Ferdinand Mount

Oh, Calcutta!

Now a byword for poverty, the former capital of British India makes for a fascinating study, says <em>Ferdinand Mount</em>

The Chandan Hotel is not a bit like the Exotic Marigold Hotel. It occupies, not a rambling rundown mansion, but a piece of pavement, about six feet by six feet, on Free School Street in downtown Calcutta. Here under the hotel sign, from time to time men doss down on string beds, shrouded from head to toe in sheets to keep out the sound and light of the Indian afternoon.

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