I lived in Kolkata for a year and a half when I was 10. I was in class 4. One may wonder how much would I remember from so little. Surprisingly (and contrary to my general behavior), I remember quite a lot of that place. I remember it as one of the most culturally beautiful places I have ever lived in(). I remember it for the little things. The puchkas, my Bharatnatyam classes, my first(and only) all girls school, the yellow taxis, the hand rikshaws, Durga Pooja, fancy British street names, ancient intricate architecture, the most adorable language and a thousand other things.

The famous yellow taxi

Recently, I got the opportunity to visit Kolkata again. It brought along with it a wave of memories in which I was more than happy to drown. With technology ruling our lives today, I did not expect to feel the same at that place. On the contrary, even though there were a lot of changes, the essence of what Kolkata stood for me was still firm and overwhelming.

With the upcoming trends of Ola and Uber, the number of yellow taxis saw hardly any decrement even when the weather was extremely humid to travel in non-ac vehicles. Hand Rikshaws on the other hand have completely vanished and autos have come up.

The Chat walas (my favorite ones) stood right where they stood a decade back (a couple of feet left and right). Even the fast food joints look like themed British restaurants.

Unfortunately, some great places like the Swabhumi Exhibition hall seem to have been shut down.

With technology ruling our lives today, it has failed to change the cultural heritage that I saw Kolkata as 10 years back. And I couldn’t have been happier about that.

Technology has brought along with it a lot of changes, a lot of new methods to live one’s life. But in no way should it become the culture of today’s world.

Birla Mandir Artwork

– Shubhangi Gupta