Sunday, Dec 04, 2022
Outlook.com
Ghost Towns

Keep An Ear Out For Whispers

Desolate townships lie all but abandoned in Bengal—the dregs of an industrial dream

Keep An Ear Out For Whispers
Grey Area | Photograp by Sandipan Chatterjee
Unfinished buildings in Rajarhat, near the Calcutta airport
Keep An Ear Out For Whispers
outlookindia.com
2016-11-23T11:20:30+05:30

“Sometimes, when I go for an evening walk, I feel a chill creeping up my spine and I quickly rush back homewards,” says Prashant Dhokalia, a resident of New Town, the urban district springing up in the fringes of Calcutta in the last decade and a half. The IT professional, who had rented an apartment in a high-rise tower in the vic­inity, had moved to the township along with his wife five months earlier when he landed a job at a software firm in nearby Sector 5, Bengal’s IT hub.

What struck him was the utter urban deso­lation—for miles, row upon row of uninhabited buildings. Fully-constructed complexes stare at one vac­­antly through darkened hollows of spaces left for doors and windows. Steel meshes from unfinished constructions serve up an unnerving grin. “Our landlord had said most of the empty flats would fill up, but I have come to learn that it has been years since these were built. But no one lives here. We are the only residents occupying a building with 90 flats.” Dholakia admits that the nights are especially ‘creepy’; the couple is considering moving out at the first opportunity.

Outlook Newsletters

Read More from Outlook

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

Lament Of Separation: Songs Of Habba Khatun, Last Queen Of Kashmir, Still Echo In Valley

In happy times and sad, Habba Khatun’s sensuous songs make both young and old emotional. With the never-ending conflict bringing tragedies to every doorstep, Habba’s lyrics of separation amplify their mourning.

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

How Indian Laws Govern People’s Right To Love And Live

In India, only those relationships between a man and a woman are considered to be legitimate when there is a marriage between the two.

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Kohli Quits Test Captaincy, Leaves Leadership Vacuum

Virat Kohli, 33, had recently stepped down as India's T20I captain and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain.

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

UP Elections 2022: How Congress Is Harnessing Power Of 'Persecuted' Women To Counter BJP

A Mahila Congress leader, who is the face of the ‘Ladki Hoon, Lad Sakti Hoon’ campaign, however, has accused the party of anti-women bias after she was denied a ticket.