Moved

After working on it for the last few weeks, I finally have moved on from WordPress to my own blog powered by Jekyll. A little cumbersome wrangling git files and writing in Markdown but it finally gave me a place of my own, where I have absolute freedom on my site.

Henceforth, the blog will be live on www.sidelower.in Moved all posts from 2016 till date to the new site. Older posts from 2013 will remain here.

SB, January ’21

Two Cities

The following is a collection of photos of some of my experiences in Calcutta and Jamshedpur in the present year writing about whom has been held up owing to me getting involved in some other things. Some of the images brought back wistful memories of mine associated with these cities. Nothing special, completely ordinary, maybe mundane. But sometimes, someone’s monotonous experiences can be someone else’s aberrant.

Calcutta

Old yet grand and iconic. In all my travels to the city, I have taken the train and arrived at I have always taken the train to come to Howrah. As I come out of the grand station, the first thing I do is turn towards the left and take a look at the thing which has come to represent the city ever since it was built. Grand. Impeccable. Unlike any other. The Howrah Bridge. This structure has become the motif of Calcutta and although there is a new bridge just down the south, it pales in comparison to the magnificence of the old. My earliest memory of this city has been the Howrah Bridge like countless others. It exudes a timeless appeal. Again, just like the city to which it connects. Calcutta always gives me the old-world charm. It seems to have made a cocoon for itself and stayed there in limbo, refusing to let go of the past, a habit which has earned the chagrin of many. The past was powerful, alluring, grand before the baton was passed to the new city to the north of India. While Mumbai has a Navi Mumbai and Delhi, a New Delhi, Calcutta doesn’t seem to have anything. It is making the change within itself.

Continue reading Two Cities

The Intercity to Delhi

At 7 in the morning in late October, when Patiala was still sleeping, enveloped in the early morning fog, the few people outside could be seen with shawls trying to beat the mild chill of the Northern Plains, when the streets were still quiet and the harmonious surroundings were not yet invaded by the diesel autos, the few strays still too sleepy to register irritation at the person who trespassed into their territory, Patiala Railway Station was a sharp departure from the above.

The 7:33 Intercity to Delhi would arrive soon.

At first glance Patiala could be easily mistaken for just another small-town railway station – there is no outwardly visible clues to its history or its design. The station serving the capital of the PEPSU region is built perpendicular to the rail line. The platform 1 with its arched steel and tin covering, its pillar designed with circular support is vastly different from other stations of India. The Maharaja had grand plans.

Continue reading The Intercity to Delhi