Kolkata, or Calcutta, as the locals love to call the city, is close to the heart of millions of Indians. Nevertheless, people coming to Kolkata from outside have their own experiences and judgments of the town. When you enter the urban city for the first time, you realize that Kolkata has its own temperament and a distinct character. This personality of the metropolis may make you feel surprised or just awful about it depending on where you come from. For the Indians, the cultural changes may not be too many, but for the foreigners, Kolkata may be an entirely new world.
Throughout the City of Joy in West Bengal, you will find open markets. The Walking Bazars comprise the sellers who sit on both sides of congested lanes trading in things like flowers, books, local food, vegetables, fruits, televisions, and everything you can think of. They also offer services like barber, cobbler, Ayurvedic medications, washing clothes, typewriting, and many more things. The open markets are more prevalent in Kolkata than anywhere else in the country.
Bathing in the streets
In India, and of course in Kolkata, it is quite common to see people bathing in the streets, which is not an everyday sight in the western countries. It is mainly the homeless people who have to take a bath on the streets using the water from the public supply. However, the good part is that at least they bathe every day and maintain hygiene despite having almost no money to maintain a good quality of life.
A story goes by you every moment
If you have a keen eye to observe the people in India, you will feel that an intense story goes on with every single person around you. Whether it is a typist sitting on the roadside preparing a document, barbers shaving men’s’ beards, or the rickshaw-pullers pulling handcarts, it just takes a few seconds to comprehend the look on the face of people and try to fathom what goes on in their minds while they carry on their daily activities.
Order in the chaos
At first glance, Kolkata seems to be a chaotic city where you cannot even find space to cross the road. Everything from the market along with every person in the city seems to come together on the streets. In spite of this, there is an order that comes out of the disorder and commotion.
The struggle to dodge the traffic
Although Kolkata is categorized under the metropolitans of India, it is no less than a challenge to find space on the roads. There are rickshaws, people, and people carrying freight amid the constant honking of vehicles. You have to evade the traffic and a vast number of people to cross the road or find what you are looking for. If you are driving an automobile, you just have to find room for yourself on the way and move ahead. After spending a few days in Kolkata, you eventually become habitual to the humdrum of the city and learn how to find your space.
Shrines in the city
At episodic distances all around Kolkata, there are little temples or shrines located in the markets. People come here to worship their gods, mostly the Hindu Goddess Durga; pray to God, and ring bells. All these rituals also add to the distinctive charm of Kolkata when you see the Hindu Priests endlessly performing their duties amid the ranting and honking that never stops.
When you are in Kolkata, you can definitely enjoy everything around you, but it is impossible to escape the pollution. The emissions from the vehicles, the dirt in the city, and many other things going on play havoc with the skin and hair. If you are traveling to Kolkata during summer, it is better to keep yourself covered from head to toe. Else, you can try and come to the city during winter to have a better time than bear the heat and fumes.
Foreigners coming to Kolkata often feel that the city awakens them as soon as they enter here. It is not easy to digest the cultural shock waves that the activities send down your spine. At every moment, there is so much going on that you need more than just a few days to accommodate all of it in mind and heart. There is much beyond just Durga Pujo the capital of West Bengal. Come to Kolkata with an open mind to experience stuff and make an opinion about them on your own rather than relying on the words written all over the Internet.