Tom Vater

Tom Vater

Irreverent, informed and downright eclectic crime fiction and reportage from Southeast Asia and beyond

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Posts tagged Kolkata

Little Europe – The proto-colonies of West Bengal in The Nikkei Asian Review

Last story of 2017, first story of 2018, with Laure Siegel. The show stays on the road and the road takes me wherever. Home is anywhere I lay my head. In this instance, north of Kolkata, the world’s most beautiful city, along the banks for the river Hooghly.  Really enjoyed researching this one and am […]

India’s City of Joy: 3 days in historic Kolkata at CNN

My latest travel feature with Laure Siegel on one of my favorite cities – Kolkata – for CNN Travel Mother Teresa did the same for this spendid city as Spielberg did for sharks. She ruined the West Bengal capital’s reputation for generations. But Teresa is dead, the city is on a bumpy rebound and its […]

Tritha – Trip Hop from India

Floating somewhere between the Hooghly River and Massive Attack, Tritha is a music ensemble from Kolkata. The band played a couple of shows at The Space in Bangkok last month  and performed an exalted mix of Indian ragas and folk-ways shuffled around sensuously, with a dash of trip hop thrown in.  Shades of Bjork and […]

A Baul’s Railway Song – India’s Hobo Musicians

The plains of West Bengal stretch into a milky horizon. In May, much of the rice has just planted and the midday sun’s glare is reflected in the shallow paddies. Here and there, small clusters of mud and straw huts form tiny hamlets in an ocean of green. The Kanrup Express takes more than 30 […]

Welcome to Sonagachi – Calcutta’s largest brothel area is thriving

“I have been in Sonagachi for 25 years. I rent this room for 114 Rupees a month. This is my home.” Champa Das has invited me into her home. Champa Das has been a sex worker all her adult life. Sonagachi is one of Calcutta’s largest red light districts – narrow alleys, lined with small ‘apartments’ […]

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