We call it what we want. This, my friends, is the capital of Orissa/Odisha (Not again!). To the people who didn’t have much idea about the town, google was our initial hope. As an outsider, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack unfolded as a great surprise to me.
Cuttack and Bhubaneswar are twin cities. Much like Ram aur Shyam or Laxmikaant and Pyaarelal, one cannot describe a half of it and expect to cover the other half.
Cuttack is one of the oldest known cities in India. And yes, it does remind us of the Ravenshaw College, Dahibara Aludam, Thunka Puri, hand rickshaws and bazaars on either side of narrow roads. There is an elaborate dressing up of the city during Durga Puja, so elaborate that it has become a matter of pride for the city people. Women here worship cows every morning at their doorstep and it’s a city that still loves to fly kites in the evening. Cuttack is not just a city, it’s an era.
The birthplace of Biju Pattnaik, Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, and Akshay Mohanty is worth every moment you spend there. Be it the deer park near Barabati stadium or the Juma Masjid that seems to be plucked straight from the Mughal period.
Coming back to Bhubaneswar, it is an emerging IT hub and has renowned colleges and universities like XIMB, IIT, AIIMS, NISER, BPUT, Utkal University and NIFT. Bhubaneswar is slowly but surely evolving. Being one of the most planned out cities in India has its own advantages, the streets are wide and clean and the city, overall, is much greener than many capital cities of the nation.
No! We, the outsiders don’t get the language! The only Odia words we know are Bhaina and Gotte!
Temperatures here maintain a datum at the 35°C mark but then the summers do become a bummer. The sultry winds make life difficult, especially during summers. And our answer to the heat is Paani-Pouch. Gotte Rupee re Aaram! OMFED stalls keep creeping up here and there just at the right moments with their tasty snack-shacks.
No multiplexes are here (yet) which is sad but true. S-Complex, Maharaja and Keshari Talkies are easy on the pocket though. And yes, we watch angrezi flicks hindi dubbed with dialogues like “Mujhe tumhari maut ka afsos hai.”
Food here is different. Varies from a Mosala Dosa luncheon to a Chhena Poda dessert!
For cheap travelling we have our very own ‘City Buses’. Auto fares rise every day which are virtually non negotiable unless you are a girl skilled at making the drivers regret the moment they picked you up.
The City of Temples, as they call it, is also famous for its dance form – Odissi. The rich cultural heritage is also inclusive of the Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves.
The charm of both the cities lie in the fact that they have the desire to evolve and keep evolving as well, but somewhere down the line remain firmly grounded to their roots. Here you can have an eventful day out of the least imaginable places and people. Be it the little kid fondly known as Chottu who helps his father in the evening run a dhaba or the chai ki dukaan near Bus stand which is open 24X7, everything about the twin cities is memorable and delightful.
Stay tuned to The Broken Scooter for more such updates about the city.
and Trolls by : Subhobrata Das