The whole time I was in Kolkata I kept trying to get a decent shot of its ubiquitous grey-hooded crows. Time and again they'd be sitting bold as brass on the corner of our building, across the way, or on a nearby tree, but then they'd fly away the moment I had my camera ready to take their picture.
Finally, on my last day there, I got the chance to snap this critter crowing while our car was pulled up at the lights.
Of all my pictures from Cal, this one conjures it to my mind most powerfully, captures the most of what the city is like: Most obviously, the crow, especially as it is in mid-caw. Then there is the fact that the far side of the street, maybe ten metres away, is obscured by a haze of dusty smog. Particles of the same coat the leaves of the trees (of which Kolkata has many), and everything else, with a brownish-grey dullness. Note also the poster in the background; West Bengal is packed with Communist propaganda and emblems, from each of its competing Communist parties. This example is - somewhat unusually - from the Communist Party of India, as opposed to the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or their main Communist competitors, the militant Communist Party of India (Marxist-Lenninist). The dirt-crusted, peeling paint of the railing, the crowded pavement and the busy beauty of it are also very characteristic.
I'm missing Kolkata, as I write this.
Added to the Cream of the Crop pool as my personal favourite.