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KOLKATA: AGED LIKE WINE

The city of Kolkata!!! It is the City of Joy for some, the Land of Durga Pujo for others, and the City of Rosogolla and Mishti doi for the rest. For all of them, the Capital of West Bengal is a source of pride and emotion, but for Bengalis, it is a source of pride and emotion.

Since the 17th century, India’s cultural capital has been on the globe, and it acted as the heart of the British Raj. Kolkata (then Calcutta) remained the capital of British India after the “Battle of Plassey” until 1911. Kolkata’s rich cultural and architectural heritage can be traced back to this brief struggle with colonialism. Kolkata predates the British Raj’s founding, and it stands as a torchbearer for the city’s rich diversity.

Clock Tower, Kolkata

It’s 2021, and India’s ever-expanding metropolitan cities are in a constant sprint. Though cities like Bangalore and Pune are rapidly evolving into urban lifestyle hubs, Kolkata is still known for its ability to hold the hand of tradition while driving through the modernization tunnel.

Kolkata has recently been the subject of heated debates over its job situation and living standards. Although some political factors might have had an unfavourable impact on Kolkata, this does not negate the city’s values. Architectural splendour and a symbol of cultural and social heritage. Kolkata has aged like a fine wine, holding the prime example of “never forgetting the roots”.

For a Kolkatan, the way of life has been a hybrid combination of accepting globalization and enjoying their age-old heritage. A city that preserves its identity and core values while allowing new cultures to spread their wings over its people.

THE CITY

In this city, the time has come to a halt. Kolkata treats every old culture, custom, or structure as if it were gold. Even though it is the most developed city in Eastern India, it retains its colonial roots.

Sky Scrapers of Kolkata

I took a walk around the city and noticed how diverse it is. High skyscrapers can be seen rising above the heritage of British colonial architecture. The skyline is a beautiful combination of incredible architecture and modernism.

While the eastern part of the city is home to Eastern India’s largest IT centre, and South Kolkata is known for its posh and modern way of life, North Kolkata remains the city’s heart and soul. In Kolkata, the new and sophisticated way of life coexists with the old and cosy way of life.

The modes of transportation are also contradictory, with centuries-old hand-pulled rickshaws and trams coexisting with modern rickshaws and electric buses. Even with the world’s largest fleet of E-Buses, Kolkata has managed to keep Trams on track.

CULTURE and Heritage

Yes, Kolkata is India’s cultural hub, and it is the only place where people can experience both Rabindra Sangeet and Heavy Metal at the same time.

College Street, Kolkata

Walking down the streets of Kolkata, I can find something to satisfy my thirst for art and culture around every corner. Kolkata keeps us bound to our cultural roots, even as we move closer to British and American realism.  

Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, Satyajit Ray, Swami Vivekananda, SN Bose, and countless others are part of a legacy that spans the globe. Even in 2021, students from Calcutta University, Jadavpur University, and Presidency University devote their time to carrying on long-standing family practices in various art forms. 

CITIZENS OF KOLKATA

This is one of the friendliest cities in the country, especially compared to –cough cough- Mumbai and Delhi –cough cough! Leaving aside the shady activities that occur in some areas, Kolkata has consistently been voted the safest city in the world. People are treated with dignity here, regardless of their gender or religion.

Scene from Kolkata Metro

Kolkata has taught us how to live in harmony with our differences. Kolkata has been a prime example of communal tolerance that echoes throughout Bengal. Kolkata has a Chinese kali mandir, two Chinatowns, an Anglo-Indian society, and an Armenian Church that screams peace in all directions.

Festive Mood

Kolkata is a vibrant combination of countless festivals that turns up to be a Carnival on every occasion.

Durga Pujo

The entire City gets tangled in the celebration of festivals of multiple religions. We Bengalis know how to throw a proper festival, from the ornate Durga Pujo celebration to the eccentric Christmas, we celebrate it grand!

” Baro mash e Tero parrbon”, we just don’t say it we mean. And in Kolkata, despite being a metropolitan in a fast world, we never forget to experience our happiness like the old days. 

Park Street on Christmas, Zakaria Street on Eid, Tangra on Chinese New Year and the entire Kolkata in Durga Pujo, we know where we belong at what time.

FOOD and Cuisine

The food is amazing anywhere you go in India, but the variety in Kolkata is mind-boggling. Kolkata is the absolute paradise for food lovers and there is no end to this.

Puchka Seller

Puchka, Alu Kabli, Ghooni and Chop still rule Kolkata. Kathi roll and Chow Mein are ahead of Burger and Pizza. We will choose Biriyani any day over pasta. While international food chains have taken over the malls, street food is still the same. We Bengalis love to eat and we have no limit when it comes to eating. Matir Bhar er Cha is still an emotion when everyone is falling for Starbucks,

Though we have wholeheartedly accepted the American and Italian junk foods, we can not part with our lovely home street food. We are bold with our lovely creations close to our heart.

Shopping Destinations

We know-how malls have engulfed metropolitan areas, bringing a variety of solutions together under one roof. While malls are common in Kolkata, street markets are much more popular.

Esplanade during busy hours.

Gariahat, Hatibagan, Esplanade has not seen any decrease in footfall even though malls have started getting crowded. We love to enjoy both destinations as preferred.

We can’t deny that Kolkata has some flaws, especially in the jobs sector, but that doesn’t change the fact that this city has stood the test of time. Where the old and modern collide and time stands still.

Kolkatans enjoy staying in Kolkata. Everyone recognizes the city’s shortcomings, but unlike other megacities, this one makes you feel at ease. You cannot live in any other city after spending time in Kolkata. Kolkata has a lot of interesting stories to tell, and you should pay attention. Kolkata has aged like wine, while the rest of the world has become a pile of modernity.

Wolf Against The World: MY STORY

Hello Readers,

I am Soumik Ghosh, a middle-class boy from Kolkata. I am 22 years old and work as a professional Content Writer. But to understand me, you must first understand my story.

Know The Person Before Judging Them

Nomadic Childhood

Though I am a Bengali, I was born in Jamnagar, Gujarat due to my dad’s job and that was the start of my travelling journey. I rode my car when I was one day old and my first train when I was three months old. I am pretty sure I had an awesome experience.

However, as previously stated, travelling and shifting were a part of my life due to my father’s job. I lived in five different cities and three different states for the first ten years of my life before settling in Kolkata. My Mom and Dad’s love of travel gave me the biggest boost in my travel. We used to travel every 6 months during my stays in the states, which hooked me up with this love. 

I lived in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Odisha and travelled frequently to nearby destinations. This silently grew in me and made me addicted to it like a drug or a stress-relieving medicine.

Exciting Teens

Though travel plans decreased after settling in Kolkata, the love for travel grew and it found a friend in itself, Story Telling! Throughout my school years, I became more interested in travel and storytelling, and the rise of social media was instrumental in fueling my passion. During this time, I visited a total of 12 different places.

Following my passion was not an option for me because of my middle-class upbringing. So, after high school, I pursued a BBA degree to satisfy my desire to tell stories by working as an advertiser. Yes, it sounds fantastical, but believe me, I enjoy planning my life, and I had these plans.

I’ve always wanted to combine travel and storytelling. I wanted the rest of the world to hear about my experience and see my point of view. During college, I began content writing and street photography as a way to tell stories. This gave birth to my two passion of travel and photography.

Bengaluru Airport

While backpacking, street photography allowed me to travel to nearby locations and explore previously unknown areas. While continuing to upload my travel and street photos to my Instagram page (@lunner wolf), I worked as a writer on various social media platforms.

Mixed Up Adulthood

When I got into a relationship and got a job at a Corporate Giant, things got difficult for me. Suddenly, responsibility kicked in, and I accepted the job, leaving everything I was passionate about for two years, from 2019 to 2021.

Agra Fort, Agra

I stopped writing and taking photos, but most importantly, I stopped travelling and telling stories. This was a very frustrating period for me because my good building Instagram page died, and I only did one trip in two years, which was 14 of my natural goals. I had lost my relationship and was stuck in a monotonous, boring job. This is when I decided it was time to call it quits.

In 2021, I told my family that I want to travel and earn money as a freelance writer in between. I got a couple of freelance gigs and quit my job in March 2021. The first thing I did was go on two trips, one to Shantiniketan and the other to Digha, keeping the distance between them as short as possible. This is when I realised I had a passion for travel. I decided to become a freelancer so that I could work while I was working. I began a blog, purchased a GoPro Hero 8, and planned a trip to Triund, Mcleodganj, in 2021. 

But But But, lighting struck me along with the second wave of CoronaVirus. I became stranded at home and had to cancel our trip. I lost my father to covid, and I became infected as a result of the events, and I was unable to pursue my dream. It took me two months, until the end of June, to settle everything. If you look at my blog and YouTube, you will notice that both have little content, which I have recently begun to focus on. I adore travelling and intend to do so at all costs. I’ll return and couch surf just to feel alive.

Love To Explore

If you are a traveller, you understand what it means to explore. This distinguishes a Traveller from a Tourist. Exploring, for me, is a desire to learn and see more. Seek out the less-travelled path and satisfy my curiosity.

I never missed an opportunity to explore any of the places I’ve visited, whether it was camping under the stars in Darjeeling or trekking in Shillong. I’ve only been on a couple of treks, but it’s only the beginning. Even in my city, I am constantly on the lookout for new places to visit. In Kolkata, I specialise in exploring haunted locations and unusual destinations.

Love is Madness?

I’ve travelled through mountains and beaches, and I’m a total hodophile, but mountains are my absolute favourite. Despite having visited 13 beaches in India, mountains make me feel at home. They seem to understand what I’m saying.

That majestic creation of nature stands tall and teaches me never to fall into any situation. The ink depicting mountains and the word “Hodophile” inscribed on my left hand is the most visible proof of my love for mountains and travel.

Travel Tattoo
Tattoo

Travel allows me to reconnect with my inner self by immersing myself in a setting where no one knows your name and you are alone with nature. It makes me realise how insignificant I am in this vast universe, and it allows me to enjoy every moment without the pressure of pretending to be someone else.

Travel makes my life worth it!

Absolute Madness

My Travel Experience

After visiting 64 cities, 15 states, and three union territories, I’ve learned to live life to the fullest when travelling.

I travelled to many beautiful places in India, including Mysore, Gangtok, Shillong, Agra, Chittor, Mumbai, Ooty, Darjeeling, and many others, and one thing I realised is that I live my life to the fullest when I travel. It teaches me to look at life from a different angle, respect different cultures, and appreciate food.

Though I’ve done some travelling in India, it’s nothing compared to a traveller. My ambition is to expand my travel experience from cities to countries and then to continents. Explore the uncharted territory and inspire people to explore cultures.

Travel For Me

When I was a teenager, I used to watch a show called The Amazing Race on Fox Traveler. People used to travel from place to place, country to country, just to win in that race. From there, I got the concept for World Travel. Since then, it has become my obsession.


When I travel, I experience a different kind of tranquilly and a sense of worth for my life. That’s something I’d want. In this crazy large world, I want to make a difference. I want to matter.

My Dream

I am not a hardcore traveller; in fact, I have been a seasoned traveller for many years, but it is time for me to change.

I want to visit every country in the world and create memories there. I want to travel to new places and have new experiences.

I want to travel around the world to tell my storey. I’d like to share my viewpoint with the rest of the world. I’ve been inspired by artists such as Ankit Bhatia and Wander With Sky, and one thing is certain: I’ll make it big like them one day.

Bortil Bill, West Bengal

Live | Travel | Repeat

Cause, You Only Live Once!

A special thanks to the Shoshin Tribe for making me write this blog which I might not have written in years!