Kolkata’s Christmas spirit - extended easily up to the New Year night revelry - has long lost its sheen of being a mere religious affair. All the Masses conducted in the worthwhile churches - including the most colourful one in St. Paul’s Cathedral - spread only the noble message: “Goodwill to all and malice towards none.” The nostalgia for having been a British capital - lost more than a century ago - is still palpable in the strong Anglo-Indian quarters of Boe Barracks and the royalty-tinged trinkets on sale at the Hogg Market. But the surging crowds could not give a damn and overflow into the most happening streets where any vehicular traffic is out of the question for quite a while, and the goodies like Flurry’s cakes and Trinka’s savouries continue to be mouth-salivating and delicious. The only sad shadow that is looming large this year hangs from the Metro Cinema arcade -- the undisputed trysting spot for decades of lovers – which is now yielding to the hammers of the other Metro: the under-and over-ground Rail arteries of the burgeoning city.
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