The Other Side of Budge Budge : Celebrating World Music Day 2017

The Other Side of Budge Budge : a dystopian hell, is a segment in the interdisciplinary project organized by Culture Monks called ¨Checkpoint Hoogly¨. It is an ongoing project, which seeks to engage with this marginalized community through arts.

This section looks at the lives of the people living by the rail tracks on the Budge Budge -Sealdah local train route in Kolkata, India.

We decided to celebrate World Music Day, 2017 in this space and document the reactions and also peek into the architecture, objects and daily rituals of the community. The photographs are by Debraj Jana. The other members of this segment includes the members of the community participating the World Music Day celebrations, Pradip Chatterjee, Kiran Bhumber, Conner Singh Vanderbeek & Sudipta Dawn

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The other side of Budge Budge : A dystopian hell

The holy Hoogly though flowed, a 100 years later, a lot more dirtier with flotsam of faith and development. Jetty No : 6 of the Budge Budge Port is no more, but a rusted and forgotten piece of history, remembered perhaps more as a Canadian Sikh history but completely ignored by the Indian state. Perhaps deliberately ?

Hide as we may in this pre – colonial narrative, justifying and in a way perpetually projecting us as a victim of racism and abuse, we cannot but deny that in the post – colonial world, the state of India and ourselves included have perpetrated or been criminally negligent of human conditions of its own citizens and those seeking political refuge in India.

The segment ¨The Other Side of Budge – a dystopian hell¨, tangibly 2017, perhaps not even a strong enough description of the existential state of families living by the rail tracks which one gazes furtively, not knowing how to deal with this visual and psychological shock, as the Sealdah – Budge Budge local train scuttles down the age old tracks.

we descended like fireflies into

a diaphanous pit of nothingness

and when the flute meets the unknown

will you write an essay, i asked

Hegel refused

then how would he know

Why she would smile and then ask herself why

was she so special

will you write a line or two, spare a thought

for an offer

an all paid trip , stay for free

2 nights and 3 days

in her paradise

for more about the project please visit this link

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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