When you are in an alien city a lot can go wrong but thanks to smartphones with GPS enabled maps it’s sometimes rather easy to track and locate offbeat tourist locations. During one of my trips to the capital I decided to visit the Delhi War Cemetery. It was important for me to visit the site for two reason one being that fact that it had to do something with World War which interests me a lot and on this subject I had written two blogs Japanese Air Raids on Kolkata during WWII and Balloon Squadron That Protected Calcutta Against Japanese. Secondly it was important for me to keep a promise. While researching about the Balloon Squadron during WWII I had come in contact with some friends from UK who helped me with lots of facts about this regiment and one of the member of this regiment who was killed during an air raid by the incoming Imperial Japanese Airforce was supposed to be buried here.
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After tracing Mirza Ghalib in my city of Calcutta (Kolkata) and then his last home in Old Delhi I now had the last task in hand that is to find the last resting place or the tomb of Ghalib. So one fine morning during one of my trips to the capital I force myself to wake up as early as possible and visit the grave. It was a beautiful Delhi morning and for a change, the smog in the air had somehow mysteriously settled and created an environment for the perfect ending to my journey.
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Ghalib was in my head, Ghalib was eating me from inside and I had to track Ghalib to his grave. After reading and researching about Mirza Ghalib and his adventures in my city of Calcutta (Kolkata) I had to meet the man in his hometown of Delhi. I found the perfect excuse to drop into the capital and thus began my search for Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan in the streets of Old Delhi. I found some books which talk about the poet and his house in Ballimaran which is of course in the Old Delhi locality.
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The Chinese have been trading with India for centuries and it was no surprise when one Chinese trader decided to set shop right near the city. With the establishment of a sugar processing plant, Tong Achew unknowingly sowed a seed for his community to call this country their home. Even though the sugar processing factory had a short life but that paved the opportunity for the Chinese to come to Calcutta in search of a better living.
Continue reading “Chinese Temples and Churches of Kolkata”
As the giraffes were busy chewing the leaves of the almost bare to the bark tree my daughter commented: “which one of the giraffes is named Ezra?” I was busy clicking photographs of the giraffes so did not hear her properly and my daughter repeated her question. Almost stunned I was speechless as to why would a giraffe be named Ezra then my daughter pointed out to the cemented embossed name on the giraffe section of the Alipore Zoological Gardens in Kolkata. Instantly I was taken aback almost thirty years when I heard my cousins always telling me that I belong to the Gubay House which actually was the monkey enclosure at the very same zoo.
What I failed to notice then and just realized it while I was drafting the blog is the contribution of the Jewish community to my city of Calcutta. Ezra, Gubay etc. were esteemed members of the Jewish community in the city who had actually donated large sums of money for various development works around the city and that included donating to the Zoo for animal welfare.
I had decided at the beginning of the year 2018 that this year I would like to concentrate on the various minority communities of the city and after the Chinese, my next blog would be about the Synagogues of Kolkata. Many of my blogger friends remind me that there were a few existing blogs on the same topic so what would be different about my blog. Well to put it straight for the first I would like to individually look at each of the three existing synagogues and also to write a little more about the two synagogues that do not exist anymore.
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