“STREETS OF KOLKATA” is a series of shots I just posted on Instagram and my Facebook page (@njphotografy). This series resonates my perspective of Kolkata a city in West Bengal – eastern part of India. Diverse yet rich in culture, the city of Kolkata packs quite a punch when you come face to face with its cultural side. Enjoy the scenes of “Kolkata through my lens” A city known for its cultural history, especially literary, art and musical threads that bind people of all ages together has been contributing to world music and literature arguably, larger than any other province in the country. The likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Satyajit Raj, Amartya Sen, Malay Roychoudhary, Sameer Roychoudhary were frequent visitors to the India Coffee House across the Presidency College on college street. The Coffee House is of historical significance for being the rendezvous of innumerable versatile people, from its inception to date. From the pre-independence era (pre-1947) till date the coffee house hasn’t seen any significant change in it outlook. The Coffee Board has in fact rejected offers from some of the big names in the paint and renovation industry due to clash of norms and policies. The coffeehouse is famous for its rendezvous sessions, and as the breeding place of several political and cultural personalities and movements. Many people come here just for the sake of catching up and just being a part of the long talking sessions. Several talented and illustrious persons from different streams have been thronging this renowned adda for a long time. The coffee they serve is very traditional and has a strong taste that lingers for hours after.
The other iconic thing visible in Kolkata is the yellow Ambassador cabs that dot the roads heading into the city from the airport, bus station and railway station alike. These cabs have started dwindling in numbers as they are being quickly replaced by the like of UBER and Ola. Each time a yellow cab passes you on the streets it is bound to bring a smile to the lips and a sense of immense pride and belonging.
Along with these cabs, the other means of commutation that were earlier iconic to Kolkata and now seen sporadically in select parts of the city are the Trams and Rickshaws pulled by men (rickshaw pullers ). Both these means of transportation for the common man in Kolkata also were other places to catch up discuss the local soccer game or game of cricket or even vividly discuss politics with either co passengers or the rickshaw puller.
While people from out of Kolkata have their own views on the plight of the rickshaw puller who pulls the rickshaw with the heavy load in the sweltering heat of Kolkata in the utmost humid weather that can cause a sunstroke to the common individual in absence of proper sun-protective attire, the rickshaw pullers themselves have been protesting against any ban that affects their only means of livelihood earning. Inhuman as it may look has a human side after all.
The Trams in Kolkata are the oldest Tram network in operation in all of Asia today. These trams form a very tight network in various parts of the city. Although Kolkata boasts of the first Metro in the country, the Tram network commands an unfathomable amount of respect by passersby like me. These Trams are slow and have demarcated areas of operation, however their reach and affordability makes them the choice of the common man in Kolkata by far .
Kolkata – the City of Joy has been an amazing experience – not a journey. I will continue to post more in my future blogs especially about people and food.
Stay Tuned !
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