Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Seventy Two Hours

Kolkata has lived for a relatively long time now. Its slowly turning into a hot, humid and smoke-ridden city. Modernisation being the keyword for us today, high rise buildings are finally giving a tough competition to old heights, which sometime in the past had been Kolkata's pride (remains still??). I don't have much of an attachment to historical mansions or its preservation. This is rather about one of my short stays in the city.

Social ties sometimes appear from nowhere. It shall remain an unanswerable question for me whether time should really be a measure of conversance. Kolkata this time was different. Not only because its was like being in "no man's land" when no one knows where you belong, or because I found myself in conflict with my early notions of the city, but because this time I took a glimpse of it through(with) a bunch of people who reside in it.

A friend was too eager to accomodate us in his family. Concerns came uninvited. Its like trying to fit yourself into an already solved puzzle. Every family has a protocol, a way of communing, an already laid foundation of understanding, and a retricted window into it for outsiders. Its expected from every guest that the protocol won't be violated. From an outsider's view point, the requirement falls a bit heavy. And many a times, we just turn out to be blank cards in a deck - increasing the number, but useless.

However, the world is not so uncooperative at all times. I spent my last seventy two hours with a family that, no wonder, follows its code of conduct, but in no way imposes an unstrecthable window on you. There was neither any superficiality in their demeanor, nor any unintentional display of regret; a welcome smile speaks for itself. I feel that's the easiest way to charm when you are the host. If eveything around you is natural then its too easy to dive into the flow. You don't have to bother what the real picture is like and easily mould into a person of comfort.

Seventy two hours is not a so long period of time, but with the right people around, its long enough for you to see the ups and downs of Kolkata, the foible nature of a household, or to understand how some things are easier than they are believed to be.


Post a Comment

<< Home