I went to Cairo for the second time a few weeks ago and hated the poverty, the traffic and the chaos. This morning I landed in Calcutta. It is, if anything, much more chaotic. But for some reason I love it.
There is possibly less pollution, at least the air seems more breathable, but I think there must be more to it than that. Instead of seeming irritating and dusty and nasty, the Calcutta chaos feels vibrant and colourful and exciting. I long to wander down the little lanes and explore, to talk to people and to see how they live. Instead of finding this chaos irritating I find it inspirational. Here are some pictures I took on the way from the airport. I particularly like the Calcutta Ferrari, look for the famous horse.
Maybe my enthusiasm for India is in part due to its people. They are noble, gentle and kind. On the plane I met a gentleman from Hyderabad who asked me what country I belonged to. He then helped me get a taxi and made sure I was all right. When I thanked him he said; “It is my duty to help a foreigner in my country”.
This afternoon I am interviewing the author Amit Chaudhuri and then I fly out at the crack of dawn back to my babies. I can’t wait to see them and to bring them to see the charming chaos of India soon
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2010