I’m in Kolkata for 10 days visiting a friend who’s working here, so while he’s at work I spend my days wandering the streets of this vibrant, noisy, smelly, colourful and friendly city.
Kolkata is definitely not a ‘touristy’ city which means its a great place just to walk the streets and ‘soak it in’.
It seems a place of contrasts: crumbling colonial infrastructures and thrusting new Indian industries, the super rich elite and an ever-growing poor.
Today I was able to pray at the tomb of Blessed Mother Teresa and talk to the Sisters who work every day in trying to show God’s love to those who have nothing.
A number of times in the last few days I have been struck by how preposterous the only thing that separates me as a relatively wealthy westerner from many people here is the few pieces of paper I have in my pocket. Yesterday, after seeing some races at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club, exploring the National Library and visiting the zoo, I saw devotees at prayer and goat sacrifices at the extraordinary Khalighat temple, hidden amongst the bustling streets of South Kolkata.
Calcutta is surprising, beautiful and thought-provoking. If nothing else, it is alive!