By Sreyashi Mazumdar
Sipping a cup of tea, wearing a cotton kurta and a jhola dangling across the shoulders, he (anonymous) called for the tea stall vendor and said: “Dada Ekta cha are biscuit diye dao.” Turning to the political page of Ananda Bazaar Patrika, he gawked at the headline on the first page of the leading daily. In a minute, he was surrounded by his friends.
Taking to their seats, all of them started deliberating seethingly on issues concerning development in Kolkata. “Till Mamata is helming the state affairs, no good will be rendered to the state. CPI(M) has already ruined the state and Mamata’s administrative capability is a cherry on top to the same,” he said.
One would often come across such vivacious youngsters thronging the most-talked about getaways in the City of Joy; however, the cock-a-hoop tales doesn’t really materialise owing to their lackadaisical attitude.
“Kolkatans talk a lot. They think that change can happen in a closed room or mere deliberations will overhaul the status of the city; however, this doesn’t really happen in reality. Protests and stalling classes are some of the common phenomena in the city but they fail to yield a result,” said 42-year-old Soumen Biswas.
Attuning to the humidity and the sultriness permeating the city, the tempered souls inhabiting the same are often found in the midst of a heated conversation. Vociferous slogan like “We want change. We will revolt.” can be heard reverberating across the alleys. “Student politics is something that is quite relevant in Kolkata but it has lost its sheen. Students now take to streets owing to every petty issue. One shouldn’t overdo an act as it loses its sheen,” said Arijit Banerjee, a professor at Calcutta University.
Adding to the hubbub, the intelligentia of this city is no less. There might be a string of articles by the best of the intellectuals such as Amit Chaudhuri, Neil Mukherjee, and Upamanyu Chatterjee, who essay the dilapidated condition of the city. There might be literary festivals with glitterati talking over important issues catering to the city, but a very few of their catharsis has brought forth a change.
“The problem with the intellectuals mainly involve their penchant for a bourgeoisie culture. They might be talking of varied issues ranging from grass-root level politics to cinema and Poriborton but the words they choose to flesh out the same is essentially uptown and unintelligible for the commoners. The divide between the pseudo intellectuals and the commoners at times adds on to impasse surging the city,” said 23-years-old Sushanta Choudhury, a Presidency University student.
Fending off the garrulity prevalent in the city, Kolkatans should think of bringing forth a drastic change. Words should give up their pages and take to reality as action speaks louder than words and it is the same for the city as well.