A town, however timid it is, has its own special way of welcoming a New Year. Situated, by the banks of Ganges, on the outskirts of Kolkata, my town, Chinsurah is no different. A certain sense of belonging surfaces the people, who, in their gentility and comicality, celebrate the first day, knowing well that this year will be no different from the previous one. But the freshness, that the people feel and reflect, has a unique essence and it goes a long way to bring everyone together as one single community.
Yes, I’m talking of the evening when the sun sets early; of the aged-fathers, staring from the balconies as their sons leave for the night; of the wretched beings, eagerly searching the plastics at waste bins to get an item, thrown away by someone for its New Year. Of the ferries, generally moored in deserted stations, now jam-packed with people, where sleepy sailors seem active; of the barbers’ endless scissor works, the sound of which will continuously vibrate today; of the old booksellers, trying their best to make people read and lurch their financial crisis, in the process; of the dust-ridden children, jocundly running errands, to beg; of the auto-drivers, hunting for passengers to church; of bus-men, busy striking fares for all; of the hotel-managers, shouting at their waiters to serve fast; of the street photographers, clicking photos for couples; of the man who sells cards, in the same spot, for the last ten years; of the lights that adorn every worn-out building, in every street; of the commonplace tobacco smell outside cinema halls; of unremitting shrieks of bangles on the road; of controlled chaos outside the tea-stall; of the powerful whiff of toilet on crowded avenues; of the mothers carrying their children to pray at temples; of the fire-crackers that finish only at early morning; of the sleep that kills an abnormal day at my timid town, Chinsurah.