Kolkata, India

The City of Saint and Goddess.


A group of sisters kneel and bow their heads in prayers in a room on the 1st floor opposite our hotel, which is aptly named Hotel Heaven.  Hotel Heaven is nothing like its name is located just next-door to Mother House at A.J.C Bose Road, Kolkata. Like any shutter happy photographers some of us immediately aim our zoom lens through the open window without realizing this maybe rude and intrusive to the sisters in their private moment. I only realize this the following morning when we went into the Mother House of Teresa and saw a sign saying ‘”Photography is not permitted inside the Mother House of Teresa” and we were only allow to take photos of Mother Teresa’s tomb. All other areas inside of Mother House are private and entry is strictly prohibited. Mother House as it’s now known is where Mother Teresa lived and worked from the 1950s until her death in 5 September 1997. In Oct 19, 2003 Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II and this many would believe is the latest step to attain sainthood. To many people of Kolkata, especially to the poor and the sick, the Mother House of Teresa is indeed a place of sanctuary. During our short stay we had in Kolkata most of us visited the Mother House and took pictures of the nearby streets as well.

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The River of Life and DeathIndiaD800E-13_DSC5954In the late afternoon against the backdrop of the setting sun both locals and tourists were drawn toward the Ghats of Varanasi as if summoned by certain unseen force. Walking in brisk movements they filled the few roads leading into the main area where the ghats faced the Ganges River. All heavy transports were not allow into the streets nearby, while trishaws carrying tourists manage to squeeze into the back lanes and small alleys bringing tourists closer to the ghats. But we will still have to walk the last stretch of the road that’s packed with people and hawkers peddlering at the roadside.

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