The small town that grew on me
I had heard about this small little town outside Kolkata called Kalyani when I was growing up. Even there, the context was that the gentleman who was credited with envisioning Durgapur (where I grew up) had also envisioned Kalyani. (He was the first chief minister of West Bengal) Beyond that, I knew nothing.
In any case, the first time I came to this town was about 15 years back when my sister moved here. Most of our meetings were not in Kalyani though since my visit would be a good excuse for all of us to land up in our parents’ place in Durgapur.
Then my parents moved here 10 years back. That is when I started coming to Kalyani every three months or so. In the span of 7-8 years that I visited my parents here (about 20-25 times), I got to know every part of this town and a lot of the locals. Especially the tea vendors – thanks to my brother and I stopping at various tea stalls during our runs. And then there was that one tea stall in front of Kalyani stadium where a local had asked us if we were in town for the soccer tournament. Looking at our running attire (which was fairly good by local standards), he assumed we were here as formal players. In fact, his question was “Dada, khela-ta kotaaay shuru hobey?” (“When will the game start today?”).
With the impending sale of my parents’ house, this town will also start becoming a distant memory. Now that my niece is in college in Bangalore, most of our sibling meetings will be in new places that we will visit together to explore India.
This small sleepy town had slowly, imperceptibly but undeniably grown on me.
Perhaps knowing this would be one of my last few trips to Kalyani, the authorities had put up this new sign I saw today!