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‘Kolkata has a heart unlike other cities’

Gaurav Mishra from Jharkhand who attended school in the national Capital, compares the two metros and says that Kolkata is not only cheaper than Delhi, but the people are also friendly and helpful here

education Updated: Jul 02, 2013 16:55 IST
Jeevan Prakash Sharma

Gaurav Mishra from Jharkhand who attended school in the national Capital, compares the two metros and says that Kolkata is not only cheaper than Delhi, but the people are also friendly and helpful here

I was born in Daltonganj, Jharkhand, which is a Maoist-infested area. A few years after my birth, my father sent me to Delhi because Daltonganj is not a safe place. People live here under the fear of Maoist violence. My father is a doctor and he thought that if I stayed in Daltonganj, my education and personal growth would be affected due to violence. So before me, he sent my elder brother out of the state for study. He sent me to Delhi to one of the relatives who helped me with my admissions. I joined Modern School, Barakhamba Road, by clearing an entrance test.

I was good at studies. I cleared my Class 12 examination with science but my percentage was not good enough to get me into any of the top Delhi University (DU) colleges. I took the IIT entrance test, too, but could not get through. Though I cleared the BITS Pilani entrance exam it was during that time that I developed an interest in history. I also realised that science was not the right choice for me in Class 12. I took science on my friends’ advice but I was not quite keen on pursuing it. So my next challenge was to get into a good college where I could get a good faculty for history. The only option I was left with was to prepare for entrance tests of good colleges. Luckily I cleared the entrance test for history honours in Presidency College, Kolkata, and got in. My brother has also done history (Hons) so I quite often take help from him.

This college is as good as any top DU college. Its faculty, standard of teaching and campus are a class apart. Subjects are taught in-depth with a lot of emphasis on analytical aspects. The only thing which I miss here is sports. There are clubs and other sports centre in Kolkata where one can take training but the college doesn’t promote any sports as much there is a lot of stress on the academic curriculum.

Now my next ambition is to clear the civil services exams.

As far as Kolkata as a city is concerned, it is cheaper than Delhi and people are quite friendly and helpful. Except certain pockets of the city, the standard of life is good overall. I lived in Delhi for 12 years and my personal experience says that Kolkata is better than Delhi as people in the Capital are not very helpful and cooperative. In Delhi, everyone is busy with his own work. No one has time for others but Kolkata is not like that.

Things that one can visit in Kolkata are Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial, Eden Garden, Park Street and obviously some big malls which have come up recently. Some people may not like the areas around Howrah Bridge because it’s surrounded by slum clusters and quite dirty. But besides couple of these experiences, I am quite ok living here. I feel Kolkata has a heart, unlike many cities in India

Love

* Kolkata has been referred as the cultural capital of India

* The Kolkata Metro, started in 1984, is the oldest underground metro system in India

* Kolkata is quite famous for its seafood

* Sweets such as roshogollah, mishit dohi, etc play an important role in the diet of Kolkatans, especially during festivals

* Football and cricket are the most popular sports in Kolkata. The city has top football clubs such as Mohun Bagan and East Bengal

Don’t like

* Traffic is the biggest challenge of the city

* A huge population lives in slums in miserable conditions

* The pollution levels are not within safe limits, which is a major health hazard in the city