My first time to Kolkata, India I didn't really take many photographs as I wanted to absorb my surroundings properly without distractions. A journey I had planned in my head so many times but never made for various reasons. Then it all fell into place on my meeting, my now very dear and loved friend David Earp, who opened up his India to me.
If I shut my eyes and really think about my first journey from the airport into Kolkata, my head swims with so many images. Beautiful men stepping out of the darkness into the yellow hue of the street laps as they got ready for the night ahead of sleeping by the road side. The constant high shrill of car horns that doesn't let up for one moment as we drive into Sudder Street. Those memories will remain with me like a favourite film, which on cold grey days in Ole London Town I replay in my head.
My first trip was during elections and I loved the dramatic images that covered every expanse of wall. Oranges and reds glaring out with slogans and strange cartoon figures. It was then I found out that Kolkata is a Communist State.
It was here in Kolkata, Kalighat that I fell in love Kali. Visiting her Temple, I was lost. Black Kali in all her glory her shining huge gold tongue - she had my heart.
Driving through the streets at night, heat heavy in the air.
Adventures on a rickshaw. I went with one of the boys of Shuktara on a tour of their area that surrounds their home. We both had cameras and off we went. I didn't do many journeys by rickshaw but this one was the best fun thanks to my hero, Raju.
My sneaky photograph of Howrah Bridge. It is illegal to do so.
Santiniketan - I met so many amazing artists which left me totally speechless. Their work is mezmerising, powerful, political and filled full of humour. The artists themselves incredibly humble. I loved my few days there.
Kumartuli, where Gods littered the streets. Oh, I can't even explain what it felt like walking into the tiny winding gullies that made up Kumartuli. Hut after hut filled to the brim with hands, arms, legs - Gods reaching out to you pleading to be taken home. I was so lost here, Disney doesn't even come close. The amazing craft-manship, detail and skill that goes into each and every one is beyond belief. I wandered from place to place, ooo-ing and aahhhhh-ing for hours. Made from straw, covered in clay, baked, painted and in time returned to the Ganges.