THE CITY OF JOY.

After a busy semester, it was once again time to go home to my city, Kolkata. After a two hour long flight, I could finally see the city glittering at night, and like every other time I couldn’t control my excitement.
Though Kolkata was home and it was natural to feel that way, there was something about the city which got me excited each time.
As the cab slowly crawled through the busy traffic, I wondered what was it about the city that I loved so much. I wondered what made the city so special.
Maybe it how the colonial buildings struck a sharp contrast with the emerging high risers, and every locality had a history of its own.The city was brimming with stories.
Maybe it was the city’s obsession for art and literature and how every child was well versed with Rabindra Sangeet.
Maybe it was the city’s love for chaa(tea) and how bonding over a hot cup of roadside tea was preferred over going out for drinks.

However, I think what made the city unique was its people.
People here still prefer to hang out at bookstores and museums, and watch plays in the theater.
They are warm and friendly, and willing to help out random strangers.
The city infuses a burst of energy even in the most monotonous souls.
They love and hate passionately, which reflects in the way they support their local football clubs,and never miss a chance to catch a game in the Maidan, even on a busy Monday morning.
Also, I think kolkata was the only city where people always had time for a conversation.
The concept of family picnics still exists here.
Idol crafting, which is a dying art, finds its place here, at Kumortuli. The idols of gods and goddesses created here reflect the passion, creativity and devotion of the artisans.
It somehow manages to set itself apart from all the competition. The myriad diversity of communities,trying to find an order here is evident of the fact that nobody feels out of place.

The food here is just like the people you come across – available in various forms and flavors, each one different from the rest, and set apart from the others by a distinctive trait you just can’t help but love.
A plate of puchkas or pani puris is all it will take to make you forget your worries, while a roll from the nearest street food outlet is all you need for lunch on the go.
A boat ride down the river is all it will take for you to connect with yourself.
There is a sense of ease in all the chaos.
Each time I see the sun setting over the magnificent Howrah bridge, I feel as if my heart would burst out of my sheer love for the city.

The city has a soul which reflects mine, trying to find love, poetry beauty and charm in the past faced world where people are driven with ambition and not passion.

This is where I have learnt that happiness is a choice and each day , a celebration of life.

Howrah_Bridge_Kolkata3

 

SHE

She is my best advisor and my greatest critic. I have some of my best conversations with her, on my way to work, or while sipping chai on a dull evening.

She is my teacher and guide, and provides me with some of the best of life lessons.

She mocks me when I wear that dress which she thinks makes me look fat. She however gets me jumping with joy when she thinks I look good in it.

She gives me guilt trips when I spend too much in shopping sales, but understands and encourages me when I need a retail therapy…and is reassuring when I splurge in those shopping sprees.

She encourages me to be wild and crazy, to be adventurous,  and experimental in life…while quietly reminding me about my responsibilities towards my family, and towards society on a whole. She also prevents me from going too far, so that I remain unharmed and have fun at the same time.

She instils courage, belief and a relentless zeal in me. She pushes me towards being at my very best, and helps me discover a ray of hope every time I am on the verge of giving up.

She accepts me as I am, with my flaws, my childishness.

We often have arguments where I tell her how being selfish in the big, bad world has become a necessity, and she urges me to continue believing in magic, in the goodness buried in the hearts of people and to let go of all bitterness and hatred for others.

She takes me to various places, when I read a novel, or watch a movie…and brings me back to reality when she believes I need to go about my daily chores. .She keeps me going no matter how weary some days seem to appear.

She offers me a comforting shoulder when the world has turned it’s back

on me, and tells me it’s all going to be alright, when I need to hear it most.

When the monotony of the week drains me out completely, she softly asks me to go on and dust that guitar under my bed, and strum a song..

She is  my constant companion, and the answer to all my confusions.

She is the voice within me.

Giving Up

One of the important qualities which we have been taught throughout our childhood is the quality of not giving up. In fact my father would always say that quitting was a
sign of weakness.Imagine the number of times we stumbled before learning how to walk, or the number of times we lost our balance while trying to ride the bicycle.
Remember the number of times you tried getting selected in the basketball team at school? Do you remember the amount of hardwork you put in,trying to get that A grade in maths? And we did achieve quite a lot..all thanks to the quality of perseverance and not giving up. The idea of not giving up has been deeply engraved into us.

However, it is equally important to know when to give up. It is important to know when to step up and when to step back.

We prefer to work relentlessly towards something which might turn out to be absolutely insignificant, our blind perseverance turning into a futile quest. Why are we afraid to give up ? Maybe it’s because we are afraid to be labelled as a loser in the eyes of the society we live in. If not so,  we feel that maybe giving up on something might portray us as being weak and  emotionally vulnerable .

Think of the 18-year-old boy, who was asked to take up engineering as his career, though his heart lay in photography. Imagine how hard he tried to fit in, to get that  fancy, high paying IT job, only to end up at a job which pays an average salary. He is frustrated as he thinks maybe he hadn’t tried hard enough. He keeps working hard to get that raise, that promotion as not giving up is the motto he has always lived by.

Think of the woman who has been silently enduring her husband’s insensitive remarks for years, trying to fit into his idea of a perfect wife. She keeps putting up
with all his complaints , only because she was told not to give up on her marriage. only because she was told its easier to walk away.

However, is it worth the struggle? by not giving up on the things which never provide us with any happiness, all we get is stress frustration and despair.
yes, giving up may seem like an easier option. but then, why not choose the easier option if it liberates us?

 

I feel, its time we learn to give up. Its time you give up trying to get promoted in that 9 to 5 desk job which has given you nothing apart from resentment and dissatisfaction. Its time to give up on the long and abusive relationship which you have endured for years.
Its time you give up on rock music which you had started o listen just to impress the guy you liked, which gave you nothing but constant headaches.
Its time you give up trying to walk in those high heels just because your friends are.
Its time we give up on everything which brings us nothing but pain. Its time we give up trying to be someone we are not. Its time we choose the easier option, because its better to give up and be at peace with ourselves rather than going through all the pain. Yes, making that decision might not be easy. However, trust that intuition, and for once, let go.

As someone has rightly said, “Choose your battles wisely, most of them are not worth fighting”.