Cities we live and travel across eventually become familiar spaces. There are corners we know, avenues we get acquainted with, lush greens we grow fond of and even dark nooks and crannies we learn. Beyond all that is known, there is always another world of possibilities which quietly exist within a space we think we know so well. Almost unidentified and unseen, as if left to be found most mysteriously.
Maidan in Calcutta/Kolkata is one such space. Situated quite at the heart of the city, the greens, the horses and the hullabaloo it compiles are unavoidable for those who live in the city, and the ones who come and leave. The point at which the soil of Maidan meets the sky seems known to our senses as if with some basic certainty. However, quite strangely, while I kept going back there over the last two years, especially in December and January, I found this space to be greatly unknown. I almost couldn’t identify it anymore. This mysterious curtain of fog, mist and dew transformed every bit of it. Every life, every other object. The regular beauty and the smell of the place became magically ethereal. The trees looked different, the grass looked different. The sky, the horses, children, women, men … they all looked different.
I made my lens trust the unknown, the unidentifiable, and that guided my eyes. In restless excitement, I looked everywhere and found moments that I never particularly saw before. The moments froze into a few images which form this visual directory of an unusual Maidan in Calcutta/Kolkata, still most greatly unknown.
Born in 1990, Bitan Basu is a Post Graduate in Film Studies from Jadavpur University, India. He is a self-taught photographer interested in documentary photography and Videography, revolving around themes of Urban Space, Environment and Humanity. He is currently based in Kolkata.