Lost Calcutta

Lost Calcutta

The first visit I made to Calcutta that I can remember was over Christmas in 1981. I was seven. It had been exactly twenty-five years since my grandfather Sudhir had taken a job at the United Nations, moving my grandmother and their three children from India to New York. They had left India expecting to return, but now all five were non-resident Indians with American lives who emerged every few years onto the sweating tarmac of Calcutta’s Dum Dum Airport bearing duty-free chocolate and perfume.

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