There are places known for their scenic beauty, there are places known for history and culture, there are places known for generating employment opportunities, and then there are places known for…uh, nothing. Since time immemorial, those unfortunate souls who have visited such places for no discernible reason, have only left with few unanswered questions:
- Why is the bank on top of a fish market where every customer was carrying one fish each?
- Why doesn’t that restaurant have an entrance?
- What was that tree doing there in the middle of the road?
Well, I am talking about my hometown where common sense takes a backseat and we move ahead. These disjointed anecdotes in this post would be of no use for you as I don’t see any reason for you to consider this place as your next holiday destination unless you land here one day because of a misdirected flight or a cyclone.
We, Bengalis have an uncanny ability to pronounce each and every word in Hindi in a unique way; however, we never shy away from the challenge when situation demands; our eagerness to demonstrate our expertise in the language is known to one and all. Conjuring an exact amount of courage which is usually required to fight in Kargil, we initiate a conversation in Hindi every time we meet a non-Bengali. Within few seconds we gradually start relying more on body language with sporadic intrusion of larynx for this newly invented language before capitulating to the enormity of exhaustion and resorting to sign language. This phenomenon can be observed quite often these days as few outsiders have carried out this logic-defying act of residing here. Although our endeavors haven’t earned us any praise hitherto but our drive to explore unfamiliar territories will never die down. So, just wait and watch.
The airport primarily has few scattered, bewildered local staffs who exchange blank stares all the time and ponder, ‘What are we doing here?’ There are two flights which take off every day; one goes to Calcutta and the other… yup Calcutta. The runway is a visual treat just like the roads outside, but don’t worry, they can weather anything. Conquering all fear, obstacles, uncertainties, and potholes, the flights take off miraculously and immediately take a vicious U-turn while you wonder, ‘Why cannot they just take off from the other side?’ (You would be able to relate to this ‘take off’ situation only if you are an avid follower of Hollywood action movies where a total catastrophe transpires in the last scene before the hero stops the flight with his left hand while holding his girlfriend with the right to reinstate peace and serenity in the world.). Duration of the flight 60-90 minutes, drive from my home to airport – 2 hours.
Morning sunshine illuminated his face as he set his foot on our doorstep for the first time…no no, I am talking about our regular plumber here. As per usual custom, we offered him some money as a token of appreciation once he finished his work. An avatar of Anna Hazare evolved in front of us as he asked with moist eyes, “Are you trying to bribe me? I get a salary from my employer.” Ashamed of this heinous act we apologized immediately and he left with a righteous look. Piercing through the darkness of the night, he appeared again after few days, with a subtle disoriented gait (which an expert like me could easily notice). After finishing his work he stood in front of us somehow, holding the door, and pronounced in an incoherent voice, “You actually didn’t pay me anything last time.” Our faces glowed with happiness and relief as we completed the customary practice. Life does give you a second chance to redeem yourself.
If for some reason you need to undergo a surgery, then please hand over the insurance papers, property details, bank account details to your spouse, children, parents otherwise it would be virtually impossible for them to enjoy the benefits and you won’t be able to do much from heaven. You might say doctors here are incompetent, I would say they are philosophers. Death is inevitable, so why prolong this painful and grueling process of survival? And hence, to ease the problems of mankind, each doctor here has opened one hospital each where they welcome you with a celestial smile, “May I help you?”
I can go on and on but I have decided to reduce the length of my posts, and hence, I am not writing a conclusion kind of thing as well, I mean, what you guys call epilogue (thank god, I couldn’t come up with anything). Also, I wrote this post assuming that no one in my town reads my blog but you never know, I don’t want to pay a heavy price for my assumptions. I shouldn’t get carried away and write about that bakery guy who gives me credit all the time with a smiling face (till I am standing in front of him) or the mobile dealer who gives me SIM cards, pre-activated in the names of imaginary subscribers. Well, there are few good things about my town as well e.g. world’s first ever polo club was established in my town or the first ever all-woman crew flight in the world landed here, but am I supposed to talk about good things ?