I wanted to move out, to constantly keep moving. My father has lived in this city all his life. He knows it like the back of his hand. It is weird that now, when all I want to do is leave, it suddenly fascinates me. Loving the unfamiliar leads to an ignorance of the familiar. Maybe staying back, is in itself a kind of movement. So many things pass in this city. Sometimes I think does the phrase ‘the back of my hand’ even make any sense? What would we know if our hands were exchanged by another’s? What difference would it make if this city was another?
Too many things have passed in this city. Maybe it is too changing, keeping up and yet nostalgic.
Calcutta Calcutta Calcutta Calcutta. Utter its name a thousand times.
If there was to be a book on the chronicles of this city , it would have to be divided by its seasons. Seasons change this city. It is not unstoppable. The rains stop this city, every fucking out pour stops it like it was some goddamn village with no drainage system. Couples walk on roads holding on to each other, oblivious of the city being held up. It takes nothing to stop this city, only a small hindrance to its functioning.
I am sick of it, sick of the same old place with absolutely no sense of pace. In movies when they show cities, do you remember how on the streets people walk at the same pace? In Calcutta the scene couldn’t be shot in a million years. Everybody walks at a different pace, constantly bumping into one another. This whole progression of disorganized bumping, cursing, stopping and waiting function in sync. Calcutta is a mess in sync.
I need to leave, leave this familiar mess, not discover any more lanes. I need to leave before the summer is back: the dreadful summer when arguments are free flowing and there isn’t enough air anywhere. No place to sit in buses, no empty benches, no cold drink cold enough. Don’t come here during summers.
My father knows a shortcut to almost every place I have ever visited with him. He directs drivers better than the GPS directs me now. He never speaks of leaving this city.
This city makes me sick. This god forsaken city where nothing good ever happens. How can trams still function here? Have you not seen how slow they are? And the autos. Don’t even get me started on how they cause jams to fight and the autowallahs hurl abuses and horns at the same rate.
Too much has passed, too much. What stands heavier in passage are all the things that never came to be. Leaving. Always leaving. This city is paved with losses. Love arrives here too late and losses are always travelling with you. It rains, it rains again. It will rain all night and in the morning people will go to work late. There will be mud everywhere and not enough sleep.
How do you leave this city? How do you leave this bloody city that is so full of you, you smell yourself in every lane? It makes you dizzy, you want to destroy it. Every person poking his umbrella on your skin wants to destroy it. The thing is, maybe the city is already in ruins. How do you leave ruins that keep building themselves back, resurrecting and ruining, always moving, always waiting.
Calcutta Calcutta Calcutta Calcutta
Utter it a thousand times. It isn’t enough. This city isn’t enough.