My neighbour asked me about the book stalls in Guwahati few years back. He was from Orissa and was a Mathematics faculty in Akash Institute in Guwahati branch. So he needed several books on Mathematics for his daily classes and to make students ready for the different competitive examinations in all over India. I suggested them our very own Panbazar. But surprisingly he replied that he did not find any suitable book stalls in that area where he could buy books at his utmost desires. He gave the reference of College Street, Kolkata. That day, I felt a bit irritating for his comparison of our Panbazar with College Street…because Panbazar satisfied me regarding my books, regardless which subjects those were. I found my satisfactory books in Panbazar and could not imagine any other places better than it.
But from that day onwards, I kept one strong desire to visit the College Street of Kolkata whenever I got the chances to visit the city. On the day before yesterday, we visited College Street, to purchase the books which our teachers referred us to study on the advanced level of Functional Analysis and Measure theory. People say that it is College Street because most of the colleges and universities are on the same area and there fore the books market is also got settled. Before landing at College Street, we did not imagine for a second about the environment which we experienced there.
It is really a books market…just like the vegetables market. There is only one thing available all around, that is book. I became overwhelmed on seeing the loads and loads of books which I have seen in any Book fair. Books were not in the stalls, but also on the street, on the 4 wheeler vehicles which I had noticed with the vegetable seller in carrying the vegetables on the roads.We could not visit all the sub lanes, because we got tired in roaming the area. On the same road, we visited the campuses of Presidency college and Calcutta University, Arts building, whose Science building is at Baligaunge. Kolkata gives the sufficient scopes and facilities to the students. They will never be worried about any study materials which they do not find in College Street. College Street gives the chances to those also who are not financially strong enough to purchase all the books which they require. For them there are second hand books sub lanes also from where you can buy any type of second hand books at the cheapest rate compared to the original price.
On visiting College Street, I missed my college days at which we had to take the xerox copies of several books which were not available in the Guwahati market. I really miss one such type of Books stall street in Guwahati where students can go there any time and can purchase any books blindly. Some cities have some big areas in cloths or other stuffs…but hardly any Books Stall street. I miss this College Street in Mumbai also, where I can find the fashionable cloths or other stuffs road at all the places including Fashion street, Bandra linking road, Alpha(Andheri west) and many more.
But Kolkata maintains its city life authentically…I must say that. It runs both the Mercedez and the old model Ambassador together at the same road. It runs parallely the first under ground metro and the slow and smooth running Trums on the road, amidst the traffic. Here life moves on enjoying movies in INOX also and on the rickshaws which are pulled by men themselves. People will spend money on the coffee mugs in Cafe Coffee Days and will be return back to home in the city buses spending the cheapest fare also. Kolkata seems to be the cheapest city for me, because I have seen the usage of 50 paisa so frequently in this city only.
Kolkata carries its own dignity all the time….here the modern life styles are also accepted but without loss of authenticity.
Hats off to you Kolkata. Really, I have fallen in love with you Kolkata!!!