Wednesday, September 19, 2012

F: Familiarity

Familiarity becomes important when you are away from home. There are so many places in Mumbai that remind of Calcutta.  There is this whole stretch of road near CST station which looks like central avenue. Then there is this road near Churchgate area which looks like Maidan area in Calcutta. Colaba Causeway reminds me of Gariahat. The buildings look like old Calcutta but when I go there I feel as if I have come to Gariahat. 

Maybe someone else won't see the similarity between Gariahat and Colaba. We tend to see what we want to see. The connect to our old life. That something that reminds us of home. 

Most of us want the comfort of the known. And why not? It's easier, right? I find it easier to cope in a new environment when I have atleast something of my old life with me. Its a comfort to know that my cousin V lives in Andheri. If I would have been at another place I would have somehow found someone familiar. I think my parents know someone or the other in most cities in India. Which seems like a kind of blessing, now. 

When I go back to Calcutta after my course is over, things won't be the same. Too much has changed. I have changed. I know I can't go back to my old routine. Four months away from home and I know that when I go back to Calcutta I will look at it with new eyes. Things will seem different. Maybe not as familiar. 

I think it's not about the city. It's not about the oh-so-known lanes and bylanes. Because one can easily familiarize oneself with any place you are living. Breach Candy, Andheri is as as familar to me as New Alipore or Exide area is. It's about the people. The people you  care about and love. When I say I miss Calcutta, I don't miss the city per se. I miss the people I love. If they were someplace else, it would not matter whether my hometown was Calcutta or Timbuktu. 

It feels good when I pass by a place that reminds me of another place. It brings back memories. It makes me feel more at home. And more then anything it reminds me of the fact that all places are ultimately the same. It is the people  that matter. 


  1. Now that I think of it, my hometown wouldn't have any meaning if it wasn't for the people there.

    1. Exactly. Like I said, it's not about the place it's about the people

  2. "We tend to see what we want to see." lovely lines... And this post is wonderfully written. What you say is true as well, I have felt it. But, now, most of the part of me wants to be away from this familiarity somehow... But that is not the concern here :)...