Visiting Bapi Das in Kolkata
Updated: Jan 7
If you only have a name and try to search for a person in a city of 14 Million people, how fast will you find that stranger? It took me less than 2 hours, which in itself is a story about India and its connectivity. I saw Bapi Das amazing artworks at the Kochi Biennale. A sensitive approach of how he perceived Kolkata as a ricksha driver, an autodidact with a powerful sense of space and outstanding observations - all stitched in great detail with the thinnest possible threads.
When I visited Kolkata in 2019, all I knew was the area he lived in, mentioned in a newspaper article. I started the search by chance in the right corner. Talking to people in Narkeldanga and walking the colourful roads of the so-called "slum", I finally found a boy who had heard of him and with the help of another ricksha driver I arrived at the home, where Bapi lives with his mother. It was amazing to make that connect! I salute Bapi's creativity and art and wish him well on these new roads to travel!