Calcutta

The Magic and Beauty of India: A Photo Essay

Eliot Hess

I was lucky to have visited India during the “Spring Festival of Playing Holi” or the “Festival of Colors.” It is a Hindu festival that is celebrated by smearing, or throwing, colored chalk at others and then spraying water to make the colors run. Everyone is fair game. The trip left me with a lasting sense of spiritualism and beauty. I felt peace and harmony as never before. Even though there is obvious poverty in many regions of the country, there is still a sense of contentment you can’t find anywhere else.

An African-American Writer Searches Her Family Roots in India

Sandip Roy

In 1896, almost a century before Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala caused a stir by daring to show a romance between a black man and an Indian woman in the American South, a Muslim Bengali peddler from Hooghly married a black Catholic woman from New Orleans and settled down in that city. There’s no record of how they met or what the neighbors made of them. Shaik Mohammad Musa died in 1919, a few months before his son was born. His widow Tinnie raised their three children as black and Catholic. Their Indian heritage was lost in history.

Banning Salman Rushdie Proves Calcutta Is No Longer a Cultural Capital

Sandip Roy

Calcutta finally completed its downfall from the cultural capital of all Asia to a narrow-minded, spirit-crippled, morally corrupt, goonda-governed provincial town. From being the great city where Rabindranath Tagore wrote ‘where the mind is without fear’ our urban concentration has now become the champion backwater place where the heart is squeezed by fear, paranoia and the over-riding greed for power.

Joss Whedon’s ‘Avengers’ Take on (Old) Calcutta

Sandip Roy

West Bengal’s chief minister promised to turn Calcutta into London. But Joss Whedon in the Marvel comics saga, The Avengers, has gone backwards instead. Calcutta in the age of superheroes looks suspiciously like the one described in the City of Joy circa 1985 – cramped, squalid and leprous. Mark Ruffalo is Dr. Bruce Banner, keeping his inner Hulk under control by saving the eternally ill slum-dwellers of Calcutta.

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