Apr 3, 2015

Calcutta ( Kolkata ) 1945: An American Military Photograph Album - Part 9

Calcutta Street Scene 1945After a couple of years in India, the bizarre aspects of street life become commonplace to the average soldier, as evidenced by the scant notice given the passing snake-walla by the GI at right bargaining for a shine from one of he city's hundreds of bootblacks. The New American Kitchen is a popular Chinese restaurant, owned by a Portuguese, and serves up a steak of chop suey before you can say "Teek hai".

New Market Calcutta 1945Probably the largest market in the East is the New Market. Convering several blocks in the downtown area,the 2,000 stalls offer most anything you could ask for, wartime shortages excepted. In addition to all the items appealing to the local and tourist trade, the market contains giant food departments.

GI tourist in Calcutta 1945The GI tourist here ponders the purchase of a 'rare gem'---a typical camera study of life on Chowringhee during the war. Firpo's famous restaurant is in the background, and dhoti-clad Indians and a British officer in shorts lend a bit of atmosphere.

Calcutta Store 1945A couple of GI's consider the pucrhasse of trinkets for the girl friend, harassed by the ever-presetn plea for "Baksheesh, Sahib", "You American Rajah", "No food, no money, no poppa".

Calcutta Store 1945Brassware and Gurkha knives are two of the most popular souvenir purchases made by soldiers. Bargaining is the rule and only the sucker pays the fist price asked. The New Market is alive with stalls like this.

Source: www.library.upenn.edu