Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Kolkata Chow...Chomping Glory

Okay, so what's this? Noodles right? Wrong, if you're buying this in Kolkata, precisely where this was clicked. If you're out to get some noodles in Cal, you must ask for chowmein, or better still, chow...

I didn't learn this for a long long time, in fact, it's only now on my recent few trips that each time I ask for noodles and the person mentions 'chow' I quickly understand what he's talking about. Earlier I would take time to think it out.

This picture is that of my typical lunch/dinner when I was in Kolkata for about a week. I was staying at a small guest-house in a place called Southern Avenue that's near the big Rabindra Sarobar Lake. It's a gorgeous little place, tucked away, cosy and amidst all the hustle bustle of south Kolkata. It's kind of become my home away from home. Whenever I visit Kolkata I end up staying here, and yes, I do quite miss the para when I'm back in Mumbai....

Well, back to the pic above, there was this tiny little food stall near the guest house that made these amazing noodles (chow), rolls and rice. I absolutely loved the Bengali touch to the typical it was that once I tried it, I had it for lunch and dinner every time that I was not out somewhere and was in the guest house.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crossing Kolkata Streets The Abbey Road Way

Okay, so today I woke up to read a piece in Mumbai mirror about how Mamata Banerjee was using the above shown poster around the city to encourage pedestrians to use the zebra crossing. The moment I read this there was one pic that immediately came to my mind.

Of course almost all music lovers and Beatles' followers are aware of this iconic pic...

But the one that came to my mind immediately was the one below....
Lol.....isn't that absolutely what you would love to see instead? I would!!! Desi flavour desi ilaaj.....If you're urging Kolkatans (is that what you call people who live in Kolkata? Please correct me if I'm wrong) to cross the road properly, why not use an image that features one of the most sought-after, popular and loved musician of today, and his amazing awesome band....!!!

I definitely vote for this one ;-)

Yeah, I know the zebra crossing is missing (you see this wasn't really that big a road, just a small lane), but what do we have the photo softwares for, right?

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Aaloo Sheddho Gang!!!

It happened quite by chance today. I've always really loved eating that typical Bengali comfort food - aaloo sheddho bhaat with ghee and kaancha lonka.... While growing up in Delhi, this was never a part of our menu, but yes, sometimes if ma wasn't well, or if the vegetables were kind of in that stage when you're about to head for the sabzi mandi (those days we didn't have vegetable stores in malls, remember?!), the quintessential aaloo was what most homes would still have, and ours was no exception. So it would be a meal of daal bhaat and aaloo sheddho. And that's how I got introduced to it and fell in love with it.
Image courtesy

Of course this isn't a dish that people from other cultures or regions know of, and I don't expect them to like it either. It's requires quite a different kind of palette to enjoy this one I feel. I remember once as a kid when I was visiting Kolkata and went to a relatives' house for lunch, they asked me what I would love to have and I replied - aaloo sheddho bhaat! Poor people! The poor things had toiled the whole day preparing a lavish Bengali spread, complete with various kinds of torkari (sabzi), daal, bhaaja, maachh (fish) and chutney and sweets, and all I wanted to have was aaloo sheddho! They were aghast and my parents were quite embarassed! Of course I didn't get to have it, though I did get to have that amazingly delicious Bengali ghee that I have loved ever since and of late have asked any visiting relative to pick up from Cal if they happen to come over here. I'm talking of that grainy brown ghee - Jharna Ghee!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Getting Fooled By Commercial Bengali Cinema: Luring For A Movie With A Fabulous Song

Okay, so this has happened quite a few times now and I'm wondering if I should completely avoid watching any 'commercial' Bengali cinemas. As it is I never watched Bengali movies except for the artsy ones that came to Delhi and other places, basically not living in Kolkata has always meant that I only get to know about the really good Bengali movies, ones that have garnered critical acclaim, international festival appreciation and awards. Thankfully, I had quite managed to stay away from the other ones.

But of late, as the trend changed and Bengali cinema suddenly began churning one amazing movie after another, albeit movies that would typically be categorised as 'artsy' or 'intellectual' or 'festival marked movies', I started thinking that maybe the other ones were worth a shot too. Till late I wasn't aware of Dev and Jeet....yes, I had heard the song Paglu, someone had sent it to me, and also the song 'Jaaneman' from the movie with the same name. Both songs featured the same female and frankly, anytime I have flicked through the Bengali song channel, hers is the only face I have seen and these two guys are the only guys I've seen. If that's the condition of Bengali main stream cinema today, well then, it's quite sad.

Anupam Roy's Second Album 'Dwitiyo Purush' To Be Launched on Valentine's Day In Kolkata

It's been quite a while that Anupam Roy's first album 'Doorbine Chokh Rakhbo Na' came out and smashed the charts! Of course it doesn't need to be mentioned all over again that the album was welcomed by fans of his music everywhere, not just in Bengal, and after much searching and waiting and searching and still waiting, I too managed to order a copy online.

But it's been a long time now and everyone was waiting for the second round of music to be released. And as if this is what Anupam Roy and the entire gang of The Anupam Roy Band was waiting for, there couldn't have been a better date for Anupam to release his second album as a gift to his fans - the album titled 'Dwitiyo Purush' releases this Valentine's Day, that is 14th Feb 2013. The album has 10 tracks.

Anupam Roy and the entire team of The Anupam Roy Band will meet with fans tomorrow for the launch celebrations in Kolkata.

Venue: City Center 2 at 5pm
Venue: City Center 1 at 6pm

It's going to be a meet and greet and NOT a live performance.......

Go on, pick up the latest album now and catch a glimpse of the man himself along with his amazing band!!!!!

- Debolina Raja Gupta

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bengali Script: My First Memories of Learning The Bangla Words

I've always been an avid reader, a compulsive reader who can't live without books! And for as long as I remember, I've been reading, my oldest reading memories being around the age I was 3.....While I was a kid, the scripts I was reading were English and Hindi.

My ma used to read me a lot of Bengali books of rhymes and stories that she used to buy on our once-a-year or once-in-two years trip to Kolkata, and if my grandparents or aunts were visiting, they would always brings some new Bengali books for me, that my ma would read out to me...Of course I didn't understand most of it, the words sounded unfamiliar and I there were so many unknown and alien words that I stopped asking about them after some time. The situations and the settings sounded different, like a different world out there, and I loved the dreamy, faraway feel of reading these stories from Bengal.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...