“I am from Calcutta.” she exclaimed.

“You mean Kolkata, right?” he confirmed.

“It will always be Calcutta for me.” she sighed, while a wide smile lit her face and a brief nostalgia clip played in her head.

It has always been this way for the residents of Calcutta.

Calcutta is your fond childhood memory which never fails to bring tears of joy.  It is the jitters that you feel on the first day of your school. The modest bride who is timidly stealing glances at her groom from the corner of her eyes.  The walk you take down an isolated lane in a chilly winter morning and the smell of an old book satiating your inner bookworm.

The city is beautifully torn between the choice of competing with the pace of other leading cities and following its own heart, leisurely and candidly. There is something so enticing about the manner the city treats its people and vice versa. The indelible impression of city’s innate warmth is what captures not only your heart, but your soul. Just when you decide to give up, this city gives you a push to run an extra mile. It breaks you and mends you in the same exact moment.

The city with its rich colonial heritage has been the home to many great artists. The British architecture envelops the entire city and it still retains the old Victorian charm. The city boasts crowd of strong, opinionated individuals patronising good food.  Cruising through the city in the yellow taxi, one would spot such individuals making strong statements about anything and everything around them.  ‘Chai pe Charcha’ is a sacred ritual; no true Calcuttan would want/dare to miss. Over steaming earthen cups of chai, they can discuss world’s most heart-breaking scenario to a stray dog’s broken limb. Andwill offer sympathy and empathy respectively.

As they say, “You can always take a Calcuttan out of Calcutta, but you can never take Calcutta out of them.”