Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Over

Hey Christmas is over and the entire week went off well, the yuletide spirit was high and shopping was most satisfying. Ok so what if the cold played truant and with it my good health. I have been running a temperature of 102 degrees for the past 5 days now and have a terrible cough and cold. My throat has been most severely affected. for the past two day's I've lost my voice. Kolkata's pollution and strange weather isn't helping my case either.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Bandh Called Off

"Didi" as she is populary known as had called a state-wide bandh yet again and this time for 48 hrs on the 21st-22nd of Dec. She had to immediately call of the bandh as she realised public opinion was against her. the people of Bengal, I think have had enough of these bandhs.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More Decorations for Christmas

I started with the tree a couple of days ago and finished decorating both of em in a couple of hours then. the lights and all are the latest addition from last night.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Tree Decorated

I decided to decorate the christmas tree a couple of nights ago and when my aunt took out "THE TREE" I went into shock. that was not a Christmas Tree, it was a Bonsai standing at just about a foot and a half. Man, it was Christmas and it had been a good 12, maybe 13 years since I last decorated a tree. this wasn't going to do. So I headed out at 9 pm in the hopes of finding a shop open from where I could buy a Christmas Tree and decorations.

New Market had just closed, but as we turned onto Free School Street, all the shops were buzzing with activity. Trees, lights, decorations; all the works. I went staright about the business of buying a tree and decorations and before long I was back home setting it up. The next couple of hours went by in a flash and voila it was 2 am and I had a decorated christmas tree. Some fine tuning will happen the next couple of days. Christams carols in the background really brought in the essence of the yuletide spirit. I can just imagine snow outside. Yeah yeah, I know we're in the Tropics and there'll be no reindeer and sleds, but Ho Ho Ho...Santa is gonna come to town.

Some Brief News Between Bandhs

The other day, Arindam and I set out looking for some retro kind of stuff and charted the streets of central Kolkata in our endeavour. We started out from Dalhousie and walked till Chandni. We nearly scanned the entire Chandni market. From there we walked till Wellington Square. With no success there either, we headed to Metro gali. On the way we made a pit stop at the new Musicworld store opened on S.N. Banerjee Road.

Metro gali was frutiless and we decided to scope out Lindsay Street in front of the New Market. Except for passing the Bata Store and reminiscing the times I would buy all my school shoes from here, we didn't find what we were looking for and headed down Free School Street. A bit of success there, but since we had come this far, we walked upto Park Street to check out the various Auction Houses there. Victor Bros on Park Street has some great old stuff, but prices are prohibitive.

After all that, we dropped by at Flury's and picked up a cake for Amrit for his Anniversary.

Below is a picture of the Lane in front of our office on 14th December. It was a Day of Bandh, but I decided to come to office, braving all the cricket balls and footballs flying around the streets like missiles. Since it was a Bandh called by the CITU and there was no public transport available, it was a success. The streets were only inhabited by hoardes of cricketers and Police.

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Year Party at The Park

So this is what is going to be happening at The Park Hotel this New Year's Eve. Yeah, so what if Nelly Furtado is going to be performing in Concert In Mumbai as part of the Nokia Global New Year Party. Will there be girls in bikini's driving people crazy?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thursday Night, Park Street is Packed

Last evening I caught up with Kaushik and a couple of his friends from Kolkata. We met up at his favourite place, Trincas. We started the first drink about 5:30pm and while we caught up on various happenings of our respective lives and business, the Hindi/Bengali band members started arriving and setting up their gig. In half an hour the place was buzzing with popluar tracks from hindi cinema and some great Bengali stuff too.


After some great chicken tikka’s, we decided to try out some flavoured ‘hookah’, since that seemed to be the latest fad in this joint and there was one on every table. By that time the english band was here and started off the evening with their rendition of “The Wall”. We hung out there for another hour or so and left at about 10 pm.For dinner, we tried Kwality restaurant, but it was packed. So we fortunately went to Bar B-Que and I’m glad we did. I vote for it as the best chinese restuarnt I’ve dined at. What an ambience, what hospitality and service and it all comes at an attractive price.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wednesday Night @ ROXY

I guess my hang out in Kolkata is going to oscillate between Some Place Else and ROXY. Last night it was the latter. A friend and I went to ROXY. He was quite wasted even before getting there, but I quite enjoyed the evening. The usual model-types were there and since the owner of The Park Hotel, Mr. Karan Paul was there, they buzzed around him mostly, like bees around honey.

I must add that the young lady who manges the place, Nilekha, I think her name was, is superb at her job. She had the right amount of hospitality to loosen the burse of some wealthy customers. A drink here and little chat there and they just started spending. Well thanks to her, my friend who was completely enamoured by her charm, finally ended up going home drunk.

Coz when we started out, we were drinking Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer pints. My friend, got the young lady chatting and before I knew it he was odering Laphroaig Single Malt for himself. Also insisting to buy her a drink or several, if she was upto it. Yeah Baileys, why not she replied? Wow!

As for me, I stuck to my couple of beers and enjoyed the entire show. Kind of reminded me of me, maybe about 5 years ago. I thought I was invincible and thought chics dig the brash kind of yuppy guy. Well I realised I crashed and burned on most occasions.

Anyway we guys had fun and that's the bottom line after a hard days work.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

INFOCOM 2006

Yeah this is the biggest IT event of the country. Brought to you by Businesswold and NASSCOM and The Telegragh. Here's where it's happening
Location of INFOCOM 2006
Conference:
Venue: ITC Sonar Bangla, Calcutta
Dates: December 6-9, 2006
Exhibition:
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium grounds
Date: December 6-10, 2006
for more details visit INFOCOM 2006 (website link)

Guess who's in town to innaugurate the event. Ok not the svelte Deepika Padukone (of Kingfisher Calendar fame), who was here to rub shoulders with some 100 CEO's at GCGC (Royal Calcutta Golf Club) at an event for the INFOCOM launch yesterday.

DR. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDIA.
Yessir! The man himself. He flew into town last night and in the dead of the night I was witness to the longest motorcade I've seen in my life and yet the quiestest one. I managed to capture the cars whizzing past the house close to midnight in the quietest time I've had in Kolkata. The road was sanitised of cars, peaople and most important noise. Wow just to see that motorcade was a sight in itself.

When I say sanitised, this is what I mean.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm Proud Of Kolkata

Yippie!!! Kolkatans, completely fed up with the Bandh, came out onto the streets today and went on with life as usual. For the few "Bheetu" people, thank you for being such losers. The streets were rid of you slow coaches and traffic moved effortlessly. I'm even more proud of the shop keepers, who are usually mostly affected and bear the brunt of the political madness of uneducated cadres (read "goons") of the political parties. They came out and opened their shops and it was business as usual.

Yes yesterday I was condemning the bandh. That doesn't mean that I'm not open to the sentiments of the people of Singur. The Government of West Bengal has taken a stand and made a commitment to it's people of industrialising the state and also to Corporate India of sticking by their commitment. If there is dissent, politicians should debate it at the assembly, not vandalise the place, or then damage the beautiful Maidan with millions of party workers on joyrides into the city, disrupting life here.

Anyway I don't want to get all political and all. All I want is that Bengal has the intellectual capital to spearhead a revolution of sorts, economically speaking.

So, thank you Kolkata for showing solidarity towards having a healthy working culture.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Call for Protest of the Bandh

All of you who oppose the Bandh, please leave a comment here. Also if you'll have any words of wisdom to our stupid politicians ruining this state, please leave a comment here. Thank you. Will have more pics of the Bandh Tomorrow.

NO MORE BANDHS IN KOLKATA... Are you with me. Join the Fight.

Fire & Ice - Great Pizzas

We had lunch at Fire & Ice, a great Italian joint, bordering on being a cafe. It is just opposite the Tata Centre, tucked away in on one of the roads, just off Chowringee, joining to Russel Street. Run by an Italian lady and her son. The Pizza's are fabulous. I think real value for money place. One pizza is more than enough for 2 people.

Now The CITU guys are at it

After Friday's performance by the Trinamul, the local cadre of the CITU weren't far behind to come out in strength. I just captured a few of the buses ferrying party workers for the rally which had been called at the maidan. there were hundreds of buses with the red flags going past the house all morning. And result. tuesday is a "Bandh" again. Are these guys realising what a national waste this sort of behaviour is. This is sure damaging to the image of Bengal that our progressive Chief Minister has built up. In his tenure he has managed to bring in so much investment into the state. It'll be a sheer waste to see all his efforts go in vain.

Later That Day

So after he spent hours in the serpentine lines to get into the Bidhaan Sabha, and engage in some clandestine photography with his Sony Ericsson w700i, of the mayhem and destruction caused by the Vandal Trinamul party workers, here's my newest recruit, Arindom catching some R&R, yet capturing some fine pics of the Howrah Bridge from the Millennium Park on Friday, while most of the state was in virtual lock down.

The Damage at Bidhaan Sabha



Before I goto Sunday's event's here are pictures from the aftermath of vandalism by Trinamul Congress Members at the Bidhaan Sabha. I can't believe that these people are elected representatives of the state. So much for Bengal being an educated and literary state. This is sheer barbarism. Special thanks to Arindom from my office (who has now been appointed special photographer for my blog and joins the Ranks of Kedar). His weapon of choice is the Sony Ericsson w700i.