I have called this city a partial home, where most of my vacation days were spent as a child. Visiting here after two decades brought back memories that I wanted to capture before they were lost to time, as the place undergoes drastic changes yet retains the essence of what my childhood felt like.
The blue hour at Princep Ghat
This man’s day starts early with cleaning the streets before the crowds take over
What to do when waiting impatiently for chai to get ready – click!
Charcoal stoves are still widely used in this part of the country
I am still to come across any other city which has perfected the art of chilling, like Kolkata!
Early morning at the ghats, kids perform somersaults in the water by climbing on each other’s shoulders. Sure is a fun way to keep out the heat of the city
Flowers at the haat, that will soon find their way to the deities’ foot at one of the numerous temples in the city
Even though the ghats can be garbage strewn, it is here that life happens the most
A young boy – he shyly mentioned his name as Ronjon – takes part in the temple rituals that were all the rage in the ghats that morning
After a dip in the sacred river, bronze urns are used to carry water from the Ganges to the nearby temples as offering to the residing deities
An abandoned jetty by the ghats near Howrah
Tramlines are one of the oldest modes of transport in the city and still in use in the old areas
At a busy intersection, an iconic yellow ambassador taxi dashes across even as the policeman tries to man the traffic (with traffic lights fully functional)!
Another mode of transport that is fast disappearing, and for good measure – hand pulled rickshaws
Brushing your teeth by chewing on a thin tree branch while reading a newspaper is an acceptable way of to start the day!
Bhanumati was enjoying her morning cuppa when I requested for her photograph. After a bit of hesitation she agreed and pulled her sari up to cover her bare shoulders
Ancient doorways to ancient mansions of this beautiful city
The Divine Feminine coming into being at Kumortuli
Goddess Kali – the symbol of freedom from attachment
Much of the city has undergone a transformation, but these faces, these roads, this city is a part of childhood nostalgia that I carry with me