Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ART IN LIFE 2011 Curtain Raiser at CIMA GALLERY

I was so looking forward to visiting CIMA GALLERY for this event after visiting ART IN LIFE 2010. Last year when I first visited CIMA GALLERY, a lot of myths were broken. I, like most people, felt that Art Galleries are meant for the upper crust of society, and yet when I visited the gallery for ART IN LIFE 2010, I was shocked to see items as cheap as Rs. 50 too.

The ART IN LIFE Project is the brainchild of the curators of the Gallery who go to extreme lengths covering the length and breadth of the sub-continent scouring the art and artisans to bring their creations to us. It is their endeavour to keep these Arts alive and ensure that better commerce prevails to keep these artisans true to their art. Their belief is that if these artisans don’t get their livelihoods from these beautiful creations, they are forced into seeking opportunities in other fields and thus with them dies a legacy of our heritage and culture.

ART IN LIFE 2011 opened privately to a bevy of Celebrities and Socialites of Kolkata and it was a pure joy to see the likes of Rituparna Sengupta and Kiran Uttam Ghosh who went crazy shopping. Aparna Sen was the first to show up followed by Rituparno Ghosh and Anamika Khanna . The gorgeous Moon Moon Sen too floated in like a butterfly. Madhu Neotia just couldn’t get enough of the simple yet exquisite saris.

Aparna Sen

Rituparno Ghosh

Rituparna Sengupta

Moon Moon Sen

RJ Purbasha of 91.9 Friends FM

All I would say is that if you’re looking to buy some nice stuff for yourself or your home or better still as a gift for someone this Durga Puja, ART IN LIFE 2011 at CIMA GALLERY is the place from 02 September to 01 October 2011.

Sunny Towers (2nd Floor),
43, Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue,
Kolkata, India 700019

Date: 02 September to 01 October 2011
Hours: Daily: 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

Phone: +91 33 24858717

Birla Mandir

Every time I go past the Birla Mandir on Asutosh Chowdhury Avenue, Ballygunge (and believe me it's nearly every day and atleast twice a day), I keep thinking when I will capture this marvel of Architecture on my camera. Usually the traffic is just too heavy to pull to a side and shoot. Even so, the front view has been done too many times and I just feel there are too many distractions in front which take away the splendour of this beautiful structure.

So last evening I had gone to CIMA Gallery and while pottering around, I caught a glimpse of the temple through one of the windows. You can well imagine my excitment. I finally had a room with a view and a completely different angle to shoot this Marvel. Add to that, the high-rise being constructed in the background added some flavour to the sight.

Anyway, I finally got a shot of the Bilra Mandir.

Celebrating 5 Years in Kolkata

I landed in the "City of Joy" on this day, 5 years ago. I still remember that sultry, humid air when I stepped out of the aircraft at something past 7pm at Dum Dum Airport. The sight of my first yellow cab outside the terminal was reassuring that I was in the right city. A city at that time that I had just accepted a job in after spending 12 years in the Indian Capital, New Delhi. This was going to be my first working experience in the City.

I mean I wasn't completely alien to Kolkata.

So what if, when I left it was Calcutta and on my return after a 12 year hiatus, it had changed its name to Kolkata. Well the Red Flags were still flying high, but more in a capitalistic manner than as a sign of being comrades with the common man!

Ofcourse 5 years after, it's all gone to crap! Dada has become Didi and Red has turned into Blue and the CPI(M) has lost power to the TMC. The promise of an emergent Bengal's hopes have been dashed by the exit of the Tata Nano Plant, and Singur bears witness to the death knell of Industry in Bengal.

Well I wonder whether I should celebrate having survived in this dismal State of affairs, or revel in the fact that we've hit rock bottom, so there's only one way to go; UP!

So that said, I'm still optimistic that the future holds hope and Bengal can rise from the ashes and Kolkata can once again bask in the glory of it's erstwhile name "CALCUTTA" that is known the world over as "THE CITY OF JOY"

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birds on the Tree across from our Balcony

Spent the day taking pictures of these cute little birds that kept hopping around on the tree across from our balcony. The little fellows, kept going from one yello flower to the next, sucking out the nectar from them. The biggest challenge taking these pictures was a) the little fellows wouldn't stay still for even a second, b) add to that them blending in with the colour of the flowers and dry leaves.

All I could do was click away and hope for the best and below are some pictures from the hundreds that I clicked.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Visitor to our Balcony

This afternoon, in the middle of our post lunch siesta, I heard the flurry of feathers and realised something had got our birds in the balcony all worked up. So i jumped up and looked out and behold, there's this magnificent creature perched on top of the cage holding our Budgies and looking down at the little Zebra Finches in the cage across.

I quickly shook my wife and woke her and when she woke up and saw the bird while I was dashing to get my Camera, she was bewildered and just knew that she had to capture the pictures. So as I chnged lenses on the Camera, she prepared herself for the challenge.

Well the pictures below say the rest.

We have no clue what bird this is. I'm guessing it's some kind of Hawk or Falcon. Comments most welcome.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gearing up for Durga Puja 2011

This morning I finally got around to photographing this line of motorised carts (called ‘Van’ by locals) transporting loads of bamboo. I have been noticing these lined up on the E.M.Bypass every morning for the past week or so as I leave for work. This morning, having left a bit earlier than usual, I had the time to hop off and click a few pictures.

All this bamboo is coming from the districts and is going to be used to make the skeletal frame of those fabulous Puja Pandals we see every year.

I am looking forward to Durga Puja 2011!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Neat Little Book Shop on the Corner

Last evening a friend of mine fulfilled a long cherished dream of his. Being in the book publishing and distribution business, he always wanted to open a book shop of his own and he finally did.

With some unique collection of books, this little book shop is worth a visit.

KOLKATA - 700025

CONTACT: Mr. Biswa bandhu Mukherjee
Hello: 033-65002329

Friday, August 19, 2011

Some Place Else: Rocking at 17

The Place started buzzing around 9:30pm. We were going there after such a long time, but SOME PLACE ELSE is like the Vortex of a Time Warp. The Usual Suspects trickled in; both audience and musicians alike. Saturday Night Blues Band was going to take the celebration forward and they whipped up quite a Blues Jam with the likes of other musicians like Nondon Bagchi, Bodhisattwa Ghosh, Rohit Nandi, Proshanto Mahato, Suyasha Rhea SenGupta and Dibyendu Mukherji. I think Mainak Bumpy Nag also got in on the action.

Gautam Singh was in the thick of things especially when it came to getting the lovely cake cut and pop several bottles of Champagne.

All I have to say is Some Place Else Rocked at 17 last night.

The Saturday Night Blues Band is:
Jayanta Dasgupta (vocals, guitar)
Arunima Dasgupta (vocals, percussion)
Stuart Munro (vocals, bass guitar)
Shaukat Ali (vocals, guitar)
Avinash Chordia (drums)

Celebrating World Photography Day

I spent all day itching to shoot something. Imagine being an amateur photographer and not clicking on World Photography Day! Finally got around to take two quick pictures of the beautiful sky and this dangler at the end of a wind chime at the back exit of our office.

Ofcourse did get to shoot some more as I got called in to witness a cake cutting ceremony of one of our colleagues.

Happy Birthday Mainak!

Monday, August 08, 2011

New Tools for Better Photography

Been dying to get a tripod for my Canon EOS 1000D. There have been so many times that I've really felt the need to keep the camera absolutely still, especially in low light situations. The tripod is also going to help shooting my locomotives and railroad stuff this weekend. Got myself a SLIK F740 Tripod.

The Lens hood for my Canon EFS 55-250 I've been told will help with keeping unnecessry light reflections on the lens at bay. Lets see how it works. Its a Canon Lens Hood ET-60.