Earlier this week I spent two days in the only large Indian city I hadn't yet visited (at least, not since I was 3): Kolkata. It was too short a trip to expect much, and most of it was spent in a hotel on Chowringhee Road. I'm not sure what I expected. I didn't expect streets littered with dying beggars (an image bequeathed the world by Mother Teresa) and I didn't find that. I did expect to hear much bong spoken everywhere (I've been surrounded by the species all my life), and I didn't find that either. Passers-by, hotel attendants, everyone seemed to be speaking Hindi. And as for the writing -- shop signs and advertisements -- nearly all of it was in English. I see much more written Tamil in Chennai, or written Hindi or Marathi in Mumbai, than written Bangla in Kolkata -- at least, in those streets I actually passed through.
I wonder what the reason is. I could only think of:
1. The advertisers there haven't yet learned that people who don't read English do often have significant purchasing power
2. People there who don't read English do not actually have significant purchasing power
3. Bengalis who don't read English can't read Bangla either.
4. Bengalis are now a minority in Kolkata.
I find (1) the most likely. At any rate, I hope that is the answer.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to learn anything much about the city. But I expect the opportunity will come. At quick glance, it did look like the kind of city I can live in.