My Sunday Guardian column for this fortnight:
Lately I've been looking at photographs a lot. Some of them are old, and many are new. The old ones are pictures from my grandparents' house in Calcutta, most of them in black and white. You know those large hard-bound albums made up of sheets of thick, dull-black chartpaper, into which the photos are pasted using those stiff gummed triangles referred to a long time ago as photo-corners? Well, anyway, the photos I've been looking at are the ones that somehow escaped being pasted into one of those albums. Or perhaps they're the ones that have, over the last few years, been picked out of many different such albums by my aunt (my grandmother died in 1998; the house is now my aunt's). In any case, they're a mixed-up bunch of pictures, spilling out of some four different envelopes that are beginning to tear at the edges, but more or less ensconced in the large brown folder my aunt has chosen for them.