Kristof, grow up!

In a recent article, Kristof starts with 

I first visited Kolkata, better known as Calcutta, in 1982 as a backpacking law student. I stayed at a hostel in the Howrah slums and regretted that my camera could record only images, not the equally memorable stench.

Dear Kristof, ‘backpacking student’ times can be such a life-changing experience – its obvious you never got over yours. But this was thirty years back – when will you grow up?


I don’t think it matters what the rest of the article actually says – even in its annoyingly patronising tone – as long as the opening gambit is such. Forget adding nuance to any of his thoughts – its much easier to breeze through IT, the malls, slums, corruption and communalism. And its not surprising either, continuing in the same vein as the undying memory of the ‘memorable stench’ and the images of misery. 

I grew up in India, so one could probably argue that my senses are dead to smells and sights – but even so, its hardly what I would commit to memory about any new place I visit. Yes – it could be my first impression, but I seriously hope, its not what I notice or remember even on day two. And yes, it doesn’t matter what you remember if you are just a tourist, but its not quite the same otherwise… 
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