45% in MA English Literature: Just stand up and salute if you come across someone who has scored these marks from Calcutta University. Because, for all you know, this person can write ten dissertations on anything starting from Chaucer down to Saul Bellow or even Toni Morrisson. He/she is nothing short of a genius. This person will also tell you everything about one Zimmermann, and probably play the harmonica or the guitar better than your neighbor in California. This person will also put New Orleans to shame with his/her knowledge of jazz music. You see many of them working for The Statesman or The Telegraph. Such men are bearded and wear glasses. The women wear glasses and sport khadi kurtas.
Such a person will perpetually be found smoking rolled tobacco. They are Democrats.
Sourav Ganguly: My weakness too. Horribly sinned against by the rest of the regional cricket boards in India, this former captain of the Indian cricket team is very unIndian in his charisma and strength of character. Someday will be the Prime Minister of India. Amen.
Bearded fellow: While in the rest of India a beard is almost synonymous to being a Mussalman, in Calcutta it signifies the urge to be known as an intellectual. Anybody who wears a beard is either dabbling in poetry or the arts of some kind. Do not discourage them. At least that keeps them from being communal.
Poet: Everybody has tried poetry, so don't go around saying you are a poet. Everybody is a poet in Calcutta. And believe me, this is the only city where anthologies find buyers. Be it Bishnu De, Sunil Ganguly, Allen Ginsberg, or Jim Morrisson, Calcuttans read all poets.
Artist: Again...a generic plague. Everybody is an artist. Everybody can be seen doodling in class. Except for the ones who come to Calcutta to study engineering.
Books: I mean, if a book hasn't sold in Mexico? It will still find many buyers in Calcutta. They are suckers for the printed word.
America: God's own country
Calcutta: Now this is the toughest term, man. Every Calcuttan thinks Calcutta is very prominent in the world map. Like Sourav Ganguly, Calcutta was once the capital of British India. (Calcuttans love everything British btw. Even a Calcuttan who opens his umbrella when it rains in Beijing would love the idea of speaking perfect RP. Try telling him that RP is long dead, but nobody is listening.) And now, New Delhi, a place that belongs to nobody and is ruled by the aggressive, uneducated, and philistine Northies, happens to be the capital of India.
Someday, Calcuttans would love to bring it back to Calcutta. That status, the glory of being the only emancipated city in India.