Sunday, March 08, 2009

City symbol

The crow is the most commonly seen bird in Calcutta. It is a most resourceful creature, with amazing habits, remarkable persistence and awesome tenderness. But it can also be a most annoying creature. It is first and foremost a scavenger.

The crow could be an apt symbol of Calcutta, of its people and its ethos. But that would only be with a touch of irony and pathos: symbolising the degraded condition that the human being has fallen to. The common man in Calcutta has been reduced to being a scavenger. There is a great resourcefulness implicit in that, but that is not what man was destined for. Poverty, apartheid and apathy have reduced the human to the scavenging crow.

That also means that the situation visualised in Hitchcock's The Birds, albeit with an ironic twist, is something that Calcutta should be ready for.

Picture: Suhas Roy

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