This is the place I was born in. This is what I call my 2nd (or maybe 3rd) home. This is where most of my relatives reside. This is what Durga Poojo means to me. This is where my heart lies. This is Calcutta!
In no other city will you find so many spit and mucous-laden streets. But in no other city will you find people on the streets voluntarily coming up to you and asking where you're headed, deciphering your clueless expression to be one of having no idea which direction to go. In no other city will you find such overcrowded and 'Pocketmaar'-prone metros. But in very few cities will you even find a metro - the easiest mode of transport. In no other city will you find so much pollution. But in no other city will you find such clear-hearted ('mann ka saaf') individuals (well,mostly). In no other city will you find unhygienic little shops on the pavements, with throngs of individuals licking off gravy from their plates. But in no other city will you find so much variety, such great quality and such cheap priced street food.
Kolkata (or Calcutta) despite being hot, polluted, a clubhouse for a "couldn't care less" multitude and lacking in so many basic needs that even non-metropolitan cities possess (e.g. a half-decent airport. Hopefully this problem won't last long since the new integrated terminal's functioning properly commences.), it has got its own aura. It is both modern and ancient, both young and senile, both heaven and hell. Calcutta is but an amalgamation of all the little things that constitute one big thing called 'LIFE'.