We have been rather too-constantly moving for my first taste… with a few too many hours of jangling driving on roads often barely extant. Yet, we are also celebrating seeing so many rich parades of landscapes punctuated by passing peeks into the variety of the working realms used by those roads, from trucks, tractors, buses & motor cycles to the various conveyances used by the ever-exotic local population.
While bumping along, I am, mostly happily & contentedly writing, to develop as much currency & completeness in the journal upon which this is written. With only my phone as camera on this trip I was constantly grabbing images…more than I could quickly or easily edit… knowing this is barely the middle of all which is yet to come.
So we found a bit of respite when we flew from Bangalore to Kolkata…
We accepted the invitation from to soak in the shelter of a weekend hosted by a casual friend whom we are now getting to know better here in Kolkata, surrounded by 12+ million souls, in a night of cyclone wind & rain… on Broughton’s birthday.
We are hosted by Sharad, who was a guest at one of Soundcliff’s Thanksgiving celebrations, being a long-time friend of our friend Michael Hathaway. We had opportunity to get to know him better when he flew to Santa Barbara for MH’s memorial last Summer Solstice.
Being sensitive & intuitive as well as generous he treated us to some welcome quiet time with lovely home-
He was also sensitive to the need to take us out for several excursions, first being driven by the family’s driver of 40 years to visit his club for lunch & drinks. It is a grand colonial mansion now bereft of its original indigo fields, having been replaced by a golf course. Afterwards he suggested a walk through the rainy woods surrounding the putting greens on its generous grounds, explaining how the place is an important refuge for him within the dense city.
At one place the tree cover gave way to a view through which he stopped us to point up to one of the new concrete towers like those I had observed from our plane as it landed… thinking they seemed rather like seedlings beginning to re-forest this vast city… explaining that he was eagerly anticipating a new phase of life, independent from his recently widowed mother, with whom he has been living for the 12 years since returning from his education in the States… because he had just purchased an apartment in one of those condo “saplings” overlooking where we stood, in the midst of all the surrounding density of traffic cacophony. Clamorous Calcutta… Klangkhorous Kolkata.
Next day he drove us around, going to the Victoria Memorial, parking at The City Club
It was interesting to move through the galleries crowded with the many Indian visitors & filled with their history of colonialism…
& examples of accommodation…
Are we Nouveau Poobahs?
We do love our camera phones!
& posing for them!
Such a throw-back to Victorian aesthetic!
I enjoy the frequent juxtapositions of technologies seen in my camera’s view… this one from some distance through the grates of his window, where a painter hangs on a scaffolding several stories above whatever is supporting its ancient engineering of bamboo poles knotted together with rope.
Another time he suggested a wonderful flute concert with amazing percussionists… a Tabla & a very skillful Ghatam
We walked at sunset along a bustling walkway while evening floated down the ancient River under the span of a contemporary suspension bridge, bringing a delicate sunset as we enjoyed a scene of young folk & families & lovers. River of uncounted ancient souls, remaining a part of the current flow of life.
I was happy to see this chaiwala
Although I observe an obvious difference in quality!
One more lovely Ganesh with strong detail, along with a matching conch shell was a favorite bit of his decor.
in the building’s car parking, manned by several gatekeepers a last Ganesh, a sizable glazed plaque of this god of adventure…