Monday, August 22, 2011


Another 6 days left in the city as I write. I was mostly feeling nothing. But having just gone through photos from a hurried photo shoot around the city (no walking leisurely this time, camera in hand) I am feeling...weird. First of all I'm trying to let go of the mad desire to document so many things: from the Jorabagan police station to Lovelock Lane, Mocambo to VP, JU to Howrah and the list goes on. By the time I come back god knows how many of my favourite houses will have been pulled down on Hindustan Park, Purna Das Road, Strand Road...When next shall I get time to truly explore the city: go visit the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Churches, the ghats early morning, Red Road, Victoria, Sudder Street, Middleton Row, New Market, Botanical Gardens, Mcleod Street, Mirza Mehendi Lane, Elliot Road, Lake, Princep Ghat... The list goes on.
Such a strange relationship I have with this strange city: so much fierce love and protectiveness coupled with such strong desires to leave.
Someday Calcutta I'll come back and claim you as my own. A city where the LIC building still has it's Stained Glass windows, where buying home made wine at Bow Barracks isn't a big deal, where Bourne and Shephard archives are still intact, where Nahoum's retains its former glory, where Kalman is given its rightful recognition, where Chinese New Year festivals aren't an oddity, where the Scottish Cemetery is well maintained, where College Street isn't overrun with text books or Bornoporichoy, where South City doesn't exist, where dogs, cats and horses are happier fatter and neutered, where trams are reinstated with with full respect....

1 comment:

Linus Kendall said...

I was thinking that it must be a different experience coming from a place like Kolkata and a place like Stockholm. When I go back to Stockholm (a city which I don't have any great love for but which is pretty and all), I can rest assured that nothing spectacular will have changed. Somehow, I think that that place is almost frozen now in some kind of permanent stasis (one of the reasons why I dislike the place).

With a place like Kolkata it must be completely different - in fact, one and half year from now, for sure New Market and what not will still exist, but many places won't be the same, so in a way this need to capture it all is quite understandable. Though, I can't help but wonder if I'd ever have a relationship to a city like the way that you do. In the end, what do you think is required for you to feel that Kolkata is claimed to be your 'own'? What is missing so far for you to own the city? A place to live that is yours and not shared?