by the river...

When my parents got this house, I was not too sure that I liked it. Mostly because of all the noise in the neighbourhood. The house is very close to the one of the most popular temples of east India. There're a lot of people visiting the shrine all through the day...the festival days in particular are too crowded and noisy. But over time, I started liking the place - mostly because of the river flowing within 5 minute walk from home. The riverside is generally flocking with people in the evenings. Elderly people enjoying their evening walk or just sitting, sipping hot tea from small earthen cups. But most spotted are the young couples, sitting hand in hand, watching the sun go down across the river. And then occasionally, there's a quiet and lonesome blipper, with a D80 in hand. The steps on the banks are generally so crowded that finding some space for yourself is a challenge. Personal space is redefined as your butt not touching anyone's that you don't know. I found some space for mine and put it down, sandwiched between two unknown couples. The conversation on my right side was interesting. The girl slowly rolled up the sleeves of the guy's t-shirt and...
"what's all this tan? Look how dark you've become!"
"because of all the sun."
"can't you avoid the sun?"
"how can I avoid the sun when I am on road in the summer?"
"why do you need to be on the road? Use the narrow alleys with tall buildings for commutation."
"Talk sense! You think that?s possible? I"ll have to tie an umbrella on my head to save myself from the sun"
"Can't you use an umbrella when you go out?"
"I can't ride the bicycle in this traffic with umbrella in one hand. Too risky!"
"***bhaal laage na... I don't like the riverside any more...

***(this is one statement that Kolkatans use quite often. Though it literally translates into "I am bored" but the actual essence of that line cannot be translated into any language. A complete book can be written on the situations and the way this line is mouthed by various people.

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