The Book Tour

Follow the characters of The Autograph Seeker as they take you around the 'whispering landmarks' of Calcutta, now Kolkata in the theatre of your imagination.

St.John's Church  Where:2/2, Council House St, Lal Dighi, BBD Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal  B uild: 1787

St.John's Church

Where:2/2, Council House St, Lal Dighi, BBD Bagh, Kolkata, West Bengal Build: 1787

Pathure Girja-Stone Church

One evening he reached ‘Pathure Girja’ before her and finding the church empty sat down, closed his eyes as if praying. When he opened his eyes, he found Alice sharing the same pew but looking at him directly. He had been right all along as to the colour of her eyes. They were a dreamy blue. Unprepared for what had just happened, Lawrence began to cough uncontrollably, making Alice laugh a little. When Lawrance got hold of himself Alice spoke.

 ‘Is it just my imagination, sir, or have you been following me?’

St.John's church

Have you been staring at me while I had my eyes closed?

Now why would I do that? I signed getting up.

This place is known for stalkers.

Alright, I’ll mention it in my research, St.John’s Church, home for stalkers.

You can also mention that if you walk into the church compound, you will find the mausoleum of Job Charnock.

And that was the reason my friend had got me to the St.John’s church.

Tomb of Henry Louis Vivian Dezorio  Where: South Park Street Cemetery,Park Steet, Kolkata  Build: 1767

Tomb of Henry Louis Vivian Dezorio

Where: South Park Street Cemetery,Park Steet, Kolkata

Build: 1767

Derozio's tomb

Lips parched, skin bluish-grey and eyes glowing with fever, DeRozario imagined himself to be at Hindu College. DeRozario began whispering lines from The Poet’s Grave, one of his own compositions.

DeRozario breathed his last before he could finish the last line. With tears warming his cheeks, Addy completed it for him.

‘There never pilgrim at his shrine shall bend
But holy stars alone their nightly vigil keep.’

The coach stopped outside the Auckland Hotel and the sight of it made Addy’s heart race.

‘We are fine aren’t we, dear?’ asked Alice with concern in her tone.
Addy liked the sound of dear. It was the first time Alice addressed him that way, in a tone of ownership.

How could an Englishwoman of such beauty and charm find herself enchanted by someone like me, he asked himself. As if she read his mind Alice spoke to him with her chin on her palm.‘Addy, you have the blackest, curliest hair I have ever seen, and a most appealing smile.’
‘Alice, stop. Please.’
Alice gave him a wink and glanced idly around the restaurant. ‘This place was a pastry shop earlier.Mother would bring me along every Sunday after service. What is your impression of the Auckland Hotel, Addy?’
‘It’s like a dream. Me sitting with you in such a magnificent setting.... Pinch me, will you?’
Alice gave him a mock pinch as they both laughed guardedly. She seemed to have noticed someone because she stopped laughing midway.
— The Autograph Seeker , Chapter 10
The Auckland Hotel now Lalit Great Eastern Hotel  Where:Old Court House Street, Dalhousie Square  Build: 1840

The Auckland Hotel now Lalit Great Eastern Hotel

Where:Old Court House Street, Dalhousie Square

Build: 1840

St.Xavier's Collegiate School and College  Where : 30 Park Street ( Now Mother Teresa Sarani)  Founded: 1860

St.Xavier's Collegiate School and College

Where : 30 Park Street ( Now Mother Teresa Sarani)

Founded: 1860

Short Street ran right between St Xavier’s primary school and high school, dividing it.There was something about Short Street that made traffic behave itself. Yellow taxis ceased to honk and drove past quietly. Rickshaw walas held their bell and ran by with their patrons. Private vehicles muffled their curses till they were well past Camac Street. The two buildings on either side of the road commanded respect and awe.
It was recorded that in August 1925, Mahatma Gandhi had paid a visit to St Xavier’s, followed by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on New Year’s Day in 1959. Their common friend, poet Rabindranath Tagore, when all of fourteen, had joined the Preparatory Entrance Class of St Xavier’s school in 1875. Later, he wrote about the influence one particular priest, his teacher, had on his formative life. Scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose joined the school in 1869 and graduated from St Xavier’s College in 1880. He went on to demonstrate to the world that plants too, just like animals, are sensitive to heat, cold, light, noise and other external stimuli. In 1900, when India first entered the Olympic Games, the only athlete representing the country was a Xavierian called Norman Pritchard. The International Olympic Committee, even today, regards the Old Boy’s two silver Olympic medals as those won by India.
St Xavier’s Collegiate School – a place where history was written.
— The Autograph Seeker Chapter 1
Stephen Court  Where: Park Street, Kolkata  Built: 1924

Stephen Court

Where: Park Street, Kolkata

Built: 1924

Vinny began to walk backwards in the direction of the Stephen Court gate.
Don’t go, Vinny. Please.
I need to go home…I think my heart just broke, she signed then tapped her chest.
Standing on the pavement of the crowded Park Street after she had disappeared into the gates of Stephen Court, I felt very alone.
— The Autograph Seeker, Chapter 30