Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kolkata

Kolkata or Calcutta, what's the difference ? One is the new name and the later is the old name. Just like the name, I was expecting to see the two sides of the city. I didn't plan any sight seeing as I do not wish to encounter the same trouble and hustle which I experienced while I was in Delhi. What I mean is the traffic, the horrible attitude of the drivers and the strict securities at every entry point of tourist spot. They are so rude. So my 5d/4n tour is strictly street photography and shopping.  
The moment I step out from the plane, I realize there is no two sides of Kolkata. There won't be any glittering or colorful side for my photography. Everything look so old and run down. The coach which supposed to take us to the airport terminal is so old. I think it's more than 30 years old. We don't even have this kind of bus servicing at our place anymore. These buses can even overtake and honk at each other at the airport runway. I see some passengers decide to walk to the terminal on their own. And the airport building itself is old too.
I bought the taxi ticket from the counter. But as I walk through the departure hall, it was almost dark. There is no sign where to wait for the taxis. There are a lot of plain cloths and untidy men approaching me for taxis. They asked for my tickets. I couldn't identify who is the right person to approach as none of them is wearing uniforms. They past around my ticket and finally I got one. This guy can't speak English at all. I end up having difficulty locating my hotel. I booked my hotel on-line. But somehow I managed by using my phone to call the hotel directly.
I stayed at Sudder Street, the most happening place in the city. For 5 days 4 nights, these are the photos that I would like to share with. Sad but true.

Where human (a rickshaw runner) share with stray dogs sleeping along the street. Rickshaw runners are homeless people too, other than taxi drivers, street sellers, hawkers, beggars, drug addicts etc.
Kolkata - Where city never sleeps. Only the people do.

These are the 3 Ds of Kolkata. Dirt, dusty and dump site. Humankind searching at the dump site near the most crowded Market in the city. Dogs, crows and pigs can be seen too.
Building houses without toilets. People have to queue every morning for their turns to use the public toilets.
These are the brave people of Kolkata. They are construction workers without any safety precaution and wearing 'sarong' climbing up high buildings to do their work.

So much talk about corruption but who take care of these homeless people ? They are everywhere in the city. Dirt, dust, noise and all kind of pollution. They cook, bath and sleep along the road side. They don't even have the 3 basic needs of a human being which is food, clothing and shelter.

There are lots of huge buildings left by the British, but these people have to live outside the buildings make of tents.

Bathing along the walkways on the busy streets are a common sight. Water pumps are installed for the homeless instead of homes.

5 comments:

jeannette said...

This is probably the first impression we westerners would have: poverty. Don't know though if the people who live there would have the same view:)

J Bar said...

Amazing shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Spare Parts and Pics said...

This is an incredible post. The poverty looks crushing. I'm curious too (like your first comment by Jeannette) if the local people have the same view.

Lorac said...

Enlightening article. Very good photos of real life.

Thomas C B Chua said...

Messy, crowded and dirty impression I get.