Saturday, April 12, 2014

K for Kolkata

From top going clockwise: Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Central Kolkata, Howrah Bridge, Kolkata tram, Vidyasagar Setu Bridge

Kolkata (also known as Calcutta) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly river, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port as well as its sole major riverine port.The word Kolkata derives from the Bengali term Kolikata, the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city eventually was to be established; the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur. While the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata or Kolikata in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation. Kolkata is also nicknamed as "The City of Joy" and "The Cultural Capital of India".

Kolkata was the first time I was away from home. After completing my twelfth standard, I went away to Kolkata for my undergraduate course. It was also the first time I stayed in a hostel. I spent four years in the city. Studied for three years and worked for another. 

Kolkata is a city for every strata of the society. It has something to offer to everyone. It is a city of food. I did not used to like sweets. But in Kolkata I developed a slight sweet tooth. Among all biriyani, Kolkata biriyani is the best. Chinese food and rolls are available there in all nooks and corners. And they taste yum everywhere. Kolkata golgappas (also known as pani puri and phuchka) are the best. Kolkata is quite green as a city. In summer, even if the days are very hot and humid, there is a guaranteed breeze in the evenings. Kolkata is a historically and culturally vibrant city.

I shall always be partial to Kolkata, for it has given me uncountable good memories, experiences and lessons. In this city, I learned to be responsibly independent. Here I had my first job. Away from home in this city, my sister and I became soul sisters. And here I fell in love.

I met Az (my husband) in college. Kolkata is his hometown and he has grown up here. Even  though his family is originally from the state of Bihar, his paternal grandfather migrated to this city as a young man. He misses the city terribly. We hardly visit the city now as the family is not really there anymore. But we do talk of going back to Kolkata someday and live in the city of our true joy.

16 comments:

  1. Ah, my first K post of the day (still Friday here in the U.S.) and such a beautiful one. Indeed, it looks like a beautiful city, one with so many stories to tell and beauty to offer. Thank you for taking me there for a few minutes.
    Silvia @
    SilviaWrites

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    1. Thanks Silvia for your kind words and your visit :) When u dropped by, I was in dreamland.

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  2. i love the street food of kolkata..... had been there once, want to visit again...

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    1. Yes Pratikshya, the street food is awesome. I have had my best rolls of my life in Kolkata.

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  3. hyderabadi biryani is best not kolkata, Period.

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    1. Hahaha...it's personal preference, really! Actually Hyderabadi biriyani is too spicy for my taste. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. What beautiful photos. I would love to visit this part of the world one day.
    Amanda at His and Her Hobbies

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  5. Kolkata sounds fascinating. I used to read stories that took place in Calcutta. You wrote a interesting piece on a part of country that you love and I hope you'll return there someday. AtoZer http://www.writer-way.blogspot.com

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  6. I am yet to experience the beauty that is Kolkata!

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  7. Another travel blog--cool! I was in India a few years ago, and wanted so badly to visit Calcutta--it's a place of magic and fairytales for me. Then I learned the correct name is Kolkata, and that gave it all the more mystique. But we were too far away, and it never happened. I'll just have to go back :)

    Thanks for stopping over at Life In Dogs yesterday and for the lovely comment. Look forward to visiting your blog again!

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    1. Personally, I like the name 'Calcutta' more than 'Kolkata'. I hope you get a chance to visit it someday :) Btw, I love your blog, primarily because I am from a family of dog lovers.

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Loved that you dropped by. It would lovely to know how you feel about this post too :)