Kolkata: Amit Chaudhuri, an author, has taken it upon himself to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the 'city of joy' Kolkata. The city of joy and teeming millions has been Amit Chaudhuri's muse for his three novels. His love for the city and its neighbourhoods has made him fight for a new heritage law to preserve its history.
"The fact that these are houses where people live in makes them so much more interesting to me than monuments." Chaudhuri says. Today he re-imagines the city like never before. 'Calcutta: Two Years in the City' is Chaudhuri's personal account of a city he now calls home.
"I am both an outsider and not an outsider and certainly not a tourist in the city, so I was talking to people and places, I would go anywhere and took on the role of being a journalist," Chaudhuri said.
The book is an account of how the city has transformed for its people. 80-year-old Ramayan Shah has lived on one street for over seven decades now. "This book is an attempt to find out what they do, people like Ramayan Shah people, like me, people like these children do in a city with a great past, with a history that they are only half conscious of," Chaudhuri says.
'Calcutta: Two Years in The City' also chronicles the change of political guard in Bengal and the turbulence that has followed in its wake. "Finally a momentous political change was at hand. This book is by no means only about political change, it's a city where nothing happens and also a city in which poriborton or change is supposed to be happening, it's also a city where history still happens," Chaudhuri says.
A city on the move and yet stagnating, its people half aware of its history as Kolkata once the great modern city- that's the city of Amit Chaudhuri.