ah, my recollections of Calcutta... by MadameReya, dilettante extraordinaire
When I was a teenager, I dreamt of traveling to Calcutta. For awhile, I had a Bengali penfriend named Sanjay Churiwal with whom I corresponded for about a year and, later, exchanged letters with S. Banerjee, who I met in DumDum airport upon my arrival in Calcutta in 1999 – and with whom I traveled in northern India for about 2/3 months.
I was in Calcutta for about three weeks – waiting for my friend to finish some exams. The first night, I stayed in an itty bitty room right on Sudder Street, and still recall its coffinesque bed…and the grafitti on the walls – concrete walls that captured the midsummer heat and converted it to a fine, damp steam that made it nearly impossible to sleep there.
The next day, I moved to a small hotel on nearby Free School Street, which provided an interesting view (fourth floor) of the bustling road below. Finally, my friend found me a fantastic room down a little alley off Sudder…I’ll never forget its sparkling black & white floor tiles, fantastic HUGE private bathroom, and lovely toilet.
A good toilet in a cheap Indian hotel is a godsend.
While in Calcutta, we strolled around the Maidan (their version of Central Park), watched a movie (VERY cool experience to watch an Indian flick in an Indian movie theater), and ate pizza (Flury’s) & Chinese almost exclusively, except for the time he invited me to his & his Mother’s flat. THAT was interesting. I think his Mom felt threatened by me because, although she was gracious, I think she suspected I would steal her son away from some nice Indian girl she had in mind : D (she was right to be concerned at the time but he is still single as of now). I also had my hair dyed jet black by some east Asian women in a little salon.
And did you know that Calcutta has a subway system?
One of the more curious things to see in Calcutta is its Portuguese church.
And I personally felt that taking a train out of Howrah station was one of the highlights of my entire trip to India.
(I would have more photos, except I made my trip in the pre-digital era of photography…you know, we had to conserve film. :P)over 4 years ago