Photographer Md Arifuzzaman is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this article. To see Arif’s body of work, click on any image.
The History of Kolkata
When I think of Kolkata first thing strikes me that its history. Once upon a time Kolkata was the window of the world to the Indian subcontinent. First Armenian then Portages, Dutch and then British came to this city and entangled deliberately with this city for business, trade and political purpose. So, Kolkata boasts for its enriched cultural and historical heritage. Kolkata was established back in 1690 and preceded through the chronicles of British rule in India. In 1773, the city was declared to be the Capital of British India that continued till 1911 as the British administration and trade were mainly operated from Kolkata so that the British likely developed the city on their own taste and elegance which also became the hub of leading intellectual advancement excelling literature, art, culture, science and the budding ground of Indian freedom struggle.
My Personal Experience of Kolkata
Since, some say “city of the cities”, other say, “the city of joy”, I say “city of nostalgia”. I always feel so attached to this city as it was culturally developed long ago and played significant role as capital since the British period and made a deep impact on the politics of Indian subcontinent. When I first crossed the border from Jessore and entered into Kolkata, I felt why I need to show my passport as It is just 127km away from my home town Jessore! Certainly, partition left a lasting scar and pathetic memories in the mind of millions living in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. There are uncountable reasons that I fell in love with Kolkata and also an interesting story behind my love needs to tell. Before independence of Bangladesh my father would take the cycle and ride from Jessore to Benapol first and he took rest in his relative’s house for sometimes on the way to Kolkata and also halted to Bonga just for watching cinema. Finally he would reach Kolkata after a day-long journey and stay night over there. He used to share with me lot of his enchanting memories with this city. Since then, this city has been pulling me away and rolling me on thousand times.
Now days, Kolkata is felt like a fusion of old charm with new ambiance. The city is going through transition although the city has so much to offer. Kolkata has always been a favorite place for the book lovers and history lover; in addition, it also offers photographers a wide array of clicking-elements in everywhere. Streets of Kolkata are worth looking into deep inside.
The first time when I visited Kolkata was in 2000 while I was studying in Dhaka University and then I also saw tram first time reminded me its majestic history saying it was operated first by Paris and its southern region company in 1879! During this time, tram was run not by esteem or electricity rather was run by horse! This tram also brought the memory back of great poet Jibonando Das’s suicide beneath the tram line!
As the time progressed, ancient structures got dilapidated and demolished, though government imposed strong restrictions over demolishing this historical structures and put pressure on preserving this historical buildings. Despite these efforts, new construction replacing the old illegally hasn’t stopped. With every passing year, the sign of industrialization and its harsh reality appear stark in Kolkata’s city life. As a result, massive construction and building new town alongside the old one are underway.
All images and text © Md Arifuzzaman
By Md Arifuzzaman
Arif’s Previous Contribution To Edge Of Humanity Magazine
Edge of Humanity Magazine is an independent nondiscriminatory platform that has no religious, political, financial, or social affiliations.
We are committed to publishing the human condition, the raw diverse global entanglement, with total impartiality.
Documentary Photography * Fine Art Photography * Street Photography * Portrait Photography * Landscape Photography * Night Photography * Conceptual Photography * Travel Photography * Candid Photography Underwater Photography * Architectural Photography Urban Photography * Photography Book Recommendations * Art * Digital Art
Support This Small Independent Magazine