Apr 1, 2015

Calcutta ( Kolkata ) 1945: An American Military Photograph Album - Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

This collection consisting of 60 photographs of Calcutta ( Kolkata ) taken most likely between 1945-1946. The photographer, Mr. Clyde Waddell, also provided the interesting notes accompanying each photograph.

Calcutta Tram 1945Indians are the bravest commuters in the world. They hang from every handhold. The two shown here, however, are bent on clinching a seat before the car fills. Ancient double-decker buses sway and chug under the strain of double overloads and trams make packed neew York subways seem comofortable by comparison.

sikh taxi-driverOf Calcutta's assortment of colorful and intriguing characters, the sikh taxi-driver and his co-pilot rank high. The co-pilot was added in 1944 following an affray in which a soldier knifed a driver. The two GI's shown here are doing their best to convey their destination to the driver of the ancient jalopy.

Crowd gathers round a sidewalk performerCrowd gathers round a sidewalk performer at bus stop while GI's take temporary advantage of an overhead view from steps of a camp bus. This is a good spost for hawkers, beggars, shoe shine boys, showmen to work on the bankroll of the 'rich American soldier'.

A group of GI's A group of GI's take a close look at the snake-wallah's hooded cobra. Both the snake and his master are good specimens. The fangs, of course, have been removed so the reptile can strike at will, scaring no one.

snake charmerThis weird-looking snake charmer is doing his best to coax a balcony audience to toss down enough baksheesh to get his cobra nad mongoose in the mood to stage a fight to the finish. Actually the combatants always seem a bit bored with the act and after a few fierce snorts and lunges, decide it is better to live.