Show Menu

21 From the Outside In: Recollections of the Jewish Community of Calcutta

The Cosmopolitan Past

Calcutta has become too insular like Delhi which is just 'Punjabi Punjabi' and that friendliness that we had across communities has gone. That was a lovely feeling. It made people have a broader outlook. We learned other people’s customs.  Our outlook on life was better. Calcutta was a beautiful City where like Tagore said “the world was not divided by fragments of narrow domestic walls, where words come from the depths of truth…” The beauty was all the flowers coming together. Like Gandhi said, everyone should reach out to each other. -Om (Punjabi Hindu, 1928)

I have personally been a great admirer of the cosmopolitan city – the hub of music, theater, and the contribution to making it what it was in those days was the various communities that lived here.  Much poorer now that all the communities left. -Utpal (Bengali Hindu, 1946)