It is not Calcutta that has changed.
It is You who has changed
Kolkata is culturally the same
is THE best city that nurtures creatives
Apropos your blog dated 25th June 2012 on ibnlive.in.com HERE
THESE ARE MY IMMEDIATE EMOTIONAL REACTIONS .
These are only my views, OK ! We're not fighting, while I respect your views, i present you, with mine.
Dear Oindrila ,
You have visited " Calcutta " as a tourist, after you matured and saw the world , including living in US, Gurgaon. Having come to Calcutta , after it was renamed Kolkata, having lived my early life in Jaipur, College days in Delhi, Working as a Young Man in Mumbai, I am confident enough to say, No city / Metro in India, is as culturally vibrant than Kolkata, in both Indian and Western Culture, (Hindustani/Carnatic?Jazz/R&B) !!! Mind you Chennai is Carnatic, Bangalore is Americanised, Delhi is Punjabbi, Mumbai is Bollywood. It also gives you the best post work life, and is the best place one can give to ones children, to get education on life, culture and literature. It is not coincidence that some of the best brains in India, happen to be from Kolkata. Tell me if I'm wrong :)
A I learnt my 1st Clapton song from a Xavierian in Jaipur
B I knew all about Zeppelin, Andy Warhol and AC-DC from JS or Juniour Statesman , edited by Desmond Doig, with Jug Suraiya and Bachi Karkaria as junior reporters.
C I knew about Maidan or "Moidan" from my Late Dad who was in Calcutta, when Gandhiji undertook his fast, during Suhrawardy Noakhali riots.
D My Grand Uncle was a body builder and a national champion , from Bengal ( I am a Malayali)
E I re-ignited my love & passion for music with an open-mic at Someplaceelse The Park. some place else after 25 years of my last college performance in 1984 in Ghumar, Univeresity of Rajasthan youth festival.
This is the proof
Where else could i do THIS :=>> IndyRocKol
F In my fb friend list, happen to be some of the best creatives one can have, photographers, actors, painters, photographers, writers, football fanatics, bloggers, models, actresses, dancers, choreographers and ABOVE ALL MUSICIANS.
G Oindrila, please go through National film awards of 2011, you will find Ranjana Ami Aar Ashbo Nna . Neel Dutt the composer is one of them.
H You have mentioned Bhooter Bhobishyat, did you watch it ?? If you did you would swoon over Swastika Mukherjees 1930 starlet nasal twang, or Parambrata's directorial act, or Mumtaz Sorcars Mushy lover, or Mir's Bhuthoria (where could one get a better name for a builder :-) ) Or Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Biplab
I'm Sorry Oindrila, you are no longer a Bong Gal, but a Metro-Sexual Anglicised Indian, living in a bastardised culture !! Neither here , nor there. Somewhere in the article you mention, that foreigners depicted poverty in Kolkata, in City of Joy? Mahanagar, Ek Din Pratidin, Google up, once Late Nargis Dutt derided Late Satyajit Ray for depicting India in Bad light. Oindrila, Bengalis are very honest and emotional people, they are never artificial like North Indians ( I am more of a northie OK) . They depict everything as it is, why be ashamed about facts, even if Bengal has poverty, it has life, it has heart, it has emotions, and above all it has the lyrical expression of Thakur Ravindra Nath, Nazrul Islam, Sarat Chandra and Bankim Chandra.
Like Anglo Indians, dismissed by the Indians, Disowned by the British
Listen to Fossils or Chandrabindu.
Watch "RAAN" , Moner Manush, Autograph , Abohoman, Autograph, Memories in March, Chokher Bali, Shob Choritro Kalpanik and Gandu ( on torrent, isnt certified in India) All these are made after you left "Calcutta" Watch Raema Sen, Paoli Dam and Parno Mitra, Kabir Suman, Anjan Dutta, Sabyasachi or Rituparno Ghosh.
Read my young frined Kyzer Ahmed's bangla poetry, Sourav banerjees singing, Souvro Sultan Choudhury, Dr Sandipan, ON MUSIC. Poetry by Anirban Saha. Photography by Priyanka, Anik & Suvrojit. Musicians galore space too less to fit in. Listen to Rupal Islam's Poetry, theater as performed by Lok Group, See Kolkata from my eyes, you will find it as beautiful as Paris. Trust me you will.
You are but a TOURIST, to say Calcutta has lost its culture, I say you have lost your mind.
I'm sorry, I felt like being slapped, when you say Kolkata does not have cultrue ANYMORE
" I feel a sense of loss because Calcuttans always took great pride in their cultural contributions, their cinema, their poetry, their music. I am of course at great risk of romanticising, but hey, this was a nostalgia trip, remember? " I QUOTE YOU HERE
Calcutta is the same Kolkata you departed from in 2002 , but the only thing that has changed IS YOU !!!
Come here during Puja or Christmas, go to robindra Sadan, or Jadavpur Univ, during college session, hang out at Princep Ghat, take a ferry Across Babughat, sit on the banks of river at Belur, with your feet hanging down the wall, in the morning, visit Kalighat at dawn, Deshpriya Park at Dusk, eat a Rosogolla at K C Dass , or Jalbhara at Balram Mullick Radharaman Mullick. Eat a Hing Kichuri at Gupta Bros, and a Khasta from streets, ever tried muri, bhad chai or baiguni bhaja ?
Go to your grandma pishi, have their chana payesh, bhapa ilish
Tai Apni Janbo , Amar Kolkata Ki :-) This is straight from deep inside my heart reaction
PS: The reaction is purely on culture not about infrastructure, having lived in Delhi, Mumbai I can safely say, Kolkata gives the best post work life in India, More than even Bangalore !!!