Early in 2010, staying in Kolkata, I witnessed one of the many problems haunting the city recently. Almost every year major fires claim lives and livelihood of the inhabitants of run down buildings with little or no precautions for these disasters. Derelict wiring, overbuilt structures and overall neglect of maintenance in apartment buildings, warehouses and industrial premises are bound to cause and further trouble – most prominently in form of fires. But this is just one side of the problem. The other is the neglect of the equipment and training of the firefighters.

On February 14, 2010 one of the old british-built warehouses on Kolkata's riverfront caught fire which raged for more than 24 hours, destroying most of the stores inside. While in front of the complex the firefighters in a bright lit area were watching the building burn down, in the backyard the owers of small shops in the warehouse tried to save whatever possible from the blaze.

In the series I contrast the slow, almost lazy firefighters in the colour pictures with the black and whites of frantic shopkeepers, literally seeing their business go up in flames.