Makeshift houses share space with permanent apartments in the background near Dhakuria Railway Station.
A Festival of Lights Brings Beauty to India's Urban Slums
During Diwali, life alongside the railway tracks takes on an air of magic.
Riding inside one of the densely packed train cars along Kolkata's Suburban Railway Network, you can reach your hand out of the open doorways and literally touch the tenements built alongside, says Indian photographer Arko Datto. "Passing by, one can gaze at the plethora of life on view: people going on with their daily affairs in a space where the lines between public and private are blurred to extremes."
In a city where about one third of the residents are slum dwellers, life in these semipermanent dwellings is crowded and uncertain, and, while the structures are perhaps a source of voyeuristic fascination, they are generally not considered a thing of beauty.
Datto had long been fascinated by these structures as a manifestation