Glaring poverty surrounds Calcutta (Kolkata), but its nickname-“City of Joy” can be seen in the friendly smiles, colorful street life, busy merchants, intellectuals gathering at coffee shops, and the SWEETNESS of Calcutta’s pastry shops. To maximize my three day trip, I hired a guide to transport me around this massive city of 15 million. Our first stop was the Missionaries of Charities: Mother Teresa’s home. The center was simple, understated, and peaceful. Her follower’s were dressed in the traditional blue and white “habit.” My eyes filled with tears when I saw the room where she slept and prayed. Beside her bed was a crown of thorns and a cross. I was informed that on her death bed she looked at these symbols , smiled and took her last breath. She knew where she was going.
The British influence on Calcutta’s architecture cannot be overlooked while touring the city. The London style taxis, Victoria Memorial and Marble Palace are all examples of the Raj or British colonial rule in India.
After an exhausting,(temps over 100) noisy day, I asked the guide, “What would India do without their car horns?” He replied, “Those are not horns; they are Indian music.” I should have known an Indian would find an artistic expression in this chaotic mass of honking vehicles.
Speaking of art, I visited Tagore’s house, Shakespeare of India- composer, artist and literary genius.
Goodbye Nirman school children. I am leaving for a four day trip to Delhi and then American bound.