I have always been an explorer at heart. As a child I wondered as to what the world behind the distant hills visible from my home’s terrace would look like. When I learnt how to ride a bicycle, I would venture out into distant, unknown streets of the city just to see what they looked like. As I grew up, I would prefer driving out of the city without a destination in my mind, and would often wander into nondescript, little offshoots of the main highways in the hope of finding something spectacular. God has been kind to me, and while I have had my share of dead ends and dullness, I have also managed to see life and the elements in more spectacular states than I could have ever imagined.

Talking of life, it can’t be witnessed in a more forceful human form than in India. The vibrant, restless, colourful and often miserable, but never hopeless nation has a myriad of moods and countenances for an eager eye to explore and marvel at.

Of the incomparably rich diversity of cultures, traditions, festivals and languages spread across the length and breadth of the country, the city of Kolkata somehow manages to steal the crown of being the cultural capital of India.

So when I got an opportunity to travel to the much heard about and never visited city for a reasonable duration of time, I pounced upon it.  I was travelling to Kolkata like any other casual visitor would, for work, with some time at hand towards the evening to travel and explore. Typically, in such a scenario, you aren’t very keen on pulling out your smartphone from your pocket too often. Once the sun is down, smartphone cameras simply frown at being assigned an imaging task, especially when you wish to photograph the subjects on the rather dimly lit streets.

A mural on the walls of a nondescript street

This is one aspect where the Google Pixel had absolutely astonished us during its time with us, so I decided to walk the streets of this hitherto unexplored city with the Pixel XL in my pocket (well, more often in my hand), as the only imaging device I would use. And since I was on a mission to explore and photograph the city with only this device, I decided to call this entire activity as Kolkata Pixeled.

So here it is – the fruit of my four days of sifting through the streets of Kolkata. From the jostle and bustle of Shyaam bazaar, witnessing the city’s abject poverty, the glamour and euphoria of Park Street to the rather sombre mood of the Hooghly waterways towards late evening – the city amazed me with its range. I hope I have managed to do a decent job of capturing it in all its dark colours.

Enjoy the images, and do let me know if you like them, a little appreciation always helps.

For cellphones, please tap on the images during the slideshow to see the description of each image