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Calcutta, India. April 2006.

Parent Places: List of Places > Everything
Child Places: No Children
Pictures contained in this place:

Mahatma Gandhi Road

Cars parked outside the building where I was born

I was born in this room.

Trying my darndest to look tough.

This man just sauntered into the photo with me, causing me to smirk. We look sort of similar.

A typical Calcutta street, a veritable cacophony. A thousand lives collide, begin and end on a single stretch of pavement.

A very large advertisement for tea.

My former orphanage closed in 2001. Still, I had to take a look.

For all intents and purposes, the doctor who delivered me.

The recuperating room.

A western-style toilet, called a "resting toilet". They are the exception, not the rule.

Maidan, or the "lungs" of Calcutta. Cricketeers, holy men, book enthusiasts and lovers alike frequent this grassy expanse.

Calcutta is widely acknowledged as the graffiti capital of Asia. Almost all trees are painted like this.

At the Botanical Gardens in South Calcutta. Beautiful, no?

I have no idea why I look so stern.

Horses in the street. In a city of 13 million!

St. Paul's Cathedral, a leftover from the British Raj.

Beautiful trees in the Victoria Memorial gardens.

Calcutta. The ideal place to have a picnic or a snog.

A "do not dump" sign in Bengali, Hindi and English. One of the only places in the city that anyone pays attention to reminders like this.

Typical traffic on a British-style roundabout. Yours truly has ridden on an Indian motorcycle... and survived!

Ugh, an SUV in a city celebrated for its abject poverty. I guess I'm happy for them!

The National Cricket Association.

They even put adverts on traffic manning booths. Every centimetre of space counts!

The capital of West Bengal is also the capital of faded signage.

A conversation with a dog. Too bad he only spoke Bengali.

Random Indian man. (There are many.) Don't worry, I asked.

A pleasant riverside walk. Nearby, a floating slum. Can the rats swim?

A tank brought back during one of three wars with Pakistan. They are ever so proud of this....

The Shaheed Minar, a rare feat of Islamic architecture in otherwise Indo-British Calcutta. In the background, some nice highlights of Calcutta's on-again, off-again skyline.

Where young cricketeers go to cut their teeth.

An overpass, and in the background, an advertisement urging young, upwardly mobile Calcuttans to vacation in Paris.

In France. My roommate Federica, soaking her feet, Italian style.

Again, in France. Yoana, left, from Popayan, Colombia. Federica, right, from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. Both very intelligent, both very sweet.

Our kitchen, where we were all the time. We had a little too much fun sometimes!

In France. Administration tries to keep the peace during a CPE riot. There were eggs, firecrackers and bags of flour thrown.

Back in India. Notice the "Holy Palace Multipurpose Institute" sign. What?

The cheekiest Indian cabbie known to man. Also, notice that the steering wheel is on the right.

An older apartment complex, complete with laundry drying. In reality, nothing can truly 'dry' in that humidity.

Calcutta traffic and the ubiquitous billboards.

An Indian shower. You fill up the bucket and dump the water on yourself.

My first Indian meal in, well, India. My favorite! Malai kofta, naan, daal, rice, salad and chai. I did end up eating ALL of it.

Had to get a shot of the ostentatious movie theatres everywhere in Calcutta. Strangely, I didn't end up seeing a Bollywood blockbuster while there.

A covered bus stop.

Posters for a new film starring some Indian bombshell. Posting them every five feet, I think, got the point across! :)

Proof if there ever was that Calcutta was India's capital during the colonial era.

Contrary to popular belief, Indians do get wasted, or "make their moments large", as it were.

The blue and yellow city buses are usually more crowded than this. I didn't venture a ride on the sides or top, forgive me :O)

Cornershops have three walls and no fewer than two people sitting inside them. They sell EVERYTHING.

An information technology building. They talk about Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore.... but Calcutta is jumping on the wagon, surely enough.

A modern business district in the city center. Yes, they do have bike locks and traffic signals. Here, at least.

A public admonishment for prostitutes. Sadly, this is a country in which the youngest can be little girls of nine.

A father walking his small son to (a Catholic, presumably) convent school. Behind notice the mispelling of "salon". Beer with your shave, anyone?

A sunlit and dusty city street. At the end and around the corner, one of my favorite Bengali restaurants.

A trusty Internet cafe. STD here does not mean that the clinic has these on offer; STD is an acronym for State Telephone Dialing or something like that.

Me in the courtyard of my hostel. On the other side of the left wall lived a woman obsessed with Shakira and scolding her children. Winning combination! :)

A Jain temple. Stunning work.

An Indian bride signing "the book". Long story, but while I was there, I was invited to a Hindu wedding.

Bengali women, resplendent in their multicolored saris. Why do the men have to dress so plainly?

Yours truly. Posing. Trying to fit in. The hand on my shoulder was reassuring.