Whenever it rains here in Kolkata, you can see some strange things… You’ll see people running around and finding a shelter from it (this applies specially for office goers) , and you’ll see nut-jobs like us trying to get drenched and fully appreciate it. Rains here brings out the best of the city.
That too was a rainy day, and I just bought all my books for the semester and was trying to make my way through sheds, trying hardly not to get a drop on my bag. If you stand under an Old building for too long, stuck in rain.. you start noticing the small things like the scent that comes out from old concrete when it rains.
Anyhow I managed to get to the central station without getting all drenched up in the end. The metro would be a safer place now for quite some time as I make my Journey back home. When I finally caught a train my ever wandering eyes found its way through the next compartment, and I saw her getting ready to get off the train at the next station. I was wondering if she saw me. If she did, she definitely would not want to get off. But I chose to stay unnoticed.
Once, she was my only companion while I roamed the city streets. She was a confused and gorgeous 20 something bloke from Brussels, Belgium when she came in the city first. Our unusual introduction happened at a city mall while I was cracking non-veg jokes on my fellow nut-jobs (read friends). Her name was Caroline Delattre and she never wanted to come to this City, she badly wanted a trip to New York but dissatisfied with her parents (like each one of us) who wanted to see India, was stuck in an old city in east India.
But somewhere India, rather this city made a huge impact on that girl… In the few weeks she was scheduled to stay she tagged along everywhere we hung out, she became an inseparable part of the group. And when her parents chose to leave the city, she chose to stay with one of her friends. Every time an adda session in the mall ended, everyone used to go home and both of us needed to go via metro, so we tagged together.
I used to wonder why she talks so much about the children she saw roaming around the city, she complained about why the city is not taking the responsibility of them, she said she had seen nothing like this, she wanted to know where the closest church was, and wanted to see if they would accept the children as the Children of God.
I told her to stop worrying so much, there are NGOs working and Mother Teresa’s Organisation has done a hefty bit to the city. In a few years these problems will be solved. In our way back we made a few tiny surprise trips to the parts of the city she had never seen, I’d show her around, and I’d observe how she observed the people in the city closely.
A couple months after our semester started, and we stopped hanging out regularly, she called me one night. She said she had plans for the development of Kolkata… She had managed some funds back from Belgium and was arranging a fund raiser to construct an organisation that would help the children by educating them, preparing homes for them, they would also look for people wanting to adopt these children. She asked me to join in and help her at the fundraiser, and if I liked it, I could stay and help her with the NGO. On the other hand I was opting for a carrier as an engineer, so I was certain that I could not Join the NGO for life, but I did want to help her at the fundraiser.
That night I kept on thinking, why did she need to take such a drastic step, the funds she managed to make back home was safely deposited for her Post graduate education which she never wanted. She wanted a trip to New York, she never got a chance to go there, instead she decided to stay in an unknown city, working free and voluntarily for some unknown people, and she gained the most respect I ever gave to anyone. Its our city she was working with, and we were the ones thinking about our carriers, not her.
When @Indiblogger introduced this Yahoo! Dove Real Beauty contest, by Yahoo Real Beauty , the only person I could think of was her, cause if beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, then in my view no one can be as beautiful as Caroline. I remember every beauty contest, the contestants talk about organizing world peace, and we laugh, cause those who really work for the peace and harmony in this world, people like Caroline, they would never find themselves in the spotlight, and those who are in the Spot light are of course looking for a Bollywood entry, nothing more.