That’s what I am going to find out very soon. On Monday (Dec 10, 2012) morning when my flight lands on the tarmac of Netaji Subhash Chandra International airport, I will possibly see the new terminal building from the window, but will still use the old one. I understand it will still be a few more months before the terminal opens to the travelers. It’s okay with me, as long as it does not become yet another unfulfilled promise. After the new government took over the reigns of West Bengal, like many other Bengalis, I too hoped to see change sweeping over Kolkata and West Bengal like wild fire. But the indications I get from the news media and from my friends social network posts, I am a bit sceptic these days. I understand that it takes time to change things that have settled in over the years. But one and half years is not too small either. Two years ago when I was in Kolkata, I saw hope glittering in the eyes of the people. They were eager to welcome the new leaders in the hope of a better system. They said, “We are going to throw out the old and bring in the new. Only then things will change for the better.” This time when I visit them, I’d like to hear from them how do they feel now? Do they feel that things are changing for the better or are they the same?
I am not a resident of Kolkata or Bengal. I visit Kolkata once in two years and that too for a short period. Most of my time is spent visiting family and friends, taking care of property and related domestic chores. The rest of the time I spend watching theater or other cultural events and festivals. All I want is that my time is spent efficiently. I just stay grateful if I don’t lose a day because of a strike, or if I do not waste time stuck in traffic due to a political procession. So, I really cannot complain if my personal objectives during my stay are met. But nothing prevents me from hoping to see a better Kolkata. Hence I look forward to this visit. I plan to see many new plays. Want to visit College Street, Park Street and many other happening places. I plan to visit Kharagpur, Shantiniketan, Siliguri and Coochbehar. And hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Stay tuned. I’ll try to post updates at regular intervals and share my thoughts about the change that is taking place in Bengal.