A new boy in the city

By: Sourav

pictures of hyderabad, life in kolkata, slices of life, life in hyderabad, my stories

My bond with Kolkata is like love marriage. My relationship with Hyderabad is like arranged marriage. If Kolkata has soulfulness, Hyderabad has liveliness. The connect with Kolkata dates back to my childhood when I would visit my maternal uncles in Kolkata during summer or puja vacations. Since then I had aspired to live in the city of writers and artists. The long-cherished dream to be one with the city, its life and soul came true when I joined Rabindrabharati University to pursue MA.

When Hyderabad called, my heart missed a beat at the thought of leaving Bengal. Sunday evenings of summer at Dakshineshwar Temple by the riverside, ferry to Belur Math, journey in local trains from Dum Dum to Sealdah, silent faces at the Metro, chop, jhalmuri, eggroll, moglai, rice with fish, visit to Ramkrishna Mission at Yogodyan, night shows at Jaya Cinema, adda in Ranjan’s house, teaching on weekends and my room with a book shelf, a single plywood bed, a simple workstation, curtained windows and a Ganesh painting board on the wall – these all had been part of my life in Kolkata for 7 years.

When I left Kolkata, Ma bade me adieu with teary eyes. I gulped back my emotions and hid my tears. A bit of me was left behind there. I reached Hyderabad with luggage, dreams, doubts and…yes, some questions – “Will I find any Bengali there?” “Will I able to communicate with the locals?” “Who will be my friends?” “What will I do on weekends?” “Whom will I spend time with?”

I came to Hyderabad in the last week of March when the weather was very hot, but there was a relief from the humidity of Kolkata. The more I was getting close to Hyderabad the more I was missing Kolkata. I began to look for the ambience of Nandan, the feel of Bengali literature and the smell of fish curries, but in vain. I spent the early few days in making a futile effort to find the essence of my city here.

Then I thought why I should find similarities with Kolkata here; why not discover what sets Hyderabad apart from my city. A new journey started, and I began to fall in love with the city. I observed how different the natives are, how efficiently a conductor manages a crowded bus, how clean the roads are, how green the areas like Banjara Hills are, how different the houses look, how different the construction of buildings is, etc.

The weather was harsh till May end. In June when monsoon arrived here, I shifted to a new 3BHK apartment at Madhapur and began to share it with 5 friendly mates – Aman the most talkative, Abhishek the most efficient, Nitish the sweetest, Aditya the busiest bee roaming around flowers and Pawan…? How life would be for a new boy like me in the city was a question initially. Fate turned over a few pages to show me the answer – a rollercoaster ride of joy and fun with them.

Monsoon arrived early in Hyderabad, with a feel of winter. The weather was so pleasant in June, July and August that the city felt like a hill station. On 14th June, I wrote “Winter has made guest arrival in Hyderabad. Windy morning, pleasant day, rainy evening and cold night……” on my Facebook timeline. Monsoon is my favorite season as I can hear the song of rains. It gave me a new perspective of and connected me with the city. The city of pearls looks as beautiful in the night as the city of joy in the morning.

In last three months, I experienced that Kolkata and Hyderabad have many things in common, despite their linguistic, cultural and culinary differences. Little children going to school on rainy mornings, snail-paced traffic in heavy rains, people breathing in fresh air on the waterfront at Hussain Sagar, kids enjoying themselves in NTR Gardens, youngsters hanging out at shopping malls, rag pickers collecting things from heaps of garbage, rural women selling balloons amidst traffic, etc. The same slices of real life are seen in Kolkata too.

As we need words to express ourselves, we need friends to enjoy ourselves. I found a good friend in my roommate, Nitish, a soft-spoken, simple-minded, smiling, fun and Facebook loving guy. He is from Jaipur where my ancestral root lies. He is a nice brother of mine too as he is younger than me by 5 years. Being likeminded, we have some traits in common. He had offered me a glass of banana shake on my first day in the apartment. When he smiles, his face shines with innocence. I have had a nice time with him in the city.

I used to have late nights in Kolkata. So, sunrise was a rare sight to me there. My night sift job in Hyderabad gave me the opportunity to see both sunrise and sunset. When it is 5 o’clock in the morning, I go to the terrace of the office building, sit alone, sip a cup of tea and see the sun rise. It makes my day in Hyderabad, everyday. On the way back from office, I see children leave for school and bid bye to their moms. Evenings are as colorful as mornings here. As our apartment is on the 4th floor, I go to the roof and see the sky dipped in red and orange colors when the sun sets.

I don’t know what exactly makes me love my life in Hyderabad. It may be my exciting travel writing job, friendship with Nitish, stay with happy-go-lucky mates, the new atmosphere, the less crowded public buses, the green ambience of Banjara Hills or the sloping streets. Whatever it is, I have got a new lease of life. I know, one day I will have to leave Hyderabad for another destination. So, the story of a new boy in the city will continue….

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