Those of us who were born in the sixties or seventies of the last century has witnessed a number of historical events with or without their knowledge, whether they liked it or not. Let’s look at the events of the days left by history in a little flashback mode today. Kolkata-Changes I have seen
Kolkata-Changes I have seen
Suktara and Anandamela were two magazines through which I entered in the world of Bengali literature. In English, there was Chandmama and Amar Chitra Katha.
The first revolution in our lives was unleashed by television and tape recorders. We were the first to see the stupid box in wonder. The cassettes came and removed the traditional record.
Then came Amitabh Bachan’s style. Bengalis paid attention to his hair cutting and Cigarette in hand (chupke chupke). Then came Disco. Before we understood it properly, the Bengali waist began to shake and dance.
Bengali saw a train with Apu in ‘Pather Panchali’ for the first time but this is the first generation of us to see the train that could run underground.
We saw for the first time any sports event could happen in a giant stadium. And we filled it up with a lot of people to enjoy a football match between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. Even before that, we watched the king of football, Pele, played in the heart of Kolkata.
We discussed a lot about Uttam or Soumitra, Amitabh or Rajesh Khanna, Manna or Hemanta, Ghati or Bangal, Ritwik – Satyajit, or Mrinal, Congress or CPM, who is great. We saw fast food replaced our ‘chop’ (oilcake) and ‘muri’ (rice stuff). When the pager rang, the Bengali was surprised and saw the ‘status walking’.
Of course, even before that, a telephone connection called BSNL had entered the homes of Bengalis. At the same time, public telephone booths were set up, from where Bengalis would try to get Bella Bose after trying the wrong number ten or twelve times.
There was a story of darkness at that time, it was load-shedding. The story was well known to those who have experienced the load shedding.
Bengalis used to do politics. The left was then status symbol. Bengalis have believed for thirty-four years that Jyoti Basu and Buddhadeb Bhattacharya would always play the role of Chief Minister.
In Bengali mythology, the name of heaven was the Soviet Union and naughty people lived in the USA. But the scene started to change. The communist state of that fairy tale suddenly began to crumble. Colorful America began to call the glittering Bengali talents.
The Bengalis thought that the red color was permanent and went to paint the Shaheed Minar in red, but a famous person (???) stopped them.
Computers reached to our lap and became laptops and later tablets after a lot of obstacles. We lost valuable time on the debate of English or Bengali medium.
Bengali started writing poetry again. He was more intellectual who could write that stuff that common people could not understand. The same was true of photography and paintings.
One day, Bengali broke all these notations of the melody of new songs. The new tune reached our ear. ‘Ek cup chaaye ami tomake chai’ (I want you with a cup of tea). Band music came to the scene.
This time cable TV came to Bengali’s house. Channels of choice on the color TV options were there. The serials were born. According to the demand for the type of film, ‘Baba keno Chakor’ (why the father is a servant?), ‘Beder Meye Jyotsna”( Jyotsna- daughter of a snake charmer) released.
A strange creature came to our society. They want to swallow everything. His name was the promoter. Bengali saw medical packages, investments in education. Then we witnessed Globalization. Mother Durga also changed herself at this time of change. Former worship changed to a theme.
That time a storm came, which blew everything away, and that was mobile phones. Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram spread from city to village.
That time the Bengali shouted, “I want change, I want change …”Poriborton, Poribartan. The Bengali took this word in stride. And the slogan is created with these words, ‘Maa-Maati-Manush’ (mother-earth-people).
At this time Bengali gave birth to a by-product, ‘buddhijibi’ also known as intellectual. NaxalBari became popular at the time of our birth; Nandigram was created by replacing it in the new century.
New things came up. Among them are malls, multiplexes, online shopping, Ola, Uber bypassing yellow taxis.
As Bengali was going to Uber, he heard a new slogan,’Joy Sri Ram’.
Those of us who have been exposed to this evolution is now witnessing the Corona storm.
As a child, I heard and read the heartbreaking stories of the seventies. The history book says that Hiroshima Nagasaki’s was bone-chilling gossip.
But we have not seen the picture of the virus that is swallowing the whole world what I am seeing it today. Since childhood, our generation has seen various strikes in Bengal and in India, I never thought I have to see the strike in the whole world.
I don’t know how many more stormy pictures we would see like Robinson Crusoe.
Even after this, don’t you say ‘JINA ISI KA NAAM HAIN’?
Also read BREAKING: KOLKATA EAST WEST METRO