I haven’t lived in Kolkata since I was thirteen, but what I remember of it still holds true to this day. Kolkata, to those who haven’t been, feels like a slow motion sepia-toned version of Bombay, however much smaller and with characteristics from its past evoking scenes from a Satyajit Ray film. The trams, unchanged since their installation in 1902 weaving through the traffic consisting of flashy cars and old yellow ambassador taxis alike. The chai stalls with their bright graphics, and old whitehaired bespectacled men in white kurtas with jholas reading the newspaper can be seen on every other street.
Though these things are probably what make Kolkata feel like Calcutta, amongst its leisurely exterior there are several small new businesses and hangouts I’ve discovered on my moving back there. And several old ones that I now see in a new light. I am sharing some of them here: