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Situated on the eastern bank of river Hooghly, I have had many a name through ages. Some called me Gol Gotha, others named me Kilkila. Some believed I was Kol-ka-hata, others favoured Kalikata. Then came those who concluded I was Khal Kata, but still others chose to call me Kalkata and then Kalikota. Later, I became Calcutta; now I’m Kolkata. I have had many incarnations; each one looking at the other in the spirit of curious camaraderie. What is in a name, or appearance, after all? I’m indeed history; I’m witness. I’m over two millennia old. My tale is long; your time short. In short, I open up to you. You may pass on my tale to others. With many a name, I’ve many a face. I’m a port; I traded in opium. I’m the Nawab of Bengal; I’m the East India Company. I’m the capital of the Raj; a face of the independence movement. I’m Bengal renaissance. I stand partitioned, bombed, starved. I am revolutionary, but stagnated too. I refuse to grow, yet I do. I choke; I breathe; I live on.

Shahr Naamah Banaam Kolkata

I stand partitioned, bombed, starved. I am revolutionary, but stagnated too. I refuse to grow, yet I do. I choke; I breathe; I live on.

Nal_damyanti_rekhta Urdu blog

Qissa-Kahani: Ba-naam “NAL DAMYANTI”

Traced back to antiquity, that is even before the Puarnas, this story was narrated for the sake of entertainment during the exile of the Pandavas.

Hum ko junoon kya sikhlatey ho

Hum ko junoon kya sikhlatey ho

Majrooh Sultanpuri was one such poet who drew upon both and blended them together with distinction. He was a classicist in style and a romanticist in disposition. In addition, he was a humanist — a humanist at core.

Dilli is a generic and archetypal name for a city of many fates and fortunes. It has been called variously and treated unevenly. There are many tales of power-play and politics behind each name it got during the course of its grand survival from period to period. Whatever incarnation it acquired through different periods of its history, Dilli served as a dehleez, or an entrance for many rulers—the Sultanas, the Mughals, the Marathas, and the British. Dilli has been a seat of political power through ages; a base of literary cultures through eons, especially since the Medieval period of Indian history. While it offered a stage for rehearsing the onslaughts of rulers, it gave its people a way with language and a hug with culture. The language it nourished came to be known as Urdu; the culture it established came to be associated with a way of life and letters. The patterns of Dilli’s grand existence and impressive survival changed with time. With time, Dilli acquired a comprehensive identity of its own kind. As it transformed itself from age to age, so did its locational and cultural icons. Its architectural wonders--Quwat-ul-Islam and Jama Masjid--found yet other manifestations in Akshardham and Bahai temples; its Grand Trunk Road gave way to National Highways. Its older icons--Qutub Minar, Old Fort, and Red Fort--stood re-imagined as India Gate, Parliament House, and President House; its bazaars of the earlier periods got succeeded by Dilli Haat and Trade Fairs. Its Phool Walon Ki Sair manifested itself afresh into Crafts festivals; its Diwan-e-Khas got a makeover as India Habitat Centre. Some state of the art icons--Garden of Five Senses and Hauz Khas Village--stand as the modern days’ re-configured marvels of cultural transformation.

Dilli jo aik shehr hai

Kaun jaaye Zauq par Dilli ki galiyaan chod kar

Husn-e-Jaana ki tareef mumkin nahi

Husn-e-Jaana Ki Tareef Mumkin Nahin

When it comes to praising the glory of your beloved, poetry always comes handy.

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