[Appeared on the last day of 2005, Saturday, December 31, 2005]
As 2005 draws to a close, here’s an opportunity to mull over issues that affected Kolkata most in the past year. Opinions would vary, but perhaps few will disagree that Sourav’s unceremonious omission from both captainship and playing eleven should rank at the top. It touched a rare chord of camaraderie among all sports lovers in the city. And indeed elsewhere.
The second most important issue could be brouhaha over Salim group’s plans to set up a mammoth township in southern suburbs of Kolkata. The government seems committed to pull it through, though presently there’s an uneasy calm in view of coming elections. Third rank ought to go to the strident campaigns in favor of cleaner and greener Kolkata. Only days back, the shanties along railway tracks near Lake Gardens station have been cleared. This is a monumental event for the reason that these shanties have been in existence for not less than 4 decades, if not more.
Kudos also goes to the activists who have made the government realize that the maidan must be preserved in its pristine glory, and not be trampled by allowing frivolous events. This task is not finished yet. Hopefully, we’ll see a new dawn in near future.
What to me comes next is an all-round enthusiasm that at last things are happening in Bengal. People are very hopeful that Kolkata will very soon regain its pride of place among the most interesting cities east of Suez. There hangs an air of expectation, and each event that epitomizes an enhancement of prestige for the city is welcomed with unbridled jubilation.
I count myself among those whose love for Kolkata knows no bounds. My heart fills with joy seeing doomsayers eating humble pie as Kolkata wakes up from prolonged slumber to slowly yet unfalteringly position itself as the most sought-after city in India.