india

Final Kolkata Adventures

We spent some time in the South Park Street Cemetary, a historic walled cemetery that housed many British citizens from the colonial era. It was extremely sobering to see the ages listed on many of the large monuments. It was rare to see an age over 40. According to a booklet we got at the office, British citizens who traveled to India lasted about two monsoon seasons before succumbing to tropical diseases.

This was the largest obelisk in the cemetery and it is even bigger in real life. I had to squish it a bit to fit it on the page!

This was the largest obelisk in the cemetery and it is even bigger in real life. I had to squish it a bit to fit it on the page!

There were many monuments in this style and homeless people lived in them years ago before the cemetery was restored.

There were many monuments in this style and homeless people lived in them years ago before the cemetery was restored.

This is the Marble Palace, an enormous house of a very wealthy family that still lives in one wing. It is a museum now. We had to pay a bribe to get in because you’re supposed to fill out paperwork with the government to get in, but our Indian friends told us that that process is so impossible that it is better to just give the guard money. We did and were lead on a tour through rooms filled with classical sculpture, huge Chinese vases, and more. The floors were elaborate inlaid marble and oil paintings papered the walls. The lights were turned on as we entered a room and turned off as we left. There was a sense of decaying grandeur in the air.

This is the Marble Palace, an enormous house of a very wealthy family that still lives in one wing. It is a museum now. We had to pay a bribe to get in because you’re supposed to fill out paperwork with the government to get in, but our Indian friends told us that that process is so impossible that it is better to just give the guard money. We did and were lead on a tour through rooms filled with classical sculpture, huge Chinese vases, and more. The floors were elaborate inlaid marble and oil paintings papered the walls. The lights were turned on as we entered a room and turned off as we left. There was a sense of decaying grandeur in the air.

I was constantly agog at the beautiful outfits of the women out and about on the streets.

I was constantly agog at the beautiful outfits of the women out and about on the streets.

The pollution resulted in pink, hazy sunsets, most obvious out in the countryside.

The pollution resulted in pink, hazy sunsets, most obvious out in the countryside.

A leftover from the first post! This is my husband doing sudoku in the Telegraph newspaper.

A leftover from the first post! This is my husband doing sudoku in the Telegraph newspaper.

Many of the stores in Kolkata were tiny, sometimes just alcoves with the proprietor sitting on a shelf. This store was just down the block from our friend’s house and we got our water from them. They didn’t speak much English, but whenever they saw us coming, they’d get out the water! Doing this sketch in the neighborhood attracted around forty people in the hour and a half it took me to do it. I had a group of older gentlemen move their bench so they could sit directly behind me and watch my every move!

Many of the stores in Kolkata were tiny, sometimes just alcoves with the proprietor sitting on a shelf. This store was just down the block from our friend’s house and we got our water from them. They didn’t speak much English, but whenever they saw us coming, they’d get out the water! Doing this sketch in the neighborhood attracted around forty people in the hour and a half it took me to do it. I had a group of older gentlemen move their bench so they could sit directly behind me and watch my every move!

I spotted this pink and blue house on a walk around our friend’s neighborhood. Buildings are so much more colorful in India than in the US.

I spotted this pink and blue house on a walk around our friend’s neighborhood. Buildings are so much more colorful in India than in the US.

There was a frame shop by our friend’s house and they had a collection of Jamini Roy prints in their frames.

There was a frame shop by our friend’s house and they had a collection of Jamini Roy prints in their frames.

Our trip to India was remarkable-a land of many contrasts and incredible energy, but I have to admit that it is good to be home!