26 November, 2020

“Of Reticent Bureaucratic Air”

The unsettling, the divine and the destitute.

Sandipan Chatterjee
“Of Reticent Bureaucratic Air”

Haldiram, Ballygunge: Glass-fronted, gigantic, squat, and, by evening, radiant, its naive, frenzied logo unsettles anyone caught in a traffic jam opposite Gurusaday Road.

Birla Temple, Ballygunge: Pilgrims of all classes and backgrounds travel miles to be frisked by guards and then climb the steps into the marbled four-star lobby in which the divinities sit with the arrested air of Hindu couples at their wedding reception.

Jadavpur University campus around the Arts Faculty Building: Why a university with such smart students and one of the best English departments in the country would inhabit a milieu of burgeoning municipal slovenliness is rarely discussed.

The Haldiram’s at...



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