Calcutta had its hedges and its lawns,
That grand old city where I was born;
But reeling destitution had its place,
Pavement and railway platform showed that face.
It seemed not to matter where lay your lot,
God's will ordained the haves and the haves not;
This easy blend teemed street and market place,
And made as one the swarming populace.
Each smoke tinged dawn created all anew,
Calcutta shone in every eye its hue;
Its hope buttressed in grand establishment,
Its businesses, markets, crowds of content.
The dhotis, the saris, the suits and shirts,
The chic of Park Street, the bustee's dark huts,
Chowringhee's green abutting Esplanade,
Victoria Memorial, Cal's moments made.
The Lighthouse, Metro, New Empire and Regal,
Were launch pads, Hollywood, but none the equal
To the kind grey light that greeted your exit,
And the bump of the taxi, and home in sight.