Kolkata is a melting pot of many cultures; therefore anyone outside Kolkata will not feel alienated for long! Every region in India has its own culture and way of living and so has Kolkata!
If you are a person belonging to North India and have come to stay in Kolkata, it is possible that you might face a few greater problems than any South Indian!
But don’t be troubled over it!
Here are eleven awesome tips that will ensure your happy survival in Kolkata:
11. Cut on Travel Costs!
This is actually good news, public transportation in Kolkata is almost next to nothing and you will save a lot if you travel especially on private buses – they take you a long distance at minimal prices! But try to avoid the office hours since you will find unimaginable crowds inside the buses!
10. Move over Ghazals, it’s time for Rabindrasangeet!
Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore belongs to Kolkata and hence his works and specially the songs written and composed by him are an all-time favourite of the Bengalis – so much so that, you will find the traffic signals playing a Rabindrasangeet whenever there is a red light! So, time for you to get in touch with his songs – you will love it actually!
9. Being a Bookworm!
Books – fiction, non-fiction, Bengali, other languages, tiny, big – all are favourites of the people of Kolkata! To be a happy survivor, bring out your books – classics or best-sellers – and start reading them, you will find yourself to be a favourite among the Bengalis!
8. Lover of the Arts!
Kolkata loves its art and culture and takes pride in its achievements! If you are to survive in Kolkata then take serious interest in the arts – literature, painting, singing, dance – and bang on, you’re part of the city immediately!
7. Football Frenzy!
Been in Kolkata and haven’t watched a football match – you must be joking! Football is worshipped in this part of the country as you worship Cricket in your state! If there is a match between football giants East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, then, there is craziness around town that you cannot miss!
6. Traffic Snarls!
If you are from Delhi – this is nothing new, but the ones who are not from metropolitan states – be ready to face the terrible Kolkata traffic jam!
North Kolkata or South Kolkata, there is no place which will offer you a smooth ride through the roads – get out of your home as early as possible if you have to reach a place on time, sometimes a 15 minute road takes an hour to reach!
5. Humidity woes!
Geographically, Kolkata is very close to the Bay of Bengal because of which lot of moisture enters the city! Be careful during summers, because the heat here might not be as burning as in your homeland but very uncomfortable – although the average maximum temperature is 38 degrees!
4. Sweet – Always!
To survive in the city by being a part of it, get into the habit of having a sweet dish (any!) at the end of a meal or anytime you wish! There are many available and all are tasty – if you have lived in Kolkata and not had sweets, then you probably have not lived in Kolkata at all!
3. Power of the Fish!
Considered excellent for the eyes, fish is another staple diet of the Bengalis! There are many varieties available in the market – katapona, rui, bhetki, charapona, pomfret, koi, ilish, chingri, pabda, kajuri, chitol – name it and you get it! Survival in Kolkata is seriously impossible – so get into the habit of having a lunch of rice and fish curry!
2. Roti to Rice!
The best way to stay fit and happy in Kolkata is by switching over your diet of roti and parathas to that of rice – it is the staple diet!
Every household in Kolkata has this meal for lunch with other dishes and therefore is available in huge quantities in the market – the most important survival strategy!
1. Get the Language Right!
The people of Kolkata will help you a great deal in trying to communicate in Hindi but you should also be aware of their way of speaking – it is very different from what you know! So, if possible, pick up a bit of Bengali!