Sweet Like "Rosogolla"
Sweet Like "Rosogolla"3 mins 425 3 mins 425
I am generally seen in the Girish Park area of North Kalkatta. This area was once affluent and housed the rich people. However with time their houses, multi storied and big ones are now in shambles, bushes can be seen growing on the exterior walls and most of the outer plaster has got peeled off. People still live dangerously in these houses. They have lost their riches, many have died and their descendants have either migrated abroad or to the posh southern part of Kalkatta. Whoever continued to live here are people with Himalayan ego, they are like any other ordinary people but their lineage makes them still feel as if they are superior. They treat people like me with disrespect and disdain. I have no choice; I can run with my rickshaw in this part of the city only that is how the government wants.
Once a frail old lady took a ride in my rickshaw, she was fair, dressed elegantly in white and carried a bossy air around herself. She spoke in a funny way, more bangle then Hindi. “Tui hamko Maniktala le ke cholega?” All these years in this city has taught me the language but perhaps people think I don’t understand the language.
I just nodded and she got into the seat. “Ei etna jor se kiu chalta hain”. I immediately reduced my speed and walked her to the destination.
She got down with unhurried pace and then dropped a ten rupee note on my palm ensuring that I do not touch her. It is understandable; I am after a lower caste person and the color and texture of my skin speaks about my lowliness. She turned to go but soon after few steps her head rolled and she fell. I rushed to her rescue, lifted her and placed her on a nearby cemented platform. I brought some water from the nearby tea stall and sprinkled it on her. In no time she woke up with a start and stood on her feet. A small crowd had gathered near us by this time. I looked at the shining face of the old lady and was suddenly reminded of my mother. She wasn’t fair but should have been of this age, had she lived. The old lady held my hand, like a mother would do to her young child, and took me to the house just a few steps away. The house had a huge wooden door which opened in a big courtyard with several rooms all around it. A middle aged lady ran on seeing the old lady. The old lady spoke something which I could not understand. The middle aged on hearing the old lady’s narration looked at me and said “Please come and sit” pointing at a long sofa with velvet like cushion. I have never sat on such luxurious seat; I chose to sit on the floor. I was fed white sponge sweet balls “Rosogolla”, I ate this sweet after so long time, I had Rosogolla long back when I was still a boy. The sweet filled my mouth with a magical taste but also the gesture filled my eyes as well.
Every time I cross the house I knock on the door and I’m fed with this sweet. Humanity is still intact in the city, if you are kind with people they will reciprocate with more love but if you argue you will be beaten down with incessant and humiliating words.
I choose to be humble; I have shed the anger and rigidity I carried for so many years for the city and its people.