Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An American in Kolkata

Kolkata assaults and delights the senses. Crowding, pollution and poverty make the huge eastern India city a challenge for anyone who wanders its streets. At the same time, the people -- with the exception of the occasional gruff state-bank employee or cheating cabbie -- are most hospitable. And the spice-laden food is mighty tasty. Shops displaying gorgeous saris, gold, bangles and handicrafts entice the middle-class and the wealthy. I've journeyed to Kolkata seven times to visit my wife's family, but this month's trip was the first where I made it a point to snap some pictures.
1. A beggar peers into our cab. We gave her enough money for a cup of tea but she said it was too little and gave it back.
2. A woman dries clothes along Kolkata's well-used rails.
3. and 4. Mutton is fairly pricey and nothing is wasted. A butcher trims a head that will be sold. The buyer will eat the goat's brain. Flies takes their fill of other heads awaiting the knife.
5. The lobby of a door company features a statue honoring a deceased Hindu priest.
6. Two weathered Hindu deities sit at a roadside shrine.
7. At the Gariahat shopping area, a mehndi artisan decorates hands and arms.
8. Gariahat is packed with shoppers on Saturday night.
9. Lakes built during British rule offer serenity in the heart of the city.


  1. Incredible shots Kevin. I may never eat goat's brain again though...

  2. Yeah, there's room for improvement on the inspections.

  3. Welcome back, and thanks for the photos!

  4. I'm enjoying your photos, Kevin. Thanks!