Calcutta – Repossessing the City by Leena Kejriwal
Cliché is that a picture is worth a thousand words. But my dilemma is how do you write about a book where every page is a picture, a story, a part of an anthology, a play of colors and a spirit?
Leena Kejriwal, a well-known photographer has captured Calcutta through her lens. And takes you through a pilgrim route from North to South Calcutta. Taking the reader through the various facets of the city, its people, its landmarks, its communities, its grand past. And it’s could be better present, its natives, its immigrants, its history. It’s rituals, its celebrities, its streets, its religion, its artisans and craftsmen, its culture. And its everyday life, its richness along with its emptiness, its nature and most of all its vibrant colors.
Leena has divided the book Calcutta – Repossessing the City into two sections: neighborhoods and spaces & people and communities. The first section as the name suggests covers the spaces of Calcutta. And the second one the people who live in these spaces. It is interesting that she has tried to cover most communities who settled down this once upon a time commercial hub. And are now an integral part of this city.
There is the text written Dr. Tapati Guha Thakurta, a renowned historian, which is interesting to read but could have been written in simpler words. The text with each picture very precisely and briefly describes sometimes the picture. And sometimes when the picture is too obvious its nuances.
I hardly know Calcutta as a city, having visited it very briefly only a couple of times. But after going through this book, I want to see Calcutta and go to all the places mentioned in this book Calcutta – Repossessing the City. I wonder if Aparna Sen would let me in, I want to tell her that I really liked her small cozy study and that bright Orange sari.
Look forward to more books from you Leena…