Photographer's Note

Year and month are uncertain - I was once or twice in that great city during the hot season and I guess this was not taken during the winter. Since my first visit there end of the 70s, Calcutta (now, Kolkata) lies in my heart, it touched me deeply when I lost myself on purpose in the small and crowded alleys between the Esplanade and Howrah Bridge.

Incredible confusion in the traffic, incredible masses of people, incredible grand architecture ; contrarily to many other places in India, I was never "Eve teased" there, although I was so often alone in the crowd at night, for festivals like the Durga puja ; felt safe, walking early morning after all-night concerts before the first tram, felt the vibrations in concert halls and had a sort of revelation hearing the great Pt. Nikhil Banerjee not long before he passed away, even a long moment pure musical extasy that I'll never forget (thought I would die !) with the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and his rudra veena... Enough of that for the moment !

About the photo : this is only one of the great « Belle Epoque » buildings along the magnificent Esplanade (Maydan) in Kolkata – I guess it has changed of aspect nowadays, but actually I liked those daring colours, which are also the colours of the ubiquitous taxis. And the not-so-well maintained aspect of some of those buildings had also its charm, IMO (*)…

Calcutta had been the capital of India under British rule till 1911 and the megalopolis has many such old and grand, monumental buildings, sometimes ornated with allegoric figures like the ones around the square « BBD Bagh », where many government buildings are situated (plus the GPO and the siege of many banks among others). Those allegoric statues, some of them representing young, naked ladies, look a bit surprising and incongruous in India and the ensemble dwarfs the passers by, small silhouettes briskly heading towards their businesses and rarely raising their heads to look at those huge constructions dating from a long gone era.

(*)NB : IMO, if a place is too neat, it will look dull, whereas a chaotic place is more vivid and interesting – that’s my taste anyway :)).

kvananthnaag, siolaw, Partha_c, riclopes, sayan, achakladar, giorgimer has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Catherine M D (noborders) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1464 W: 57 N: 257] (1010)
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