Kolkata Diaries

My like after relocating back to Kolkata after a decade in 2017.

Srishti’s Summer

Srishti had a filmi summer. Five weeks of being mostly in Kolkata in this sweltering heat meant being indoors for at least half the day. She did get to “explore” her city a bit - [...]

Doctor & Patient

He comes punctually at 9 am at the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) office in Kankurgachi - Ward no. 32, under Borough III. He has been a ‘Medical Officer’ since 2006, though at this particular ward [...]

Chumki Maima

Today a childhood memory of mine suddenly re-surfaced - that of a wedding I had attended in early June 1983. It was the wedding of one of my mother’s cousins - and I remember it [...]

An Aspirational Family

Kabita comes to look after my child leaving her own. My daughter is 7, her son 9. Mine goes to Calcutta International School, the first international school in the city (est.1953); hers goes to Hare [...]

Udichi Old Age Home

Everyone who could, has left. Almost all the children. More than half of the 32 flats of UDICHI - the ‘Co-operative Housing Society’ in Kankurgachi, North Kolkata, where my sister and I grew up - [...]

“Waiting for You”

Ma doesn't come in my dreams. She absolutely refused in the initial months after her death in August 2016. Then she relented a little. Came in all about 5 times in my dreams - 5 [...]

Dear Anna

27 Mar 2019: Many happy returns of the day, Anna! You always remember to forget my birthday - I thought of reminding that to you on yours! I feel a dull ache within me every [...]

A Different Kind of Holi

24 Mar 2019: So what I was in hospital? I was made to play holi, too! The photo you see was taken on the 21st. I was very unwell throughout January this year and was [...]

The New Fotolab

8 Mar 2019: They are a perfect pair. They complement each other and are a study in contrast: she flaunts her white hair, he dyes it black; she means business at all hours, he loves [...]

My Matrilineal Inheritance

3 Mar 2019: This photograph, taken in October 2003, is one of my most precious possessions. On the right is Dida - feisty, resilient, impish; on the left, Ma - selfless, honest, hopelessly romantic. Dida [...]