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Kolkata (Calcutta)

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Allow me to borrow a paragraph from our guide book.

For many, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) still conjures hideous images of interminable squalor – a skewed reputation largely built on antiquated stereotypes regurgitated by the Western media. For the first time traveler to India, Kolkata – with its mass of humanity, crumbling buildings and frenetic streets – may well come across as a desperate and even ugly place. But after spending time in India’s other major cities, you’ll see that modern-day Kolkata has been unfairly stigmatized. – Lonely Planet India

I am not sure how to describe Calcutta – sure it’s filthy and wretched and the sight of trash piled high will gag you. But as LP described above it’s a bit unfair to continually put that stigmatism on this wonderful city. At first we planned this stop as a gateway to the South. After a few hours we decided to stay three days to take in what some call the “cultural center of India”.

How do you not experience another culture without diving into the food? Calcutta is where we have found some of the

One of our favorite places to eat

One of our favorite places to eat

 best street food in India. The bonus of eating on the street rather than in a restaurant is that you can see them prepare the food and it has such a high turnover that it stays fresh. Still haven’t eaten meat in India, with the cow being sacred and all, you’re not going to be tempted by a nice juicy hamburger anyway. “It’s on the street where you’ll find India at its vital best and revolting worst”. Luckily for us it has been vital best.

My Vocation is Love. These are the words that sit at the top of Mother Teresa mirror in the room she worked, served and died in. Visiting the Missionaries of Charity which is also the place Mother Teresa is laid to rest was a somber but joyful experience. To read the stories of the people Mother Teresa impacted was humbling. 60 years she spent serving the poor in Calcutta and throughout the world; Saint of the Gutters is how they refer to her here. A lot can be learned by the way she lived her life and the three days we got to spend in her city was a highlight of the trip.

Calcutta has left an impression on our hearts. There are many places where you can read about the poverty, street kids and troubles that face this great city; which are a lot of the reasons why we will remember Calcutta.

My prayer is that we can let Love be our vocation.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dad
    February 21, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Matt and Amy, we miss you and miss talking to you. I know you all are having the time of your lives. We live through you in your adventures and love to see and hear all about it as you live the dream. We pray for you and hope you will pray for us. I love you and look forward to being with you.

    Love Dad

  2. Amy
    February 21, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Dad! Of course we are praying for you all! everyday! We are having a great time but really miss all of you. I hope we can talk on skype tonight-morning your time. Love-Amy

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