Longtime Chronogram contributor Fionn Reilly's latest book, Kolkata Calcutta: Some Kind of Beauty (KMW Studio, 2017), documents the marvelous and timeless northeast Indian city as it hurtles into the future and the past simultaneously. In his foreword, Tony Fletcher (a fellow Englishman transplanted to the Hudson Valley) describes the metropolis Reilly photographed in 2013:
"Kolkata indeed teems with people (14 million and counting), more than any acceptable share of whom make their homes in public places. The sidewalks are clogged, thanks not just to the 'pavement dwellers,' but also to the beloved food vendors, who operate entire restaurant-quality kitchens from tiny patches of concrete. And the central streets are frequently jammed by a narrowing funnel of trams, cars, taxis, rickshaws, and buses, their horns creating a screeching, rush-hour cacophony. Factor in the high temperatures and pervasive humidity, add the onslaught of monsoon rains, and Kolkata is not for the faint of heart. Yet, for those who embrace its unbridled energy with commensurate enthusiasm, it is a city that delivers like no other. Venerated war photographer Don McCullin called it 'the most dramatic place I know on the surface of the planet.'"
The original print version of this article was titled:
"Parting Shot December 2017"