A Visit to some large Town
Some years ago I paid a visit to Kolkata, which I had never seen before. After a long journey by the Calcutta mail, I arrived in the early morning at Howrah Junction. Howrah, which is really a part of Kolkata, is a large, busy, dirty town on the western side of the river Hughli, which divides it from Kolkata proper. After getting something to eat, I took a tikka-gharry and was driven across the long, crowded bridge over the Hugli into Kolkata itself. The river is very wide, and as I crossed it I saw all kinds of boats and great ships on the water below-some moored to the banks, and some sailing up and down the river.
When the bridge was crossed, I was driven along the docks, and through endless, busy, noisy streets, full of people and carts and carriages and motor cars, until we came to Chowringhee, a fine broad road, lined with large English shops on one side and the Maidan, a great open space of grass-land planted with avenues of trees, on the other. Here I found a hotel; and when I had taken in my luggage and seen my room, I set out to see something of the great city.
The finest part, I found, was the Maidan and Chowringhee; but I was impressed with Clive Street, where the offices of the great merchants and shipping companies are. Then I found a ramble along the docks very interesting, and I watched the river crowded with shipping, the great liners moored to the docks, and all the bustle of that busy part of the town.
Another day I had a trip down the river to the Botanical Gardens at Sibpur; and also visited the Zoological Gardens, looking in at the new Victoria Memorial, a magnificent building, on my way.
But I found the best way to see Calcutta was to make journeys in different directions on the electric trams. From them, one can see the squalor and the splendour, the poverty and the wealth, of this great city. One thus gets an impression of the size of the town, and of its ceaseless activity.