I have always been perturbed by the question as to where to draw the distinction between family and a stranger. However with cities going cosmopolitan and families growing nuclear, everybody has moved a notch higher on the ‘stranger’scale.
Kolkata has still managed to lie comparatively low on that scale, perhaps.
Inspite of the buzz and the busy, Kolkata is always ready to help - in buses, outside railway stations and almost everywhere.
Of course, there are a few miscreants here and there, but they have still not been able to rob the city of it’s character, especially in the way strangers transcend into family in Kolkata is truly special and heart-warming.
I am doing my internship at a consultancy firm in Jodhpur Park . Last Saturday as I was walking towards my office, an elderly gentleman stopped me asked if I liked music . I told him that I liked listening to it. He then asked me my name, and invited me to a music program at Madhusadan Mancha . The entry was free, and he asked me to definitely come and be seated in one of the front row seats.
I eventually could not make it due to some other engagements, but nevertheless, the invitation will always be special.
I know that it might be a fluke, but to think that an 80-year-old man would crack such a silly prank, and that too by inviting someone to a public place is a little too obnoxious to be true.
Therefore to think, that how easily the man – ‘dadu’ as I called him , struck up a conversation with a complete stranger, and pleasantly persuaded one to visit; is a thing that might come as almost unbelievable to people from other cities.
Hardly surprising, that in time, dadu was something more than a stranger.
And, this is what I love about my city - my family expands every day!
Some cities have a name other than its native one...Kolkata has many. And at least one of them is not a misnomer - City of Joy :)
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