Calcutta was one of those cities that visitors developed either a love or hate relationship with. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was inundated by heat. Oh my God, it was only 11:00 a.m., and it was sticky, sultry, and almost unbearable. Traffic was creeping along the congested byway. Then suddenly, up ahead, there was some type of altercation involving a yellow cab. It was twelve cars ahead, so it was difficult to determine the exact problem. In the space of five minutes, there was a mob of one hundred people chanting and shouting. I yelled at my cab driver, “Let’s get out of here!”
He said he was hemmed in and couldn’t go anywhere. I screamed at him to do something, scale the sidewalks, shove the damn car behind us, I didn’t care what—it was urgent that he do a U-turn and leave. At last he grasped the seriousness of the event ahead and started maneuvering back and forth to get enough space to turn around.
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