Sudipa always loved proximity with nature. Being born and lived in semi-urban Bankura, she was always fond of greenery. Changes of seasons brought in myriad feelings of joy in her mind.
Sudipa experienced nature from close quarters in her childhood. She still nurtures the fond memories of the advent of spring, the heady scents of jungles, and the loud chirping of birds returning home in the solitary evenings.
Years later, she came to live in Kolkata for higher studies. She missed her home while staying in a girlsâ€™ hostel in the city proper, with buildings everywhere without many trees or birds.
A few years after her marriage, she bought a flat in a gated community with a lot of greenery in South Kolkata and started living there with her husband. Watching changes of seasons and hearing birds chirping brought a rush of childhood memories in her. Kolkata, after all, still nurtures a romantic heart.
Basanta Ese Gechhe â€” The Spring is Here
Although the City of Joy can have more green spaces, the limited gardens and parks we have display a fresh verdant hue speckled with myriad colours of the seasonal flowers. It is not unusual to hear the call of a cuckoo in Kolkata, especially in the fringe areas.
Kolkata residents admire nature to a great extent and every season is cherished in Kolkata. Most gated communities have well-manicured gardens. Roadside trees, well-maintained parks, and the Maidan get fresh foliage of new leaves and flowers. Corporate sponsorship of quite a few city gardens ensures that they are well-maintained.
This year, spring in KolkataÂ has already arrived, and the residents of Kolkata are wistfully looking forward to celebrating the spring festivals.
The Season of Outdoors before Summer Sets in
Spring in Kolkata is reasonably comfortable as the weather is still pleasant, although it becomes hot during the end of spring just before summer starts. A visit to open spaces like Victoria Memorial ground, or near the Ganges in the afternoon is quite pleasant.
Childrenâ€™s exams are generally over during this season and it allows the parents to plan for going out. Shopping, especially in anticipation of Bengali Nabo Barsho, takes some importance. Those heavy woolens are out, and light cotton dresses with floral designs are in. Shopping centres are generally full of stocks of traditional Bengali outfits, especially punjabi-kurtas and sarees.
People who love travelling generally do not miss this opportunity. Hills, jungles, and sea-sides are not too cold or too hot, and this temperate weather makes travelling very pleasant. Kolkata has a number of travel destinations close-by, and Kolkata residents make a beeline for these places.
Kolkataâ€™s love of movies, eating out, and travel is indomitable and as Covid-19 is fast becoming a forgettable nightmare, the spirit of Kolkata is getting back its mojo.
A Season of Festivals
As the residents welcome the arrival of spring in Kolkata, the wistfulness for Holi, the festival of colours, fun, and frolic, increases day by day. No matter whatâ€™s your type of Holi â€” whether you like to paint the town red with friends, have house parties, go full-on Bollywood, or whether you like it more traditional â€” Kolkata has it all.
Like Holi,Â Doá¸· JatraÂ is also a festival of colours, but the festival differs in terms of myths and tradition. TheÂ Doá¸· JatraÂ in Kolkata and Bengal is reminiscent of the divine romance of Lord Krishna and Radha.
Holi in Kolkata is celebrated by every neighbourhood, every apartment complex with gusto â€” dousing the neighbours in colours and sharing sweets. There is incessant adda, fun, and laughter all around, giving opportunities to residents to mingle and interact with fellow members of the community in a fun and lively way. The evening is generally packed with numerous cultural programs such as songs, solo dance performances, group choreography, and drama. The cultural programs, Basanta Utsabs, continue even after Holi.
Looking at the social aspects, the festivals of Dol, Holi, and Easter in Kolkata reinforce the cityâ€™s deep-rooted cultural diversity, and it helps to invigorate its secular fabric even more.
This yearÂ the spring festivals â€” Holi, Easter are back to back and the high spirit will culminate in Bengali New Year celebrations.