Richa S Mukherjee is an award-winning writer, columnist, ex-journalist and advertising professional. She writes across genres and has authored four books of which two are being adapted for screen. She is a blogger and travel writer and contributes to several platforms such as Womensweb, Momspresson and SheThePeopleTv. She is a Sheroes Champ, Blogchatter and Kool Kanya mentor. She has authored several e-singles, anthologies and audio books. Her latest book is The Curse of Kuldhara, the second installment in the very popular Kanpur Khoofiya Pvt. Ltd. series.
Art of living…the Kolkata edition
It was a sticky, hot afternoon. A rotund shopkeeper scratched his ample belly and waved my mother away. ‘Aamar ghoom pacche. Paure aisho ma.’ (I’m sleepy. Please come later.) As a child of 8, I was incensed. Never mind that this dress shopping was part of a promised birthday gift expedition, how could a shopkeeper reject good business for the sake of slumber? Even my childish comprehension of financial and commercial matters couldn’t stomach this phenomenon. The clincher was that he had managed to stay perfectly polite through this dismissal and even addressed her as ‘ma.’ Such a bundle of contradictions! Something, I would gradually learn was a way of life and hardly an anomaly in this delightful city of sweets.
Author and philosopher Matshona Dhliwayo, behind the popular quote, ‘Whoever works hard prospers, whoever folds his hands falters,’ had clearly dished this nugget of wisdom without having a single adda with a Bengali over Biryani. I’m sure he will forgive me for this selective interpretation of his words but they underline some very important aspects of what it is to be Kolkata-vasi.