Oh, Calcutta

Wellesley’s Folly
St Andrew’s Church
Trams & Rickshaws on BB Ganguly Street
Burra Bazaar
Flower Market
Dakshineswar Temple

Durga Puja

Durga Puja gained popularity, as Calcutta found its feet and prosperity in the early 19th century. The elite of bhadralok had risen, co-opting to make profits with the new masters, and willing to show it off. Geoffrey Moorhouse writes– “There is an air of bounce and vitality by the Hooghly in these early years of the nineteenth century and it is perhaps conveyed obliquely by the tone and style of an advertisement that appears in the Calcutta Gadget in October 1814, on the eve of great Hindu festival and holiday, the Durga Puja — the principal days of entertainment are the 20th and 21st. On 22nd Nikki, the Burlington of the East, will warble her lovely ditties at the hospitable mansion of Raja Kishan Chandra Roy and his brothers… nor will the Hall of Neel Mani Malik resound less delightfully with affecting strains of Ushoorun, who for compassion of voice and variety of note, excels all the damsels of Hindustan.” There are tales of how some old families brought ruin to themselves, indulging in these pompous affairs, to put up with the social graces.

Chokshu Daan
Sindoor Khela

Epilogue — Tagore (translation-Humayun Kabir)

“One night I dream a strange dream:



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Ajay Goel

Ajay Goel


This is a place where I post essays and random musings.