Kolkata – the pivot of the East

img-1Come home to Kolkata, the third-largest urban agglomeration and the fourth-largest city in India. The capital of West Bengal, and the leading city in the East, Kolkata is known for its energy, imagination and zest for life. Also referred to as the ‘Cultural Capital of India’ and ‘The City of Processions’, Kolkata has been home to luminaries such as Rabindranath Tagore, Ronald Ross, Subhas Chandra Bose,  Satyajit Ray, Satyendranath Bose, Sri Aurobindo, C. V. Raman, Jagdish Chandra Bose, Amartya Sen, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhans, Swami Vivekananda to name a few. Famous for its literary, artistic and revolutionary img-2heritage, Kolkata is widely acknowledged as the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought – as someone has famously said: ‘the city of furious creative energy.’ It was also the intellectual and spiritual capital of the Indian independence movement.

For long the gateway of India and its commercial capital in addition to hosting the Indian headquarters of blue-chip British firms, it also witnessed the rise of industrial houses like the Birlas. The city is img-4experiencing an economic rejuvenation since 2000 that has led to a spurt in the city’s growth. Kolkata is quickly becoming the chosen destination for industry, especially the IT industry, given its favourable positioning in terms of availability of an educated resource pool and basic infrastructure like water and power.

In Kolkata, avenues of intellectual activity are varied and aplenty. The city boasts a tradition of nurturing high quality films, music, theatre, art and dance. The city has been of great influence to the traditional media and its development. Hundreds of theatres and local bands have sprouted in the region. There are some important libraries in the city with great collections.

The Kolkatan has img-3a passion for food. The city is dotted with gourmet restaurants serving cuisines from various parts of the world. There is an interesting mix of discotheques and pubs for that well-deserved and rare break from quizzes and exams.

Kolkata is an enigma. The city that displays stoical maturity during the most provoking situations and flies high the flag of communal harmony, behaves in the most erratic fashion over a game of cricket. img-5It’s THE place to make friends with, to be romantic, to taste rosogolla, to sing a song, to write a poem, to debate, to ride a bus, to walk in the rain, to shop, to play cricket, to fight over a football match, to get refused by a taxi, to watch ‘natok’, to enjoy ‘adda’, to live in the warmth of your family, to have a golden heart and to be happy!

You can love it or you can hate it, but you just cannot ignore Kolkata!