There is no charm in the rains in the city I now live, in comparison my home city makes me feel good when it rains. The rains in my current city are constant without a break and make the the sky dreary, grey and bleak, the streets are muddy and pot holed, filled with people rushing about with umbrellas not stopping for a moment. Here life goes on as if the rains are another natural calamity to be dealt with an umbrella or a raincoat and ignored.
When it rains in my home city, it brightens up the greenery, everything looks fresh and full of life, the dark asphalt glistens in the rain and is freshly washed sans dust, the sky is overcast but there is so much light too. The streets are empty, may be one or two cars pass splashing through the water. You can stare out of the window and be completely overwhelmed by the sight of the rain washed city.
Among the many things that I miss about My City Kolkata, rains are one, the other is the ease of travelling from one part of the city to the other, I miss the 15 minutes Rickshaw ride to City Centre Mall for a cup of tea with a friend. Don’t get me wrong, I can reach a few malls around Mumbai too but the bustle of the crowd takes away the charm of the open air ride I can have.
I miss being able to plan in one hour and make it to an appointment in Kolkata, unfortunately in Mumbai it requires to have a lead of 2 hours to reach anywhere. I have never romanticized train journeys, although when growing up I did travel in South Eastern Local trains but I have never liked them, so, I have absolutely no love for the local trains of Mumbai or for that matter their Black and yellow cabs. I like the Amby’s of Kolkata better, uncomfortably spacious and exasperating drivers, yet I miss them.
I obviously miss the street food of Kolkata which is not vada pao and not always vegetarian unlike Mumbai. I cannot feel satisfied to eat ghugni mattar filled tiny panipuri, nothing comes remotely close to the mashed potato with spices of fuchka, Mumbai has it’s sea side, swanky Malls, and a different lifestyle from Kolkata, but I like my laid back life at Kolkata any day, the quintessential lazy bum in me craves the stagnancy of Kolkata having been away for 10 months.
And despite what snooty NRI women may say about Mumbai street food and other so called careerist professional may say about job market in Mumbai, “I wouldn’t exchange my Home on the range for all of the cities so bright.”