Tag Archives: India

Exploring the architecture of old Calcutta

Calcutta houses Kolkata architectureChancing upon the Calcutta Houses account on Instagram (pictured above and below) could all too easily be the start of a descent down a long rabbit hole.

Calcutta Houses‘ posts of old houses of Kolkata perfectly capture some of the faded glamour and rundown charm of the city.

And it’s an quick hop, skip and a click to #calcuttahouses for more, going from there to the dormant old Calcutta (Kolkata) blog and then thoughts of a Kolkata walking tour. Continue reading

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Facebook resources for learning Bengali

Facebook Bengali Bangla learning resources

Posting here, and elsewhere, over the last year and a half has been sporadic to say the least, but thankfully there are others making progress.

I would certainly include in this the Let’s Learn Bengali group on Facebook, who recently started using the social network to compile on- and off-line resources for those studying Bangla.

So head over to the Let’s Learn Bengali Guide to Resources (it’s sure to be more up-to-date than this).

HT: My Bangla Diary

The beginning of the end of the road for the Ambassador

Ambassador taxis in Kolkata, India

Early morning wash and check for Ambassador taxis near Kolkata’s New Market (December 2012)

It’s difficult to know how long the decision by Hindustan Motors to close indefinitely the factory where Ambassadors were made will take to bite.

Certainly the iconic cars will hardly disappear overnight from the streets of Kolkata, where they make up most of the city’s taxi cabs, but the decision does mark the beginning of their end. Continue reading

Gruesome music comedy

In the evening we went to the cinema. The film was a gruesome music comedy set amongst almond blossom in Kashmir.

I’m enjoying reading Eric Newby’s Slowly Down The Ganges, an account of the 1,200 mile journey he and his wife made in the early 1960s, but the line quoted above did make me wonder how many Bollywood films would qualify as gruesome music comedies.

Back from India

We’re back from India and the two weeks there flew by.

I left wishing I could have stayed longer (though with an unaccountable urge for a full English breakfast) and, now back to a cold, dark and wet UK, I’m definitely missing the 30 degree ‘winter’ of Mumbai.

Suddenly I understand why people jet off for some winter sun, not that we’re likely to repeat this trip for another five or six years.

There’s plenty to write here about the trip but there will have to wait until Son2’s jet lag passes (a three year old who keeps waking up at the wrong end of 5am is liable to be a *little* grouchy) and Mrs T (far less inclined to grouch but exhausted after suffering from a fever while we were away) recovers.

The joy of Indian visas

I’m halfway there with our visas for India and now just have to wait for the kids’ ones to arrive, having waited today at the Victoria office.

The queuing in the visa office, with its difficult to follow three-track system, may be designed to keep your nerves on edge as you strain your ears to work out if they called your number, but at least the system works in the end.

I still can’t quite believe that my kids’ visas require: their passports, photocopies of ours, declaration letter, letter from us to say we authorise their visas plus the actual visa form itself.

Nonetheless, visas can now leave my list of things to sort out double-quick, with their place taken by which relatives to visit, cars (from airports and then for aforementioned visiting) and the usual packing and holiday stuff (including Bengali cramming).

But there’s a whole week and a half left to do all that.

Indian railways on the BBC

Indain train on bridgeOnce again India’s railways have caught the attention of the BBC commissioning editors.

In recent years BBC Four has shown Monsoon Railway (2005), Bombay Railway (2007) and Indian Hill Railways (2010). Continue reading