If you are new to Kolkata, you will be surprised to know that there are two city centers in the city, which are remotely any where near to the center of the city, but yes there exists but two of them
One of them is famous, the one in Salt Lake, as it was on the primary , or the premier ones in the city, with the institutionalization of the concept of malls, where you shop, eat and then watch a movie . This as a new new high, and with the coming years, now we have at least 5 INOXes within the city,
there are two City Centers, two Fame malls, and Forums and South City and Mani Square ( where money does not square but gets lost, vanished, vamboozled, simply disappears )
Now there are 3D screens, there are lush seats, comfortable sofa sets, there are 35 rupee halls and 10 rupee halls too. Khanna though closed now, was till the recent years selling tickets in single digits.
The same goes for many other non mall cinema halls, like our very own Jaya here in Laketown.
The City Center one is in Salt Lake, and the majority of the cinema goers are the well to do crowd or the first timers or the very poor but temporarily cash heavy software engineers. The tickets here come for plus 150 , and the rest of the malls in kolkata do sell them for 90-110 rupees range.
And 100 is something, people would like to shell out for a movie once in a while. We dont go to the movies any more to skip the heat , or to get rid of the staring eyes, or to cough at, sneeze at, talk on the fone.
We go to the movies, noawadays with etiquette, we stand up to the national anthem when Kabhi Khushie Kabhi Gam plays. We switch off our mobiles or at least stare at people who dont.
But we still try to do them within the limits of the city. Not at the end of civilization, in the nest of Gaffar Molla, but I did so....
I took a turn from the end of the Sector 5 road. I took the right. I crossed a fly over. I reach this point where most the completed buildings of the new town exist. Most of the flats here have been taken by NRIs and the rest by some of the bosses here of the software companies in Sector 5. These apartments right before the Home town ( that which will not open in the near future ) , is the last strand of civilization in the New town. Then started the torture,
not a soul on the road, not a stopping car, and the chill,
I went all the way till the first circle, on the right I could see darkness, and on the left, I could see darkness again.
So we went all the way to the Chinaar Park , I stood there for some 5 minutes, and cold biting me wherever it could I took the left from there, expecting the airport in that direction, I mean generally speaking.
All in all, it took 10 minutes of driving in the dark , desolate place , and some marauding sedans, going at top speed that i finally reached what you call City Center 2.
Yes, it is near by if you get in from the VIP , near the Haldirams, but on this other side, I think it is that feeling that you will never see another human soul again.
There is a new shop there, called the Max, The colors of the T Shirts, the tops, all were unique and it looks like it is their only shop in Kolkata
The prices were inexplicably cheap and the range was good, So this was one good find.
There was this college band that was trying its luck playing some of its own numbers, and also Mohiner Ghoraguli ,
there were some other performances, like the road side, tricksters, and the fire games.
There was a troup , there acting a serious play on the Nandigram
A bunch of Bihari guys behind, me , did not take it seriously though, but it was sad, Bihar and Jharkhand facing equal difficulties,
may be that the ones who understood this issues, did not come this god forsaken new town city center to see a play .
All in all, I liked the end of the journey , since the Baguiati area was warmer and I was feeling nice about the fact that I will not have to trace my way back to Sector 5 the other way round .
The cold today in Kolkata which stands at 12 degree they say, has almost dehumanized this street outside, which usually hosts a lot of people
On a day when Jyoti Basu died, I expected some kind of activity like party office people saying a word or two on a mike
This was one of the most silent of exits of a political giant, that I have ever seen
My mother and sister are watching some Apsara awards,an award which is nothing but an attempt to make another award popular, the Filmfares are in the shape of a lady and by naming this award an Apsara, they are simply increasing the importance of women in the industry which has now come down to a naught, given the fact that they will have to search hard for a new Madhuri Dixit or a Sridevi , ( forget the legends, like Waheeda Rehman, or Hema Malini ) to do a movie like Sita aur Gita, or Chaalbaaz.
Some attempt huh
By the way , I took some pics of the New Town City Center, have uploaded them