City Of Joy-

With the festive season starting, you get so much to look and hear at! Yesterday being Ganesh Puja and today being Vishwakarma Puja, Kolkata went all noisy and busy throughout the week preparing and annoying pedestrians! College goers planned for mass bunks with an excuse of traffic issues, and overload of assignments which they have to finish, but spent the day sitting back like a couch potato and doing nothing. Well, I had planned for a kick off start, and I did start the day pretty good but laziness is more rewarding, as it seems. On the way to the market early in the morning, my ears had a pretty hard time taking in all the noise. Actually they are supposed to be music, loud music. But when you combine several levels of high pitch loud musical sounds, it becomes noise.

I could hear, “Yeh zameen ruk jayeen, aasma jhuk jayeen…”, “Paglu, uuuu, uuuuu, thora sa karle romance…”, “Lungi dance lungi dance lungi dance…”, “Saree ke fall sa tujhe match kiya re!” and the traffic honking and shouting all at once!

Having trouble to cross the road, I, who never watches out for signals, had to wait by the roadside for several minutes to concentrate. These enthusiastic and dedicated devotees were not just contributing to polluting the environment with noise pollution but also had let out numerous not-so-used-to-walking pedestrians on the street, since there are scanty public transport available on such occasions. They walk around aimlessly, halting every now and then to scan the street and to stare around mesmerized at how fast other people can move! They take the whole of the footpath to walk, and do not allow anyone to overtake their strolling speed.

In case you ask them to excuse you, either they’ll be deaf to hear you, or they will take a full 180 degree turn to look at you in misery (not understanding the cause of your haste), or they will throw an angry look as you which might say, “How dare you ask me to make way for you? I’m the fat king/queen of the footpath. It’s my, all mine.”

Hence the new generation hasty people like me, are forced to walk down the road to reach every destination slightly quicker than usual. And continues the head banging noise in the background, all the songs screaming for attention. Done with my grocery shopping I headed back home. On the way, something tells me to look up at the sky- ‘Bho Katta’ shouts a little boy on a field, he has successfully beaten his friend on the kite battle. A bright red kite comes down floating and another boy runs around to catch it, while the defeated friend looks on with a long face. Kolkata hosts the kite festival, in all lane and by-lane every year on the day of Vishwakarma Puja, (17-18 September).

The colourful sky is sure to make you forget all the sorrows of life, and all the work that you have probably lined up for the day. Yet again I became lazy witnessing the beauty, and got back home and invested all my time in listening to music (one at a time), and sleeping!

‘Bho Katta’ – an exclamation of joy on winning a kite battle.

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