Calcutta: You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave

Yesterday’s article in the New York Times got me a bit nostalgic about Calcutta. I scrounged around to see if I had any old b&w photos from my family’s collection which showcased the city. Couldn’t find any. So I uploaded some of my recent Kolkata photos onto flickr.

I was recently struck by the wide roads, greenery, and open spaces of Calcutta in Satyajit Ray’s Parash Pathar. The movie was made in 1957, and Calcutta looks like a beautiful city at the time. The crowds are far thinner, there’s a lot less cars on the road, places like Alipore seem like sleepy leafy neighbourhoods, the maidan area is like a park. So I browsed around for some old photos of Kolkata and came across a few links posted below.

esplanade_18901

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2 thoughts on “Calcutta: You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave

  1. I am always struck by how well Ray uses Calcutta in his urban movies, at times it is like a frame for the narrative.

    great pics!

  2. Any non-bengali can leave and most have left the city.Most of the people who feel that they cannot leave the city are those who come to Cal in small doses and dont live there permanently.

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