Memoirs of Roads: Calcutta from Colonial Urbanization to Global Modernization

Sumanta Banerjee

Editore: OUP India
Anno: 2016
Rilegatura: Hardback
Pagine: 192 p.
Testo in English
Dimensioni: 222 x 148 mm
Peso: 382 gr.
  • EAN: 9780199468102
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In seventeenth-century India, the fates of three little hamlets were forever changed when East India Company officials chose them to be developed into a city suitable for their settlement. Thus was born Calcutta. In Memoirs of Roads, Banerjee journeys through time and narrates the story of three of the arterial roads of British India's first capital. And through their story, he presents an engrossing history of the development of this remarkable urban landscape, which became a melting pot of Indo-European lifestyle and architecture. He imagines the city as an extended joint family, where the matriarch, Bagbazar Street, watches over the future generations of lanes and by-lanes. Theatre Road is imagined as a midwife, helping to birth the hybrid cultural milieu that characterizes the city. Rashbehari Avenue's rise to prominence is likened to a middle-class Bengali housewife's tentative steps into the limelight of modern society. The author focuses on this family of roads as a site of protests, living spaces, and locations of 'high' and 'low' cultures. Using official archives and popular perceptions, Banerjee scrutinizes the imprints that technology, settlement patterns, transportation, and demography have left on this city.