A siesta called Kolkata

The world we live in is a circuit of rat race, a colosseum of cut throat competition, a cruel ground to survive. It nourishes predatory instincts and those who succumb to it have to bear the brunt of isolation. At a time when the world seems to be hurtling at a blistering speed, there is a city called Kolkata that seems to have quarantined itself from such acceleration. Just amble through the streets or take a sluggish bus ride and you would realize what I am saying.

The world has moved on but the city continues to be frozen in a time frame that is decades back. Barring a few patches across the city, nothing much has changed. The tea stalls are cluttered with people who always seem to have time for some trivia. In most metropolis people gulp down their cup of tea. Here its different, a sip with a distinctive sound. The “adda” however trite it may seem, is a concoction of mottled opinions in a sublime form. I personally attribute the richness of Bengali literature to such indulgences.

After the invigorating sip we move onto the streets with the jagged motion of traffic. Every bus and auto vies for the red signal for better profitability. These aristocrats have a union to back such callous attitude. Travelling at speed of a “knot” can be quite frustrating. On such expeditions you realise another thing, work carried out by most state financed projects progresses at a snail’s pace. I lost track of time when I wanted to figure out how many years it took to complete the extension of the Metro. The utility store in the locality opens at 10 and closes at 1.Then it’s siesta time! It reopens at 5 and finally closes at 9.Probably one of the most sumptuous jobs isn’t it? The mongrels and the crowns join in to garnish the indolence. Nothing is spared, absolutely nothing!

Kolkata has been soporific for its multitude. It’s a pity that the former capital of India has been reduced to this. From gaining contract for a business to commuting, everything has been circumscribed by the indolence factor. It is still reeling under the ancient bureaucracy that has entrapped every aspect of the samaritans in its tentacles. We have got acclimatized to our slow transportation system. We never raise an alarm when the government does not deliver. We resign to it and accept it as a part of life. It’s TIME to change before the world TIDES over us.

Soumyajit Datta