By Sandip Roy, Dec 25, 2009 1:50 AM
Christmas feels smaller and bigger in Calcutta.
When we were kids we used to go to see the Christmas lights on Park Street, the main restaurant drag in Calcutta. Restaurants with names like Sky Room and Moulin Rouge twinkled with lights. Flury’s fine confectioners would stay open late for Darjeeling tea and plum cakes. Calcutta, the most British of India’s big cities, celebrated Christmas as if the 1950s had not gone out of style.
This year as I walked down Park Street and saw the trees and restaurants strung with twinkling strings of lights, it felt a little shabby. Nothing, it seemed, had been updated in the last twenty years, unless you consider the new McDonalds an upgrade. Sky Room was gone. The fancy restaurants of our childhood looked a little timeworn, the uniforms of the doorman seemed a little shop soiled.