Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Portrait of a Fire: Janta Lodge

On March 8, 2013, a fire tore through Janta Lodge in Darjeeling sending the typically quiet town that sits just on India's side of the border with Nepal into a panic.

Crowds flocked from the nearby market, "Chowk Bazar", to watch the flames as they ravaged the old building-- completely destroying its interior and leaving it smoking late into the afternoon. To date, no casualties have been reported.

A mixed group of ragtag firefighters and pedestrians worked to fight the blaze but couldn't prevent the interior from burning out on every floor. 

The day after the fire, I explored the gutted interior of the once bustling guesthouse with a group of locals. The blackened walls, melted sockets and singed decorations left an eery atmosphere.

Nostalgia hung like a thick fog in the air-- disconnecting the past from the present in a messy break.

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