During troubled times — be it curfew or a calamity — it is the roadside hawkers who first go missing and their return is often an indication that the storm has blown over. In Kolkata, they are back with a vengeance — even though COVID-19 hasn’t made an exit yet. It’s that time of the year when Christmas is round the corner and the weather is at its pleasant best.Pavements are dotted with tiny mountains of Nagpur oranges, piles of cheap garments, displays of daily-need knick-knacks. The establishments in front of which the hawkers have spread out their wares are open too, be they shops or offices or banks. If you discount the sight of students going to their schools or colleges, life in Kolkata has returned to near-normal or — if you like — the new normal, considering that security guards now check your temperature and spray sanitiser on your hands.“I have been camping at the Bodyguard Lines in New Alipore for the past four days and during this period signed up 120 new customers. The target is 400 before the month ends. Other banks too are conducting similar drives,” said Jhuma Gupta, who works with a large private… Read full this story
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