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John H, 31 years…

 

Augustus Clevland, 30 years…

 

Maria Cockerell, 22 years…

 

Walter Dickens, 22 years…

 

Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, 22 years…

 

The list will go on and on. But what is most interesting is the numbers at the right-hand side. The further you go; the number decreases. _DSC6961Welcome to the largest colonial cemetery of Calcutta Presidency. Our History professor once told us to visit the burial ground of South Park Street. The young age of these dead persons are not the indicator of war.

Epidemic like Malaria, Cholera and the humid weather of Bengal are responsible for the low survival age of the of those British people. A note from Theon Wikilson in Two Monsoons echoes the same voice, “In Calcutta in one year, out of the total 1200, over a third died between August and end of December. It was a regular annual occurrence: the survivors used to hold thanksgiving banquets towards the end of October to celebrate the deliverance.” The militants, school teachers, young scholars, architects, vagabonds came to Calcutta in search of fortunes in Opium, Indigo and Lands. They are lying for centuries in a land thousands of miles away from their home.

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As we enter the ground, we were amazed by the architectural pattern of the tombs. I have a layman eye and saw the tombs of different shapes and sizes. Some tombs are large and circular, most of them are small and square. My friend told me about the Gothic, and Saracen style of architecture with obelisks, pyramids, cairns present. We have seen some notable persons lying _DSC7001there. The tomb of Henry Louis Vivian Derozio is surrounded by trees. The poet, the teacher and the founder of young Bengal is lying in peace between these trees, inside this unpretentious rectangular tomb. An unspoiled place for a 22-year-old poet.

I do not fear death. I had been death for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it” ~ Mark Twain

 

One certain thing you will not miss is the silence of this place. While roaming around, you will be lost in between the trees and the ruins. And then you might listen the sound of the silence. The taciturn tales told by these dead men.

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