Seven years ago I spent 2 months in Kolkata,  arriving for the first time at the wonderful Howrah station,  planning to take a taxi to my pre-booked hotel.  Stepping outside the bustle and noise of the station I immediately saw that taking a taxi would not be wise;  the traffic jam stretched out of the station and apparently right across the gleaming,  silver meccano bridge which is Howrah.  Pushing my wheely suitcase I threaded my way through the immobile taxi ranks,  avoiding the elongated puddles which harboured foul water as best as I could,  and joined the long line of people waiting to step onto the very same silver bridge as soon as the crowd allowed.

I had arrived at Kolkata,  the City of Joy.

My reason for being in Kolkata was a joyous reason.  My plan was to photograph the festival of Durga Puja,  a ten day event celebrated across the Hindu world,  but the most intense celebration of all is in Kolkata.  The legend speaks of the Gods and the Earth being inexorably defeated by a sura, demon, called Mahishishura,  a creature invulnerable to both Gods and men.

who is eventually vanquished by Durga,  created from the collective energy of all the Kings and Gods and an embodiment of Shakti,  the divine feminine power.