After 4 years, I had this opportunity to come back to Kolkata. Things have changed a lot. Kolkata exhibits a lot more of the conspicuous consumerism that one would associate with
The first one is that the national dress of Kolkata and Bengalis per se- the muffler, is still going strong. Agreed, this is January, but still, outdoor temperature at must be close to 40degrees Celsius. However, you will still find half of the population walking around with mufflers around their neck covering their ears and the top of their head.
The second is the Kolkata Book Fair. There is nothing like it in the entire world- the size and the crowd. Book fairs at Mumbai are pygmies compared to the one at Kolkata; and the one at Delhi lacks the energy and mass of the Kolkata crowd. It’s amazing how millions in this city still adore books; how teenagers of party-hopping age buy books on Che Guevara and “
In this age, where a book lover can keep himself occupied only by shelling out in excess of Rs400/book in a store like Crossword (which looks more like a furniture store with restaurant waiters dresses in black), Kolkata book fair continues to provide respite. After all, one can buy a swank hard-bound “The Communist Manifesto” at a Barnes and Noble in