Calcutta, metropolis of the state of Bengal, has about 20 million inhabitants. Most of them live in the three thousand slums of its 185 square kilometers. Under a perpetual gray sky, which frames a chronic poverty, the human being no longer exists. Everything collides in a mad swarm of men, women, children, animals, in the deafening din of voices, shouts, insistent horns. . Many come from remote villages with the mirage of the big city in their eyes. They flee from monsoons, from famines, from hunger. Attracted by the utopia of a job, in this exile many of them do not survive, very few find “luck”. In Calcutta everything is a problem: the climate, pollution, overpopulation. Yet it is here, in this city as tragic as it is pure, that the spectacle of humanity takes place. Of an uncorrupted humanity, whose most extraordinary protagonists are children.
They run, play and smile gently. Their spontaneity flows into a grandiose vitality that makes them clear and “clean”.
Here poverty manages to become a force that binds men in the bond of apparently inexplicable mutual solidarity and trust.
Selfishness is not compensated and misery is shared, with pride. In Calcutta, the concerns poured out on the daily to survive leave no time for western ideas of progress and future, development and expectations. In Calcutta what matters is Calcutta, and nothing else that goes beyond its perpetuation and conservation over time.