The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

BESU's green initiative

Kolkata Curry cheers to the news of Belur Math and Dakshineshwar Temple going solar (Published in Times of India today). Due credit goes to the newly set up green research centre at Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) for taking up the project. It's also heartening to know that Bengal's green energy champion SP Gon Chaudhuri who was the Managing Director of West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation (WBGEDC) some time back is now the advisor to the state on renewable energy and involved with the project.

These heritage institutions with large campuses, drawing thousands of people regularly, will be showing the way in saving a great deal of conventional energy that can be used to light up other places.

The next on line are two more heritage institutions - Indian Museum and Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah. Kudos to BESU for championing green energy, starting off with public places that matter in terms of scale, at this critical time of global climate change.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'Makha sandesh' from Bhatpara

Relished the famous 'Makha sandesh' (It is the sandesh in dough form - a distinct variant of the famous Bengali sweetmeat) from Bhatpara, located near Kankinara railway station on the Sealdah main line. It was gifted by our next-door neighbour hailing from that place. Packed in a saal leaf inside the paper box, it was utterly d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.

I didn't have high regards for sweets from Bhatpara, as my brush thus far was limited to a reddish syrupy sweet (typical of the place) that I had been offered on several occasions and found to be excessively sweet. But I loved the makha sandesh. Shall look forward to more of this delicacy.

A cool Bengali tongue-twister

Kolikatar Kalighater Kalichoron Kormokarer Konishtha Konya Komolkoli Kormokar Kopal Kunchito Koriya Kohilo,'Kalukaka Kalukaka,Kak Keno Ka-Ka Kore'?

Shared by Shreyas Surya Dasgupta, a friend, on his Facebook wall. Couldn't resist sharing this with you, the KC readers.

Do try it if you are game for tongue-twisters. Tongue-twister is a part of Bengali and Indian culture and finds its place in films (A good example would be the picnic sequence in Ray's Shakha Prashakha) to reality shows to good old Bengali adda.

Friday, March 18, 2011

MySpace debuts in t2

Ever since t2 has become 24 pages (from 1st January this year) I've wondered like some others I know if team t2 knew what to do with the additional space. I saw regular sections (like Tollywood, Bollywood et al.) expanded to 2 or more pages to utilise the space. Larger pictures, a signature characteristic of t2, are being seen in higher numbers and more often. Not much of new sections or sub-sections are visible.

So it was pleasant to look at MySpace which debuted as part of the Tollywood section today featuring a close look at Koneenica Banerjee's life at home in Kolkata (She has shifted to Mumbai for greener pastures three years back).

Findings about Koni (as she is referred to in industry circuits)? She is a cleanliness freak, and cleans up her place or put things in order everyday, she loves to Facebook, she can cook and rustle up a machher jhol, one of her favourites, in 5 minutes flat, does pranayam every morning (for the past three years) and...........has put back all the weight she had lost a few years back.

Read MySpace here. Would love to have your comments.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Run-up to elections 1: Two distinct candidates



Amit Mitra, Padmashree, Ex-Secretary General of FICCI, noted ecomoist.

Being fielded by Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the Khardaha constituency for 2011 assembly elections in West Bengal, against Asim Dasgupta, Finance Minister. Looks like a smart move.



Bratya Basu, noted playwright, actor (Play and television), play and film director.

Being fielded by Trinamool Congress in the Dum Dum constituency, against Gautam Deb, Housing Minister. His getting a ticket wasn't unexpected.

If they and their party win, will they become the Finance Minister and Information & Culture Minister respectively?

Monday, March 14, 2011

The mystery is over

Srijit Mukherjee unveiled his new film this month. Finished with the controversial script (Read my earlier post Storm over the mystery pages), he let out that this is a ‘Serial killer-cop drama’ where a group of special branch police officers are investigating a series of murders in the city.

Crime thriller is a less-explored genre in contemporary Bangla cinema. Hence Srijit is spot on in picking the subject of his second venture, curiously named 22shey Srabon, after his immensely successful debut with Autograph. Enriching the film that will show the dark side of Kolkata will be the ensemble cast. Prosenjit will be playing Prabir Guha Neogi (the protagonist), a senior police officer, with a mix of attitude, sense of humour and body language that will make him different from familiar cop characters in Bangla movies (Rahul Bose also played an intelligent senior police officer in Antaheen, but he wasn’t shown much in work). Working with him will be Abhijit Pakrashi, an intelligent, bright, young officer coming from small town Bengal, played by Parambrata Chattopadhyay, and Rajesh Sharma as another interesting cop. Raima Sen and Abir Chatterjee play two characters who happen to be childhood friends, working in a television channel. Raima Sen and Abir Chatterjee will be shown as childhood friends who work in a television channel. Raima plays Amrita- a spirited and tough journalist. Parambrata is her love interest (they will be seen in a relationship again after The Bong Connection in 2007). And Srijit has done no short of a casting coup in bringing back Goutam Ghose before the camera to portray an eccentric poet from the sixties. I still recall his tough nut investigative journalist act long back in Buddhadeb Dasgupta’s Grihajuddha (1982). He last acted in a cameo in a French film called The Wall (1983), so it’s a gap of 28 years before he’s going to face the camera again! Anupam 'Autograph' Roy will be scoring the film which will have five songs, including two romantic songs, and two intense ones “heavily influenced by classical music” as he put it.

A little peek into Prabir Guha Neogi - He lives in an old mansion in north Kolkata, and has a rich, old-fashioned taste. The pride that Srijit has showed in this character was once immortalized by Chhobi Biswas in many films, including Jalsaghar. He is clued into modern technology but prefers gramophone to CD player for listening to his favourite music. Termed ‘mad’ by his department and suspended, he is recalled to solve the murder case. He is arrogant and treats his juniors like slaves, but eventually bonds with them as a father figure as the story progresses. A very, very unconventional and intriguing protagonist, isn’t he?

Am keen to come back on 22shey Srabon, produced by Shree Venkatesh Films. Watch this blog.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Challenge Nibi Na....







Shooting stills of Challenge Nibi Na - the under-production reality show on Bangla television (Re: Earlier post Bangla avatars of national shows) jointly produced by Kaustuv Roy's RP Techvision and Nitesh Sharma's Bangla Talkies, targeted at an adult audience. The show will have celebrities 'fighting' it out in the real sense of the term for the top prize (Rs 10 lakh). As per media reports the fight often got dirty and abusive. The show will be aired on ETV in a few months.

The first photograph shows Silajit in a sack race. And the last shows the men behind-the-scenes including co-producer Nitesh Sharma (First from left) and line producer Saran Dutta (second from left, in specs).

'Memories in March'

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Loved the promo of debutant Sanjay Nag-directed Memories in March. It's an English film made in Kolkata with Deepti Naval, Rituparno Ghosh and Raima Sen in the cast, under the banner of Shree Venkatesh Films. It's about a mother's discovery of a slice of her son's life (he lives in a different city for work) after his death. The well-made promo gives a peek into this sensitive film that may touch a raw chord. Looking forward to the release on April 1.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Royal Bengal Rahasya

It's news now! Feluda's next - Royal Bengal Rahasya - one of the most thrilling adventures of Feluda - is being produced by Shree Venkatesh Films. Directed by Sandeep Ray of course, starring Sabyasachi Chakraborty as Feluda, Saheb Bhattacharya as Topshe and Bibhu Bhattacharya as Jatayu.

SVF will be the fourth banner producing a Feluda film directed by Sandeep Ray, after D Rama Naidu (Bombaiyer Bombete), T Sarkar Productions (Kailashe Kelenkari and Tintorettor Jishu, after taking over the latter from RD Banshal & Co. under-production) and V3G Films (Gorosthane Sabdhan).

Am sure the SVF stamp will be visible on Royal Bengal Rahasya, from production to the marketing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A new breakfast option

I lament at the fact that Kolkata does not have a good breakfast market. The options are handful for a breakfast. The main choices are toast (with butter or jelly), omelette and kachuri-alur tarkari.

Was surprised to find this tandoori roti stall that operates in the morning by the flyover at Sealdah (on the road at the right from Jagat cinema end to the station). There were many takers, including some students presumably on way back from their coaching class, relishing the healthy breakfast option. The curries they serve with the over-fresh rotis include tarka, matar paneer, mixed paneer (paneer with veggies) and 1-2 other paneer dishes, alur dum, chana masala and mixed vegetables. And the prices are at market rates of street vendors (Tandoori roti at Rs 2 apiece and half a plate of tarka at Rs 7).

The makeshift stall operates in the evening also, feeding lots of hungry, Sealdah rail station-bound officegoers, and I suppose they are open at lunch hours too. A day's business must be pretty good for the youngsters who man it, as they are strategically located on way to the station. Their success may inspire many others to open up roadside eateries serving tandoori roti right since the morning.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Real women...

.....have curves. And real men truly appreciate that.

And thank you t2 for always celebrating real women, like in todays cover story.

Friday, March 04, 2011

LCD screens at metro

Was happy to learn from a junior colleague that LCD TVs are being installed at metro stations in the city, replacing the old, bulky television sets. Never thought the process would be rolled out so fast. Noticed the other day one LCD TV at Dum Dum station, at the platform where a journey begins, and heard that the other sets there have also been replaced.

The old sets far outlived their lives, and at Dum Dum some of them adopted their own colour themes. So in one set the picture looked green and it looked purple in another. Such was the pathetic state they were in. Now, this new development indeed is far ahead of expectation.

It seems to be a reflection of the large funds sanctioned for Kolkata metro by the new Railways minister, after years of neglect by central government.