Calcutta Conversations

Calcutta Conversations

Product ID: 12965

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Author: Eminent Contributors
Editor(s): Lina Fruzzetti and Akos Ostor
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 242
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8180280098


Calcutta has been declining for the past 100 years!-so the received wisdom goes. The proud, erstwhile capital of British India is choking on garbage, pollution, overcrowding and abysmal poverty. Yet it is still a vital center of commerce, finance, literature, music, art and above all politics.

Lina Fruzzetti and Akos Ostor have been coming to the city since the mid-1960’s and their experience has belied all stereotypes. Intrigued by the negative images, often shared by Calcuttans themselves, they decided to explore views and perceptions indigenous to the city by holding a series of extended conversations with people whose lives were deeply enmeshed in the fate of the city. In the time-honored Bengali tradition of adda (informal conversations) they discussed many of the apparent contradictions with several friends, eminent Calcuttans, all involved with public life in the city.

The result is Calcutta Conversations, a book containing voices and images which are at once internal and external, illuminating one of the most vibrant and exasperating cities in the world.

In the cool of the evenings, on weekends, and holidays, or any other time during the day or night that seems convenient, small groups of people, mostly men, gather in coffee houses, tea shops and other places to talk about the events and issues of the day concerning the neighborhood, the city, or the world. They engage in a time-honored tradition, a most engaging feature of Calcutta life: the pursuit of good conversation, adda, in one Bengali word.


An Invitation to Adda in Calcutta
Glimpses of Calcutta’s Past
Radha Prasad Gupta
M J Akbar
Satindranath Chakrabarty
Satyesh Chakraborty
Sunil Munshi
Gour Kishore Ghosh
Samar Bose
Sunil Ganguly
Calcutta, 1986-88: A Photo Essay by the Editors
Samaresh Bose
Surajeet Ghosh
Badal Sarkar
Utpal Dutt
Jochhan Dastidar
Samik Banerjee
Pratap Chandra Chunder
Sisir Bose
Amal K Dutta
Sakya Sen
Parimal Ray
Aniruddha Ray
Epilogue: A Conversation with Tarun Mitra
Biographical Notes