Photos – a walk through North Kolkata

I am finally at a secure wifi connection and can post these photos.  If you want to remind yourself of the write-up a few days back, click here

Narrow laneway

Narrow laneway

These are embedded into the side buildings about 2 feet from the ground .... to deter men from peeing on the side of the building - ughh!  It's hoped no man would want to pee on Ganesh.

These are embedded into the side buildings about 2 feet from the ground …. to deter men from peeing on the side of the building – ughh! It’s hoped no man would want to pee on Ganesh.

Daily wash at the communal water pump on the side of the street

Daily wash at the communal water pump on the side of the street

Famous sweets shop in Kolkata called Chitteranjan, they travel far & wide for the sweets.

Famous sweets shop in Kolkata called Chitteranjan, they travel far & wide for the sweets.

Baskets being lined up outside the sweets store.  They will be filled with sweets for a wedding later that day.

Baskets being lined up outside the sweets store. They will be filled with sweets for a wedding later that day.

I tasted their vanilla flavoured madhuparka which is a little tub of  curd-like sweetness.  It still does not beat Bhaktapur's King Curd!!

I tasted their vanilla flavoured madhuparka which is a little tub of curd-like sweetness. It still does not beat Bhaktapur’s King Curd!!

Shobabazar Rajbari - one of the fine buildings in the area built by Bengal's elite

Shobabazar Rajbari – one of the fine buildings in the area built by Bengal’s elite

Another example of fine architecture influences by the French (although crumbling now).

Another example of fine architecture influences by the French (although crumbling now).

They are starting to make the straw with clay sculptures to be used in this Fall's Durga Puja festival

They are starting to make the straw with clay sculptures to be used in this Fall’s Durga Puja festival

This artisan is putting the final touches to the face of one of the sculptures

This artisan is putting the final touches to the face of one of the sculptures

I loved this piece of art.  The artisan laughed when I told him so, he did not mean for it to be a piece of art, but then he began to look at it in a different view!

I loved this piece of art. The artisan laughed when I told him so, he did not mean for it to be a piece of art, but then he began to look at it in a different view!

How the stitching decorative pieces start out

How the stitching decorative pieces start out

And how they end up

And how they end up

Some of the colours to be used on the sculptures being readied.

Some of the colours to be used on the sculptures being readied.

A local snack shop

A local snack shop

Too hot & humid but to sit and shoot the breeze with friends

Too hot & humid but to sit and shoot the breeze with friends

Lovely old doorway, but you wouldn't want to be very tall - it was only about 5 ft in height!

Lovely old doorway, but you wouldn’t want to be very tall – it was only about 5 ft in height!

Loading up the special clay from underneath the brothels along the Ganga.  This clay is very fine and considered the best clay for making the sculptures.

Loading up the special clay from underneath the brothels along the Ganga. This clay is very fine and considered the best clay for making the sculptures.

Unloading, one basket at a time

Unloading, one basket at a time

Derelict warehouse by the train tracks close to the Ganga, filled with squatters.

Derelict warehouse by the train tracks close to the Ganga, filled with squatters.

 

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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