Take a ride with the driver of a tram following route 25 in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in West Bengal, India. This is a totally fascinating and absorbing journey through a typical Indian City away from the normal tourist spots and luxury hotels.
We ride on board a Burn Standard tram and trailer, hired for the day by Darjeeling Tours. Travelling through the teeming streets of Kolkata amidst traffic of all sorts coming at us from all angles from pedal carts, to Tuk Tuks, to yellow Ambassador taxis (based on the 1956 Morris Oxford) to lorries and buses of every shape size and colour, this turns out to be not just of interest for tram and train enthusiasts but for anyone who travels the world.
What we see is an Indian city in the raw, with traders, workers and pedestrians going about their every day activities right in front of our eyes completely unaware that they are being filmed. It was just an everyday tram that nobody took any notice of.
The footage will almost certainly be viewed in years to come as a snapshot of candid Indian city life, totally fascinating and totally absorbing.
Even in the production process, every time we viewed the footage, we saw something different. For this very reason, when our tram reaches its destination at Gariahat tram depot, we then see the return journey to the original starting point at the Esplanade terminus.
To see our tram threading its way through a one way street in the wrong direction is in itself remarkable how everything and everybody manages to get out of the way, but that's India for you.
Because this is Video 125, we've added a commentary by our much regarded Jonathan Kydd, our 'man in India' so to speak, having narrated our Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Driver's eye views. His commentary is purposely not wall to wall, nor intrusive, because the smooth high definition pictures filmed from state of the art cameras tell the whole story in pictures.
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