Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A place called home

Home and Durgapur has long been synonymous. A small industrial town in the heart of Bengal which has grown from a small to not so small town. For me every street, every stone, every tree has a story to tell. A place where an imbecile me grew up to be a more explicate individual. A place where memories galore have been formed. Memories that will be cherished a lifetime.

I was born in this small town in the 80's. An era which saw a sea change from manual to computers, from tape recorders to CD players, from renting of a VCR/VCP's to watch a movie to the cable connection, from playing physical games to playing online or video games. A change which changed the lives of people henceforth. Durgapur in my growing up years was a place where hanging out with your friends either meant going to Durgapur Club or going to Paramount Confectionaries in Steel Market. Being seen in these two places was always considered hep n cool. But in today's modern Durgapur, these places have ceased to be places of cool or hep value. You rather go and hang out in the chic, glassy malls in City Centre. Small things which add up to greater pleasures and building up of memories that you cherish a lifetime are seldom made in a mall. Its always gaping and drooling over a nice piece of dress on the mannequin rather than sitting down with your friends in a small place and do things you love to do or discuss things which matter as being friends. Malls don't and can't give you the pleasures and the memories that we made during those years. Running to the local 'chop thela' in the evenings with just a rupee in your pocket and getting a paper packet full of delicious mouth watering hot chops was happiness worth dying for. The taste which I cherish even though so many years have passed by. Or for that matter an egg chicken roll or a plate of chilli chicken from a restaurant called 'La Cafe' or the steamed momos and noodles from a Chinese restaurant called 'Hongkong' or the prawn chops, again from a roadside thela in Steel Market. The tastes which can't be replicated by any 5 star restaurant anywhere in the world. Can these tastes and these memories be made in a mall!!? I wonder!! Sitting on the gate in front of  Amrita's house and relishing these delicacies, finger licking potato fries with 'luchi' that Ritu's mom made and we hogging them even before its the tiffin time in school, going to the school sister's den just beside our school on Christmas and enjoying the Christmas goodies, checking out the Xaverians' while parking our bike in school, the eagerness for the most awaited festival of the year, 'The Pujas', cycling to school in the foggy winter mornings, the computer classes with the boys, the first moped rides with Ritu and she telling me to increase the speed seeing a man on the cycle overtaking me, the fun and carefree school life, the making of new friends in NIT, the pandal hopping during the pujas, etc etc etc. The list goes on but the memories don't fade neither they will during this lifetime.

Durgapur, is no more a home for me now. Life has moved on and I have moved on with it leaving Durgapur far behind. But even now when I hear the word 'HOME', all that I can think of is 'DURGAPUR'.