With the latest release of Felu da’s গোরস্থানে সাবধান (Beware in the graveyard !), the South Park Cemetery has shot into prominence. The opening shot, climax and the anticlimax of this movie, have all been shot at this picturesque location. This is one of the forgotten landmarks of the city and Park Street. Located as the name suggests on South side of Park Street, away from the razzmatazz and urban squalor of the North and Central Park Street, this is located across the street from the Assembly of God Church School. A resting place for the Sahibs.
I visited this place at about 4:15 pm on a Sunday afternoon. The sun had set for all practical purposes, what remained was residual sunlight, a perfect time to visit a green and gray graveyard where lies Henry Vivian Derozio, who famously preached : He who will not reason is a bigot, he who cannot reason is a fool, and he who does not reason is a slave.
The most striking thing about this place was it’s serenity and that it was free of human litter. It could partly be due to it not being a picnicker’s delight or it’s relative obscurity. This is maintained by the Calcutta Christian Burial Board. I also briefly spoke to the maintenance in-charge Kenneth Rodriguez. Ken has been at this job for the last 3 years and is an amicable old young man. His few-toothed smile welcomes you to the office at the cemetery.
This place opens at 8 am and closes at 4:45 pm sharp ! I had only about 30 mins or just under it to walk this wide expanse of green graveyard. I would not exaggerate it even one bit, if I were to say that I was transported to medieval Europe for the half hour I spent walking around. Silence spoke here. I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
If you happen to live in the city, or visitng Calcutta, do visit this place. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. While I sit here and wonder, what would be the best way to visit the other side around midnight one of these days !