Calcutta, Kolkata, Calcutta

Another memory about Kolkata, still glistens in my mind. My son Kaustav 6 years old suddenly asked Rs 1000 from me. He wont give any reason so I gave him Rs 1000 and wondered what is going to do with it. His Bangla is still rough although he is fluent in Xhosa, Zulu, Suthu and Afrikaans. After a couple of hours of understanding where he might have gone, we saw him running up the steps. He quickly took out his 'purse' and gave me back Rs 800 and I gave him the independence of buying anything to which I wont object. The next day morning was a spectacle which I cannot forget. An elderly gentleman wearing dhoti and kurta was asking to see me. Choto Baba had come yesterday and pointed at the sweets he wants to taste. After eating, he gave me Rs 200 and ran away. The cost was just Rs 50 but I couldn't catch him. Our neighbors told me that Dada is a doctor in South Africa and that is his son. They have come to visit his aunts and cousins. The sweet shop owner touched my feet and said that it's my greatest privilege, that Chota Baba had chosen my shop to taste the sweets. I can't take any money for this. Another example of Kolkata and its hospitality. Today Kaustav is specializing in Orthopaedics and whenever we share this incident, he smiles. He wants to go back and see the red brick buildings of 0ld Kolkata.


A small remembrance from Kolkata. Many years back, I was traveling on a Calcutta Metro Bus. In Calcutta I found every one travels by bus and they all know their Bus numbers which will take them to their destination.
One such afternoon in May I had boarded a bus for Esplanade-- the city center.
The bus was packed and we were sweating on each other All of a sudden the bus stopped and a lady wearing Tangail Silk with her with her small boy alighted the bus. There was a swirl of activity and all males sitting got up to give the seat to the lady.
A 80 years elderly man holding a walking stick also got up. There was protest from everybody but he would not sit
He uttered, 'you are our mother and I have a small way left to go.' Please sit comfortably. The lady stood up and bent to touch the feet of the Dadu, Elderly man. There were tears in every body's eyes.
This is commonly seen in Kolkata

More By  :  Dr. Amitabh Mitra

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