Kolkata, India
কলকাতা

india/kolkata_rickshaws

Human-pulled rickshaws, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — June 30, 2004


india/kolkata_girls

School girls at sunset, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_shoe_cleaner

Shoe shiner, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_rickshaws_bw

Human-powered rickshaws, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — June 30, 2004

Kolkata is one of the few places on Earth that still uses the human-drawn rickshaw.

india/kol_bus_street

City bus, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — June 30, 2004


india/kolkata_square

Kolkata street scene, West Bengal, India — June 30, 2004


india/kolkata_street_fabien

Kolkata street scene, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_rickshaw_woman_boy

Street life, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_taxi_classic

The Hindustan “Amby” Ambassador is the classic taxi of Kolkata, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_bridge

Howrah Bridge হাওড়া ব্রিজ, West Bengal, India — July 2, 2004

The Howrah Bridge is spectacular, and everything beyond that opinion is open for debate. While in Kolkata, I read this was the longest cantilever bridge in the world (not true) yet now as I am typing my research reveals it actually (may be) the busiest. One reference states it was completed in 1874 and another suggests 1943. Even the names can’t be fully agreed on: I like the common name Howrah Bridge while others prefer to call it Rabindra Setu. Finally, I logged on Wikipedia to get answers. One thing for sure, no trip to Kolkata is complete with a trip across.


india/kolkata_selling_potatoes_dee

Selling potatoes, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/var_red_building

Red building, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_taxi

The Hindustan “Amby” Ambassador is the classic taxi of Kolkata, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_taxi_colors

The Hindustan “Amby” Ambassador is the classic taxi of Kolkata, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_mosque

Mosque, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_limes

Limes for sale on the street, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_building_red

Wacky building, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 2004


india/kolkata_bus_bw

Running to catch the bus, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004

…the strict species pecking order: pedestrians are on the bottom and run out of the way of everything, bicycles make way for cycle-rickshaws, which give way to auto-rickshaws, which stop for cars, which are subservient to trucks. Buses stop for one thing and one thing only. Not customers -- they jump on while the buses are still moving. The only thing that can stop a bus is the king of the road, the lord of the jungle and the top dog.

The holy cow.

Eighty-two percent of Indians are Hindus. Hindus revere cows, probably because one of their favorite gods, Krishna, is a cowherd, and Shiva -- the Lord of Destruction -- has a bull called Nandi.

I’ve always thought it hilarious that Indian people chose the most boring, domesticated, compliant and stupid animal on earth to adore, but already I’m seeing cows in a whole different light. These animals clearly know they rule and they like to mess with our heads. The humpbacked bovines step off median strips just as cars are approaching, they stare down drivers daring them to charge, they turn their noses up at passing elephants and camels, and hold huddles at the busiest intersections where they seem to chat away like the bulls of Gary Larson cartoons. It’s clear they are enjoying themselves.

But for animals powerful enough to stop traffic and holy enough that they’ll never become steak, cows are treated dreadfully. Scrawny and sickly, they survive by grazing on garbage that’s dumped in plastic bags. The bags collect in their stomachs and strangulate their innards, killing the cows slowly and painfully. Jonathan has already done a story about the urban cowboys of New Delhi who lasso the animals and take them to volunteer vets for operations. Unfortunately the cows are privately owned and once they are restored to health they must be released to eat more plastic.

— Holy Cow, An Indian Adventure — by Sarah MacDonald


india/kolkata_bus_car_moto

Street life, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_betel

Betel nut station, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_boy_water

Street life, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_purses_road

Bags 4 sale, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004


india/kolkata_purses

Purses 4 sale, Kolkata, West Bengal, India — July 1, 2004

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