On one side and mostly seen by all is the life on the pavement. There is a brighter side of life in Kolkata. There is actually a very big divide between the rich and the poor. But, how much ever rich they maybe, many still park their cars near the pavement restaurants and eat. College going kids, couples (married & un-married), rich, poor, middle class everyone would definitely stop by to eat at these pavement restaurants. This is in contrast to Bangalore where some section of people don’t consume food served in push-carts, except of course paani puris & similar kinds.
Culturally also Kolkata is far ahead maybe not as compared to Mumbai but definitely against other metro cities and Bangalore. The college kids and other sect of people have adopted to walking on roads hand in hand, hugging each other & beyond. Life keeps moving on, nobody bothers much about these activities. If you cant be part of it, try to be in future or just ignore it.
The fact also remains that they are intelligent people but their sheer laziness acts as a block except when they move to different city. This trait I have observed in some Malayalis also. Even the highly educated chews paan and spits it on the road, on pavements, on staircases. No discrimination here.
The people of Kolkata are very friendly. You ask them anything they would respond with correct information most times. They are very helpful and many prefer to communicate in English if you dont speak Bengali. Some trait which one would notice in Mumbaites and chennaites.
Kolkata life is a big contrast and on two extremes. Its interesting and exciting.