Friday, December 21, 2012

Calcutta streets - Part one


It is always interesting to observe people and if you can capture the same on camera, then it will put a smile on your face when you go through the results later.
Had been to Kolkata (Calcutta) recently and was there for four days. Right from the chai wala on the street who offered us tea in the mud pot, to the shop keeper who caught up on his forty winks, it was fun capturing all that happened around me.



The rickshaw puller weaving through the busy traffic is a common sight in Kolkata. 




I hope to make a video on the same, but the best I liked was the taxi service in Calcutta. Almost all taxis are of the Ambassador make. You may have your doubts about it being road worthy but they perform well, stop at your beck, and will take you to your destination. No hazzles about the charge, they go exactly by the meter and will tender the exact change.

I liked the way the Taxis were maintained. If the factory fitted bonnet locks are not working, they have their own cost effective way of designing a lock.


Their driving is neat and move about on the road with ease (managing not to scrape the vehicle with the other vehicles)  


The vehicles get washed daily morning. There is no dearth of water supply.


There are regular ‘washer boys’ who do it for a nominal fee.

29 comments:

Amrita said...

Nice pix. I would be uncomfortable riding in a richshaw like that

NRIGirl said...

The pulling men with no shoes bothers me? How do I go about getting them some shoes? Where do I start? Any idea?

Please email me at 'admin at coffee-with-jesus dot com'.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Daisy said...

Nice pictures, Joe. You captured these scenes well.

Deborah Ann said...

Wow, nice story on Calcutta! Sounds like their taxi drivers are a little more careful than those in Costa Rica!

KParthasarathi said...

Brought nostalgic memories of mydear city.Things haven't changed much.There is certain in delaings in Kolkata that is unique to the city, A place for the rich and poor alike,its people are warm hearted and alert.I shall be looking forward to your Calcutta serial

rama said...

Calcutta is such a wonderful place. When we first landed there many years ago, it felt terrible, I hated the city, but soon I started loving it so much, and even now anything related to Calcutta always interests me. The days I have spent roaming around the college street, catching the trams, then suddenly deciding it was too slow, and jumping into a running private bus/ mini bus, or a double decker can never be forgotten. The city is never boring, one can spend hours walking the streets of Gariaghat, lake market, maidan market, without buying anything, or buying lots and lots of things.
The puchkas, the googni, the beetroot cutlets,oh, the taste is still lingering in my mouth.
Yes, the Ambassador taxis, and the rickshahwallas, it is a city with its own unique character.
The private buses would be so full, but as soon as they see a woman they would stop and shout " janana hai, rok ke chalo", and just scoop you off the bus stand, before you can even react.
It was really fun living there. And everybody would be addressed as Didi or dada.
Thanks for bringing back all the wonderful memories of this place.

anilkurup said...

Pretty pictures that tells some story.City of Joy??

Haddock said...

Yes Anilkurup, its very much the city of joy in every respect.

Haddock said...

Hi NRIGirl,
Thanks for your concern.
Trying to find out some agency who will carry out your wishes. Once contacted, I will inform you :-)

Harman said...

nice pictures ..but.. looking at the people pulling other people its sad ..at least a cycle or horse is required..and naked feet .. think when its summer time scorching heat .. and naked feet .. it very tough ..the gov should take some steps to improve their conditions.

Harman said...

looks like fried..the golden crisp color looks inviting.

Bikramjit said...

loved the pictures and yeah i also notices a few things you mentioned during my visit tooo.. tooo much rush also ..

waiting for part two now

Bikram's

Haddock said...

You are right Amrita. Its awkward making some one pull you, but I also noticed that many of the rickshaws were lying idle, makes one wonder about their daily bread.

Haddock said...

After reading all what you have said Rama, I feel like making a trip again to experience all that :-)

Kavita Saharia said...

Calcutta is always my favorite.
Wishing you and yours A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Haddock said...

Thanks Daisy :-)

Haddock said...

Oh yes Ann, I can vouch that their driving skills are super cool.

Haddock said...

Did not know that you were from Calcutta.
Yes working on the next part.

Haddock said...

Yes these were replaced by cycle rickshaws in many parts of India which were again replaced by Auto rickshaws, but here in Calcutta.

Haddock said...

Thanks Bikramjit.

Haddock said...

Thanks Kavita and wishing you too the same :-)

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos of a city that looks like it hasn't changed much in the last century. Looks like a very hard life. ..Betty

deeps said...

Wish you a very happy Christmas & peaceful and prosperous New Year

BOSTRO said...

Lovely blog. Thanku for reviving nostalgia!

Indrani Ghose said...

Those rickshaws pulled by men, so painful to see one man pulling two or three at a time. It is their bread and butter I know. Great captures from the city.

Lakshmi Nair said...

Dear Joe,

Happy to see that you are active with your blogs.Calcutta has always been a place of interest to me though I haven't had the opportunity to be there.Your words brings the sweetness of Saundesh and the smell of fresh incense.Thanks for being so interactive and keep writing for us and supporting us.I'm still with a mild writer's blog.

Joe,by the way what is the way to get some stories published as a book.It's mine obviously but I have never investigated about how to get them published.Do help me if possible with maximum information.

Warm regards to family and friends,

Lakshmi Nair

Haddock said...

Hi Lakshmi. good to hear from you. You can try here: a.doyle@bloggingbooks.de / www.bloggingbooks.net
They are German based and do the publication for you. The only problem here is that your pictures will not be in colour.

Destiny's child... said...

I have been to Kolkata once but it was one hurried visit. We didn't have the time to explore it. Your posts have let me do it! Brings to mind, the movie 'Kahaani', shot entirely in Calcutta.

Lakshmi Nair said...

Thanks a lot Joe.will try my luck.