Calcutta Photo Logs

26 Jan

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Look what my morning began with! A new five rupee coin, commemorating the State Bank of India. 1806-2012, I think it says. Too bad the phone cam has zero macro capabilities: all I managed to-sort of- capture was the State Bank logo.

I’m a collector. I collect fun things, some with value, mostly valueless. My lovelies have modest homes-the pages of my diary, my person etc. This coin though is destined for a far more colourful resting place. It will share space with a Bangladeshi coin in this-

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This is how our Liquid Petroleum Gas comes packed: in a beautiful red gas cylinder. But this is made of clay. I’d add, ‘obviously’, except for the fact that when I first saw this-

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Outside the Khadi Gram Udyog in Chandni Chowk, I really thought this happy man was selling mini cylinders. When I saw-

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Fishes and pumpkins and this little baby hovering around, I doubled back for another look. This gentleman with the mad hair, pan stained smile and golden hooped ears was selling piggy banks-with a difference. You put your money in them and when you think your done saving, you smash it open. That must make it somehow more satisfying. He really was a happy, carefree man. I asked him where he’s from, and he said he gets these from Krishnanagar. Where does he usually sit? Whereever he pleases. He roams the city and sits whereever he wishes to that day. I couldn’t help but think of the song ‘Ami Ek Jajabor’. It’s hard work, but there is something so romantic and free about being a nomad, a footloose pheriwala.

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This artist prefers to keep his workshop stationary though. He models little blobs of clay into little Ganesh/horse/etc incense holders at the bus stop outside the Ramakrishna Mission Seva Pratishthan Hospital, better known as Shishu Mangal, on Lansdowne Place Rd (near Kalighat). You can see him in the mornings, though by afternoon he’s off.

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This man is also from Krishnanagar. Today he was on the footpath along Ultadanga (which is home to a wide variety of very interesting books, food and knick knacks) selling these items carved from bulls horns.

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Just a few paces ahead, a tempo was being unloaded of crates and crates of Old Monk. Old Monk mixed with coke is, if I am not mistaken, a favourite drink of proud commies.

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The White House doesn’t like commies. Neither does the Pentagon. Last week, I found out that Burrabazar, the huge wholesale market area near Howrah, is home to both. It is also home to a Turban Tying contest!:D

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One photo that I really wish I had captured: an ochre-robed Sadhu carrying a -live!-snake coiled on his arm. In Burrabazar. I blame the lack of presence of mind on the fact that the (live!) snake passed within centimetres of me.

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Calcutta is a political city, and a city of political parties. You see protest marches everywhere, almost every day. The banner above is asking for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences in the state. AIIMS is a premier medical research and teaching hospital in Delhi. I didn’t know its model was popular enough to warrant a demand for another one though!

The photo below that amused me because the Communist Party of India (Marxist) flag and the Trinamool Congress flag are REALLY competing for attention at the Gariahat Tram Depot 😀

Some more photos.

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Yes, that’s a horse. In the middle of the road. 😀

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