Sunday, February 27, 2011

Craziest Event Ever

We went for the most bizarre product launch this evening. URO Group (Ultimate Reliable Organization) was launching their Mobile Phones & Laptops at Nicco Park and had put together a show for their dealer network. They had flown down Amisha Patel for the launch as their Brand Ambassador and had performances by some tollywood babes and singers of Indian Idol fame.

All in all it was quite a mad show.

Faces Enamoured by the Ride

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Bangla Sangeet Purashkar

Dr. Alok Roy & Debasree Roy giving away the trophy to Subhamita
Mr. Kausshik Kumar Nath, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Usha Uthup & Mr. D.D. Purkayastha giving away the Life Time Achievement award to Gettasree Sandhya Mukherjee
Mr. Rangon Neogi & Mr.Suman Neogi on stage with Lopamudra Mitra
Mr. Rohit Dadheech giving away the trophy to Rupam Islam
Mr. Shouvik Kumar Dasgupta with Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty & Babul Supriyo
Mr.Arun Kumar felicitating Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury
Mrs. Ranjana Sen & Usha Uthup giving away the trophy to Rupam Islam
Ms. Sharmila Sing Flora sharing the stage with BHOOMI
Performance by Chandrabindoo
Prosenjit giving away the trophy to the Autograph team
Performance by Lopamudra
Performance by Rupankar
Performance by Subhamita
Performance by Usha Uthup
Raghab singing one of his popular song at the Red Carpet
Rituparna Sengupta giving away trophy to BHOOMI
RJ Raja with Sraboni Sen & Srijit Chattapadhyay at the Red Carpet

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bandel Visited...finally

We had been planning to visit Bandel for over a year now and though it was just a an hour and ten minutes by train from Howrah Station, the trip never seemed to materialise. Well we didn't want to drive there, as we always wanted to do the journey by local train.

Anyway thanks to Neel, our new globe trotting friend, we got to make this trip. We met Arindam at the Ajay Nagar Bus Stop and got on a Garia Stn - Howrah Stn (Route 116) Minibus and made it to the Howrah Station by 8:00 AM. At the Howrah Station we met Neel and got 4 tickets for Bandel. It was Rs. 9 per ticket, our bus journey cost us more at Rs. 10 per ticket. Anyway we missed the first train to Bandel which pulled out of the station as we reached the platform. But on enquiring a bit, we realised that there was a train leaving every 15 minutes. So a hop skip and jump to the next platform and voila, we were seated in another Bandel Local. We soon pulled out and were on our way to Bandel.

A journey that went by in what seemed like a blink of an eye and here we were in Bandel, finally! Out of the station, we got to Rickshaws (at Rs. 30 each) and headed to the Bandel Church. We got there in about 15 minutes and had a look around. The Church and the Monastery were built around 1660 by the Portuguese. Bandel Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in West Bengal. It is dedicated to "Our Lady of the Good Voyage".

As we got out of the church, our next destination was the Imambara. We had two options of getting there; Rickshaw at Rs. 30 per rickshaw or boat at Rs. 200 in total for a round trip. Boat it was! As the four of us walked to the muddy banks of the river, we begun to realise it was the right way to get to the Imambara. the most interesting experience of getting into the river followed. We got into the boat which was like a little fishing boat and which was ashore in the mud. After the four of us got in, two boatmen pushed the boat down this muddy little rivulet till it reached the water. As the pushed the boat with their legs going nearly thigh deep into the silty banks, the boat kept sliding on the silty surface till it reached the water. It was low tide then and the boatman got to the middle of the river and rowed us down to the Imambara. It was a scenic ride down the river as we passed fishermen casting out nets or pulling in their catch and the Imambara kept getting bigger and bigger as we floated towards it till we finally reache up to the steps that led up to it from the river bank.

The Imambara was built by Hazi Mohammad Mohsin in 1836. The fortifications are ornamented by the texts from the Holy Koran and the heart of the mosque is enriched with inlaid granite and carvings, candle and lanterns. At the south there compound are the graves of Md. Mohasin & his relations. The Bell tower which climbed up using the spiral staircase is unique as it is the twin of the Big Ben from the UK. Its a huge Bell and a lovely view from up there.

The Imambara visited, we got back to the boat and as the boatman used his unique rowing style of using his leg to row upstream staying close to the banks, we experienced the most awesome natural phenomenon. The boatman pulled us close to the bank and as he waited the high tide came up from behind us and we witnessed it as we kept our eyes peeled to certain points on the bank and saw the water rising up. As we got back to the point we had set out from near the Bandel Church, it was under water and we alighted from the boat much further up the bank.

Finally we got back and grabbed a bite at a eatery next to the Church; Hot Kojori and Aloo. Another plate please... I just had to go for a double helping. Add some local Bengali Sweets and we were ready to head back. Back on two Rickshaws to the Bandel Station, on the platform, in the train and we were soon rolling back to Kolkata. The Journey back in the afternoon, had us all dozing off in turns, but when we got back to Howrah Station, we were all kicked about the fact that it was trip worth making.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Meeting a Globetrotter

A Couple of days ago, Sheldon called up from Delhi and enquired if I'd help out a friend of his who was visiting Kolkata. Well the story was that this bloke was a colleague of his and had quit his job in England and decided to spend a year travelling.

...Ofcourse I'd help him out. Anyone who was brave enough to take on such an endeavour was always welcome to my assistance.

So Neel finally landed in Kolkata and so Divya and I met up with him on his first evening in Kolkata at OLYPUB. After that we headed to Some Place Else and then went for a spin around Kolkata into the wee hours.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rock Guitars meet Rock Sitar

Mick Jones - Guitar, Kelly Hansen - Vocals, Tom Gimbel - Guitars, Flute, Saxaphone, Jeff Pilson - Bass Guitar, Michael Bluestein - Keyboards

Niladri Kumar
The Magnificent - Gino Banks