My cerulean Calcutta sky, with erratic outlines of imposing man-made structures, is playing out a clarion call in its loudest azure harmony that- soon it will be time…
My vermillion smeared Calcutta sundown, with its fiery sundot, is blazing out a clear summons to the world that, soon it will be time…
My grey ennui-stained busy-ness of endless Calcutta workdays and nights, raises its head from amongst the rubble of yesterday’s dreams and misgivings, hoping oncemore that, soon it will be time…
Soon it will be time when one Mother will give of herself completely to create and adorn another Mother. She will give her the flesh-soft clay that has travelled with a mighty River chronicling the inevitable journey of everything into the estuary of absolution. This clay will mould itself around the rough edged diminutive bamboo skeletal frame that supports a blurry form of hay, to eventually apparate into someone mightier than the sum of the individual elements that comprise her.
The dingy claustrophobic huts that function as studios of artisans, obstructs the logic from perceiving the very act of divine creation that continues within its paper-thin, wrinkled mud walls. Kumartuli- the potters’ locality in my city is all abuzz with activity. Long stretches of these hovels, illuminated by audaciously garish incandescent bulbs, form the humble nursery wherein the celestial family is born and nurtured before being taken away to occupy the city of ordinary folk. It is such a time in my city when the immortal and the mortal converge in this melange of creativity.
It is such a time in my city when the blackened smog her inhabitants inhale, blends noxious fumes with the heady smell of incense, flowers, new clothes and new shoes that refuse to yield to the calloused feet that occupy them.
It is such a time when my indolent Calcutta will refuse sleep for five fleeting nights marked by a fevered pace to savour life all together in large gluttonous helpings.
It is such a time, when the rising dawns of eager hearts, the fading twilight of aging eyes and the ebony nights of passionate loving, find their very own moment.
My city is waiting- she is holding her breath- an art practised over the years with deftness and skill. The Goddess is arriving. She chooses her month, her mode of transport, her weather and her moment. These are the variables she toys around with. But her city is chosen. She will descend upon this mighty habitat with great pomp and grandeur and relegate everything and everyone into temporary oblivion. All will be forgotten for a while- rules and routine, monotony and misgivings, penury and position. Everything will be allowed to dissolve into a blur of colour, lights, sounds, smells, flavours and experience.
She is however not the Goddess of a specific denomination. She becomes the cause and effect of celebration, the alpha and omega of creativity, the here and now of life in the city.
Calcutta will embrace the Goddess and her entourage with all of herself. Her heartbeat will throb to the pulsating rhythm of the drums and whirl like a dervish in a dance of ectasy. The Goddess demands no less and the city will gift her no less.
For those who have migrated to alien lands and climes, an autumn away from the city seems like exile. They too will bide their time to resuscitate their long-buried “Calcutta-ness” within themselves as the benevolent Goddess travels to their foreign shores in vacuum packed boxes and elaborate traditional luncheon meets.
For the moment- it is the waiting that feels richer than the actual arrival of the moment itself. This prologue is a sweetened harmony of hopes and dreams woven into the silent melody that every heart in this city is tuned into.
Soon it will be time, when the puissant Earth, River, Goddess and City will come together as one mass of vibrant energy exploding onto the world- such is the time…