Into West Bengal, India

Drinking water, Bengali style

The North Bengal / India border in Burimari was one of the quietest places I’ve seen. The emigration officer was busy watering the trees outside the hut as I approached. Because all of the buses between Dinajpur and the border were not “gate locked” (see previous post). I hired a driver- thanks Mesbah-  for the 100 mile trip. Otherwise it would have involved over seven hours of very local buses. Besides it gave me the chance to call my wife. The landscape was pastoral with hardly any motorized transportation in sight. Only rickshaws and people drying grain on the pavement.

Approaching Darjeeling

From the border there was another two hours to Siliguri. The hub for transport to Darjeeling. There was a strike up in Ghorkaland so I had to spend the night in Siliguri regardless. The smells and color brought back memories from my last time in India many years ago. In the morning at the bus station a man aproached. He looked like a vendor but looks can be deceiving. It turns out he was an English literature professor at the local university and had recently finished his PHD on the relationship between the writing of Salman Rushdie and multiculturalism. We shared a cup of tea before I got back to photographing the spectacle before my eyes.


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