Saturday, June 11

The Crumbling Glories of Kolkata

"Bengalis have always believed Kolkata to be one of the best cities in the world. It is, after all, home to Nobel prize winners, mathematicians and scientists, movie directors, writers, and artists. These people make up the essence of what famous Indian journalist Vir Shangvi called the 'city with a soul.' But the buildings also have their own story to tell. When I was about eight or nine years old, my father often took me out for walks in the northern part of the city. I remember looking at the crumbling aristocratic mansions that stood at almost every corner there. I always felt fearful looking at them; they looked like haunted houses. My father would try and explain their history but his lessons didn’t stick, and when I left Kolkata for modern cities like Singapore, Beijing, and Shanghai, I almost forgot this part of my hometown. ..."
Roads and Kingdoms