articles by Satwik Paul


In Bengal's Rasui village, 75-year-old Khudiram Hajra keeps the dying tradition of 'bhorai' kirtan alive

In Vaishnavism, the sun is believed to be a manifestation of Krishna, and in the Bengali month of Kartik, the kirtan verses sung at dawn by kirtaniyas is known as 'bhorai', which is derived from term 'bhor', meaning dawn.


Meet 21-year-old Kalpana Mondal — social media star who’s Kolkata's youngest female bus driver

A video of a young girl driving a bus in the bustling streets of Kolkata went viral almost overnight. Little did Kalpana Mondal — the city’s youngest female bus driver — know that she’d encounter fame at the bend of the road, quite literally, while going about her life and work every day.


Let there be light: Chandannagar’s masters of illumination have brightened up festivals for years

Over the months of October to January, the streets of West Bengal’s towns and cities light up for a number of festive occasions — beginning with Durga Puja and Diwali, to the Jagadhatri Puja, Christmas, and then New Year’s. The dazzling illuminations seen in Bengal, especially Kolkata, owe much to a 60-year tradition, harking back to the world renowned light artist Sridhar Das


En route to Annapurna Base Camp, every turn is more mesmerising than the last

The Annapurna Base Camp trek through Nepal shouldn’t be difficult for ones who’ve trekked before. However, if one isn’t confident of taking the journey all by themselves, doing so with friends might be a good idea, provided they are appropriately fit. Hindi is commonly spoken in the valley, and the locals are warm and friendly. And don’t forget, a smile can take you a long way, even through the mistiest of mountains.


In a Bengal village, a school set up by constable Arup Mukherjee is helping a Dalit tribe

Using limited resources and a small patch of land, police constable Arup Mukherjee has set up a school meant solely for the children of the Sabar tribe


Makers of God: Scenes from Kolkata's artisan colony Kumortuli, before Durga Puja

The bylanes of Kumortuli — Kolkata's famed artisans' colony, located in the north part of the city — may seem dark, narrow and tacky to the casual observer. Come September, however, thousands throng these very alleys, looking for god (and goddesses).


Section 377 verdict: Kolkata's LGBTQI community marches with pride to celebrate SC's landmark judgment

Sunday makes the slow-moving city of Kolkata a bit lazier, but post the Section 377 verdict, all stereotypes were broken and the city saw a vibrant march again


The art of the bahurupi: Bengal's folk cosplayers are vestiges of a fading past

The bahurupis are folk cosplayers of Bengal who portray several hundred characters, most of them mythological, but some with social relevance


For Kolkata's football aficionados, FIFA World Cup 2018 is a time for boisterous celebration

Form murals of Messi to sondesh that supports your preferred team and gully games, the FIFA World Cup is a time of celebration in football-crazy Kolkata


Kolkata's pollution woes mount with its air, water quality in rapid decline

Much has been said and written about Delhi's pollution woes, but Kolkata is reeling under an onslaught on its air, water and land. Satwik Paul conducts a pollution check across the city, in this photo essay


130 years of Kolkata's hand-pulled rickshaws: A brief history of the City of Joy's most recognisable symbols

Like the Victoria Memorial, tramcars and Howrah Bridge, the hand-pulled rickshaw is one of Kolkata’s most well recognised symbols


Inside the Olive Ridley turtles' annual mass hatching in Odisha's Ganjam district

During this time of the year, the mass nesting of millions of endangered sea turtles — the Olive Ridleys — takes place in the coastal region of Ganjam district


Howrah Bridge turns 75

The Howrah Bridge, which recently turned 75, changed the skyline of Kolkata and became an iconic symbol of the City of Joy | #FirstCulture