life of the corporate world, especially if it has to do with technology, where DISCOTHEQUES & PUBS & Exclusive Restaurants & Shopping Malls & International Brands are your preferred or sought after choices and you like hanging out in Corporate circles and own some latest automobiles and latest gadgets and draw some 6-7 digit salaries and (generally)rent / own some state-of-the art apartments, then Bangalore is meant for you, and BY GOD, you will hate the traffic, but will get ADDICTED to its pleasant weather(but nowadays, the alarming rate of growing pollution….)

[A WORD OF CAUTION: If you are from Kolkata, and working or planning to work in Bangalore, get ready to say less of ‘KORO’ & much more of ‘MAADI’, ENJOY MAADI ANNA….] 

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. the views shared look as if it is very realistic and not illusory.i would love to read more such stories from the author.a very thank you for such a good story.

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